Love is in the air and we’re showing you some by rounding up all of the free things you
have to check out this month. There’s everything from gardening classes and a
Peter Rabbit meetup to crafting workshops and Lunar New Year fests!
1. St. Hedwig School Enrollment Tour
February 8: Tour St. Hedwig’s classrooms, meet the principal, and learn more about what it means to be a St. Hedwig Celtic. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about their Transitional Kindergarten Program, too! Open enrollment is year-round. Enrollment Tour, Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m.
2. AAA Child Passenger Safety in OC
February 9 and 28: During this free carseat education class presented by AAA, learn about occupant-protection laws, how to select the right seat, how to correctly secure your child in a seat and installation tips. Free; register online at least a week in advance.
February 9: 5:30-7 p.m.
Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach
February 28: 6-7:30 p.m.
Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo
3. Mardi Gras at Farmers Market LA
February 10-11 and 13: Head to The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles for its 29th Annual Mardi Gras, a celebration featuring New Orleans and Zydeco music, strolling parade bands, activities for kids, bead-throwing and more. Saturday-Sunday, 2 – 8 p.m.; Fat Tuesday, 6-9 p.m. Free.
4. Open House at Tanaka Farms in Irvine
February 10-11: Find out about Tanaka Farms events and opportunities and enjoy samples and goodies! Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free.
5. Peter Rabbit Children’s Story Time at LA Farmers Market
February 10: You’re invited to World Market for a reading of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and a special children’s meet and greet with Peter Rabbit. Kids can take photos with the character and kid friendly snacks will be served during the event. Free. Saturday, 1-3 p.m.
6. Lakeshore Learning’s Free Saturday Workshops
February 10: Kids (3+) get to create buzzing valentine mailboxes! Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. No reservations necessary. Carson, (310) 537-4778; Fountain Valley, (714) 963-8255; and Laguna Hills, (949) 462-9353.
7. Yappy Hour Valentine’s Card Contest
February 17: Long Beach Animal Care Services and Haute Dogs, Justin Rudd will host a handmade Valentine’s card contest for Long Beach-area students (K-12) to create lovable Valentine’s cards for the 120+ dogs and 50+ cats housed at the Long Beach Animal Care Services shelter. In addition to the regular shelter hours, the public is invited to come view the cards and their creators, spend time with the animals and “fall in love” during a special Yappy Hour from 2:30-3:30 p.m. where drinks and cookies will be served to human guests, the shelter animals will receive special Valentine’s goodies, and awards will be announced for the best Valentine’s cards!
8. Black History Parade and Festival in Pasadena
February 17: Celebrate black history, culture and achievements at Pasadena’s 35th annual Black History Parade and Festival. After the parade, enjoy the Black History Festival on Hammond Street and the north side of Robinson Park. Food for purchase, fun activities for kids, displays, music and other free fun. Saturday, parade at 10 a.m.; festival, noon – 4 p.m. Free; free parking available at Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
9. Chinese New Year Celebration at The Shops at Montebello
February 17: The center hosts a variety of cultural performances in Center Court, including a Chinese Flag Dance, Year of the Dog Dance, Three Techno Princes and more. Saturday, 2-4 p.m.
10. Lakeshore Learning’s Free Saturday Workshops
February 17: Kids (3+) make a sweet dreams dreamcatcher. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. No reservations necessary. Carson, (310) 537-4778; Fountain Valley, (714) 963-8255; and Laguna Hills, (949) 462-9353.
11. Lunar New Year Celebration with OCTA in Irvine
February 17: Join the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for a free family event with food trucks, a beer garden, face painting and paper folding. Saturday, 8 a.m. Free to attend. The first 100 people will each receive a free Metrolink ticket too, for a ride up to Chinatown for more fun. Irvine Station.
12. Lunar New Year Festival in Pasadena
February 17: Experience how the Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Korea and Cambodia with music, dance, art making, storytelling, and a host of other family-friendly entertainment. Say goodbye to the year of the Rooster and welcome the year of the Dog. Free. Families of all backgrounds welcome! Saturday, 11 a.m. Pacific Asia Museum.
13. Lunar New Year in Santa Monica Place
February 17: Celebrate the Year of the Dog at Santa Monica Place. Enjoy performances, arts and crafts, and exclusive offers from participating stores and restaurants, plus stilt walkers, martial arts demos, and traditional Dragon Dance. Saturday and Sunday, 2-6 p.m. Free.
14. Garden Workshops at OC Great Park
February 18: Spring is right around the corner and nothing says springtime like colorful flowers. Learn the power of properly prepared soil, varieties of water-thrifty long-term bloomers, the benefits of mulch, and simple design techniques to create stunning flower beds or pots. Drop-ins welcome. Saturday, 10-11 a.m. Free. Kids (12+). Farm and Food Lab.
15. Target Free Holiday Mondays at LACMA
February 19: Visitors of all ages are invited to a free day at the museum, with bilingual tours, free programs, art-making activities, and live music with the California Feetwarmers at 12:30 and 2:45 pm. Monday, 11 a.m. Free. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Note: Children must be accompanied by an adult. To ensure a safe and pleasant visitor experience, tickets to the Boone Children’s Gallery on Target Free Holiday Monday will be timed and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up your free, timed ticket in the Boone Children’s Gallery on the day of the event. Timed tickets allow for a 30-minute visit.
16. Lakeshore Learning’s Free Saturday Workshops
February 24: Kids (3+) make a cool cat paper puppet. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. No reservations necessary. Carson, (310) 537-4778; Fountain Valley, (714) 963-8255; and Laguna Hills, (949) 462-9353.
17. Family Program: Symbols in Copper
February 25: Participate in a family workshop inspired by the images in the copper matting of Albert Chong’s Throne for the Gorilla Spirits. Chong’s work uses symbolism to celebrate the diversity of mankind. Kids (3 grade and up) will meet the artist and make impressions of meaningful symbols in soft copper to create a frame for a small photograph. Sunday, 1-3 p.m. Free.
18. Hammer: 3D Concrete Poetry Menagerie
February 25: Kids (8-14) Combine concrete poetry with 3D paper models to create unique animals and a zoo like no other. Led by Mary Peterson, award-winning author and illustrator of the children’s books Snail Has Lunch, Dig In!, Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch, and the forthcoming Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Car. Sunday, 11 a.m. Free; $6 parking.