Things to do this weekend: Honor Earth Day around SoCal with fests and films

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Celebrate Earth Day: Hey, you’re here on Earth and we are, too, and so are the whales and redwoods and ladybugs and everything-and-everybody-elses. Focusing on our planet’s future, and how we can all play more mindful and proactive roles, is part of the springtime celebration’s spirit. Get into the Earth Day swing at a Los Angeles River clean-up with LA Waterkeeper on April 20, an Earth Day Extravaganza hosted by the Friends of the Los Angeles River on April 21, Earth Day programs at the Natural History Museum on April 21, and “Earth Day in Focus: Arctic Indigenous Films” at the Academy Museum on April 21 and 22. Good to know: Earth Day is April 22 and Metrolink will offer free rides that day.

Free Entrance Day to the national parks: The National Park Service has six “Free Entrance Days” on its 2024 calendar, and the next one is blowing, like a pine-scented breeze, into our nature-loving worlds. It’s happening on April 20, a tribute to the start of National Park Week, so head to your favorite fee-charging national park and saunter in without laying down funds. But wait: Seasonal reservations have begun at Yosemite National Park, so do check the details if you’re headed to the Big Y. Also? While entry isn’t free, the rest of National Park Week boasts several fun and planet-cool theme days.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: Are there more pages in your favorite novel or more book-packed booths at this long-running lit-stravaganza? Well, probably pages, especially if you go for heftier tomes, but this huge, reader-fun festival has so much for lovers of literature, tales, authors, talks, live music, food trucks, kid activities, and more. General entry to the April 20-21 happening, which unfurls across the University of Southern California, is free, but you’ll want to buy your panel ticket ahead of time if they’re still available.

“Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak”: Earth Day is when all sorts of wonderful wilder things weave through our planet-centered daydreams, but for fans of the beloved children’s author and artist Maurice Sendak, “Wild Things” are always in the spotlight. A sizable exhibit brimming with sketches, paintings, videos, and a reading area, is rumpus-ing into the Skirball Cultural Center for several sweet and spirited months beginning April 18. Entry to the ebullient exhibition is part of your museum admission.

Peacock Day: Follow the peafowl’s incredible and singular call to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden and join a joyful get-together in honor of the Arcadia destination’s most celebrated resident. There are several pea-residents, in fact, around the spacious garden, and you’ll likely hear or see a few, but the human-centered to-dos will attract your attention, too: Talks, tales, and spots for snapshots are part of the April 20 bird bash, which is included with your admission.

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