Day 56: Hammer Bash (Westwood)

Gif courtesy of the Hammer  Museum (

Gif courtesy of the Hammer Museum (

The Hammer Museum feels like it has always flown under the radar for us; next to cultural giants like LACMA and the Getty, it didn’t capture our imaginations the same way a visit to see Metropolis II live would! (Although, this is less a reflection of the museum itself and more one of our family – getting the kids to any museum when they were younger was a challenge.) That being said, now that we are “all grown up” we’ve come to appreciate the sleeping giant that is the Hammer (traffic aside), especially their annual Made in LA exhibit!


This weekend, the Museum is kicking off their fall exhibitions UH-OH: Francis Stark 1991-2015 and The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris with after-hours access, a DJ, and a gif photobooth(!!!). There will also be cash bars serving wine, beer and cocktails, and participating food trucks will be donating 10% of proceeds to the Hammer.

What: Hammer Bash

Where: The Hammer Museum

When: Saturday, October 24th from 8-10pm

Cost: “Free for Good” unless you plan on parking in their underground garage ($3, cash only). If the garage is full, check out this map.

To RSVP, head to the Eventbrite page. Entry is first-come, first-served until they reach capacity.


(Click through these images for more pictures from past receptions!)

Day 30: Pacific Standard Time and Public Arts Festival


Spine of the Earth, 1980, Lita Albuquerque. Ephemeral installation at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, CA Photo: Lita Albuquerque © Lita Albuquerque Studio, 1980

Pacific Standard Time: Celebrating art in L.A. 1945-1980 and the Public Arts Festival are collaborating from January 19-29, 2012.  This eleven day festival lineup promises to be a contrast of visual works staged in public venues and underground works in less grand spaces.  Many events will feature L.A.’s music and theater.  Personally, I’m thinking about checking out Punk Rock at MOCA…

Day 24: The Getty Villa

Not in the mood to fight the Mother’s Day brunch crowds today?  Why not postpone your celebration for this Thursday, May 12th and take her up to The Getty Villa in Malibu for some Tea by the Sea? 

According to The Getty Website. “Tea by the Sea is a special dining experience inspired by the Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow at the Villa. Feast on a Mediterranean-inspired menu of sweet and savory sandwiches and pastries, along with fruits, cheeses, and a varied selection of teas. After tea, you can tour the Villa’s authentically re-created first-century Roman gardens with knowledgeable docents, then spend the rest of the afternoon savoring the Villa’s exhibitions and permanent collection.”

$36 per person.
Thursdays from 1:00-3:00
Please reserve in advance. Call (310) 440-7300 or get tickets online.

Day 23: Petersen Automotive Museum

You are going to need a bib to walk through this place. I was definitely drooling over this little hottie!  The Petersen Automotive Museum is a great place to host events or just take a stroll around and see the history of cars. 

Last time we were there, it was to go to the Gold Standard, a benefit for Heal the Bay featuring Jonathan Gold’s (L.A. Weekly’s Pulitzer Prize winning food critic) favorite L.A. restaurants. After eating ourselves silly, we decided to do a lap around the museum.  Both my dad and husband re-lived their childhood days when they saw the Helms Bakery truck. It had these beautiful wooden drawers and used to drive around L.A. delivering fresh baked good daily.  And we thought food trucks were a new thing…

Father’s day is coming up, maybe we’ll stop here, wander around and then go the Farmer’s Market for dinner???

Day 20: Natural History Museum

The last time you visited the Natural History Museum, did you need a parent signed field-trip slip and were you riding a yellow school bus?  Re-live that childhood curiosity and plan a visit…  

Try an adults only First Fridays (next one is on May 6th). Once a month, the entire Natural History Museum stays open until 10 pm and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours.  See a Mummy, explore the upcoming Dinosaur Hall, learn more about the history of California or take a stroll in the Rose Garden. 

My family loves the Hall of Mammals and the Gem and Mineral Hall.  For a special treat, check out the Pavillion of Wings from April 10th-Sept. 5th. More than 40 different butterfly and moth species and an array of plants take up residence every summer, this is a special exhibit and requires an additional entrance fee, but the kids love it!

Day 14: Earth Day at the Autry

On May 1st, The Autry presents a Native American perspective on earth-friendly living. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about sustainable living in the West. There will be earth-friendly tips from backyard farmers, gardening experts, green-build architects and wildlife experts. This family friendly event also features a Kid’s planet area, where children can participate in activities and games.

Day 12: Huntington Library and Gardens

Before it gets too hot and while the peonies and wisteria are blooming, you might want to bring your mom, child or anyone else who would enjoy spending the day strolling the gardens and gracious grounds.  There is so much to see, it would be impossible to take it all in at one glance.  Suffice to say, the gardens and library are extraordinary… 

The library houses one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the U.S.  $1.5 million dollars has been awarded to 158 scholars in the humanities to do research at the library for the 2011-2012 year.  There is a rotating exhibit of many first edition and rare books.  Among the items on permanent exhibit are a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America (sadly, many of these have  been dismantled and sold for home decor), and a collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.

The many theme gardens include; the rainforest, a childrens garden (with lots of water so bring extra clothes/shoes for the kiddies), a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, a rose garden, a Shakespere garden, and a jungle garden.  These are not small gardens either, so wear your most comfortable walking shoes.  They are having their 37th annual plant sale on May 15th.  In the past,  I have found their prices very reasonable and the range of plants sold to be fantastic!

They are taking reservations now for Mother’s day picnics in the rose garden.  You should note that the the Japanese garden is closed for renovations, including adding a ceremonial tea house, until its centennial in the spring of 2012. We love to go to the Rose Garden Tea Room (reservations recommended, see the link below),  a cafe and a Chinese tea house.  We’ve never eaten at the Chinese tea house so if any of you out there can comment to that, thanks in advance! 

Book your Tea Room reservations online>

Day 8: LACMA

Let’s start with the fact that I know absolutely nothing about art.  Despite having a mother who has been an artist her whole life and dragged me along to art shows and museums as a kid (notice I used the word dragged), none of the information stuck.  I know nothing about techniques, the history of the artists, the evolution of art, nada…  That being said, since art is subjective anyway, you don’t need to know anything at all to go and look.  Now I just pay attention to my reaction to the art itself; some I find repulsive, some makes me angry, some makes me laugh, others make me ponder, and some I just find beautiful…

A few years ago, when LACMA opened the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, we decided to take the kids to see the Jeff Koons exhibit.  We thought this would be a good first step for all of us since his art is so whimsical and fun.  To our pleasant surprise, the kids were given free memberships that are valid until they are 18 years old and the accompanying adult gets in free!  The program is called NexGen, so bring those kiddies with you for a free day at the museum!

We went a few weeks ago during our school spring break and had a light lunch at the Stark Bar, a contemporary setting in the courtyard between the buildings.  We shared a burrata appetizer and a mushroom and truffle oil flatbread.  It was a lovely afternoon and I am looking forward to going back.   The kids are looking forward to seeing the Tim Burton exhibit that starts at the end of April.  No more dragging along for me. I want to go, my kids want to go and it’s free.  Thanks Mom, I guess a bit of it sunk in after all!