The kids are home from summer, & slowly but surely you’re running out of “things to do.” Don’t you worry… we’ve got the perfect day trip, if you don’t mind venturing outside the “Orange County bubble.”
Located just up the “road,” right off the 405 (if you want to get specific), the Skirball Cultural Center is one museum that is definitely worth the drive. In recent years the Skirball has “established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions.” Featuring changing exhibitions, engaging music, theater, comedy, film, family literary programs & an interactive family destination inspired by the Noah’s Ark story – I can pretty much guarantee that once you visit the Skirball, you’ll be busy planning your next visit.
This summer the Skirball Cultural Center has a lot up their sleeve when it comes to families & children…
* Noah’s Ark: Inside a floor-to-ceiling wooden ark, filled to the rafters with whimsical animals, you and your family will play, build, climb, explore, make music, make friends, and more. Conduct a storm, help construct the ark, and bask in the glow of a beautiful rainbow. Mingle with hundreds of fancifully handcrafted animals—from cuddly companions to life-sized puppets—all crafted from recycled materials and everyday objects, including bottle caps, bicycle parts, baseball mitts, croquet balls, mop heads, and rear-view mirrors.
* Drop-in Art Studio: drop in anytime during regular museum hours (everyday through September 5th, except Mondays) & unleach your creativity. The Skirball’s drop-in art studio will feature a rotating menu of unique take-home projects-incorporating recycled materials and other fanciful resources-that focus on exploring, reimagining, and enhancing the world around us.
* Dig It! Archeological Adventures: drop in anytime during regular museum hours (Thursday – Sunday during the summer) & experience the history of the ancient Near East hands-on at the Skirball’s outdoor simulated archaeological dig. Participants will learn methods of excavating a site and the importance of preserving archaeological artifacts.
Plus, check out all of these Family Amphitheater Performances happening this summer:
* Masanga Marimbam, Saturday, July 10, noon and 2:00 pm: Enjoy Masanga Marimba, a marimba ensemble that combines both Latin and African traditions to create an upbeat, danceable sound that is unique and irresistible.
* We Tell Stories, Sunday, July 11, noon and 2:00 pm: Don’t miss We Tell Stories as they bring folktales, myths, and literature from around the world to life by actively involving audiences in storytelling and improvisation.
* Kinetic Theory, Saturday, July 17, noon and 2:00 pm & Saturday, August 21, noon and 2:00 pm: Join us under the Skirball big top for a one-of-a-kind theatrical performance by Kinetic Theory. The troupe explores and expands the boundaries of physical and circus theatre with performances that will captivate all.
* Family Dance Jam, Sunday, July 18, noon and 2:00 pm: Move and groove with Ilaan Egeland Mazzini as she gets the whole family dancing. Audience members will make a deeper connection with each other and their bodies in a fun and playful way.
* Jessica Fichot, Saturday, July 24, noon and 2:00 pm: Experience the music of Jessica Fichot as she takes you on a journey that encompasses the French chanson tradition, gypsy jazz, Chinese and Latin American folk music, and the classic American repertoire, all interpreted through her wonderful imagination.
* Wildlife On Wheels (WOW), Sunday, July 25, noon and 2:00 pm & Saturday, August 28, noon and 2:00 pm: Rub wings, scales, and claws with animals from around the world as Noah’s Ark comes to life with Wildlife on Wheels. WOW shares a variety of exotic animals from the scaly to the furry and discusses the role these animals play in their natural habitats.
* Catch Me Bird, Saturday, July 31, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Nehara Kalev and C. Derrick Jones excite audiences with high-velocity dance, theater, and aerobatics. This amazing action-packed performance invites audience members to help create a communal tour de force.
* Kutturan Chamoru Performers, Sunday, August 1, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Come see this wonderful troupe as they perform traditional songs, chants, and dance from the Pacific Island Micronesian Region.
* Aaron Nigel Smith, Saturday, August 7, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Enjoy this performance from award-winning children’s artist Aaron Nigel Smith as he gets the whole family moving with his hip, original songs that are both inspiring and fun.
* Hug Trees, Sunday, August 8, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Hear singer-songwriter Tom Freund and friends bring a jazzy and rootsy vibe to songs that encourage children and families to get outdoors, enjoy nature, and be kind to our planet.
* Antics Performance, Saturday, August 14, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Join Antics Performance for a unique urban dance performance. Experience popping, locking, break dance, and hip-hop dance from one of L.A.’s best.
* Rhythm Child, Sunday, August 15, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Get your body moving with Rhythm Child as they lead families in a participatory drum circle creating sounds, beats, and fun for all ages.
* Los Pinguos, Sunday, August 22, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Listen as Los Pinguos brings an infectious mix of Latin rhythms performed with Spanish guitars, Cuban Tres, box-drum, and harmonizing vocals.
* Chinese Lion Dance, Sunday, August 29, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Let the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Association Lion Dance Team chase away evil spirits and bring you good fortune as they perform the traditional Chinese Lion Dance.
* Taiko Center of Los Angeles, Saturday, September 4, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: Experience one of Japan’s oldest musical traditions! Join the Taiko Center of Los Angeles, one of L.A.’s top taiko drum groups, as they share their crowd-pleasing rhythms.
* Chinese Mask Changing, Sunday, September 5, 12:00 and 2:00 pm: See the magic of world-renowned Chinese Opera Face Change as it wows both young and old.
The Skirball Cultural Center is open Tuesday – Friday, 12-5pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, and is closed on Mondays. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and full-time students, $5 for children 2-12 & FREE for children 2 and under. In additions, ALL exhibitions are FREE to the public on Thursdays.
* Noah’s Ark at the Skirball often sells out in advance for visits on Thursdays and on weekends. Same-day, walk-up tickets to Noah’s Ark are subject to availability. Walk-up tickets are typically available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Advance tickets are recommended for weekends, free Thursdays, and during school holidays for all Noah’s Ark visitors, including Members. To ensure a safe and pleasant visitor experience, all Noah’s Ark ticketholders are assigned an entry time, permitting up to two hours in the Noah’s galleries.Go to tickets.skirball.org or call (877) SCC-4TIX or (877) 722-4849 to purchase your tickets in advance and to guarantee your preferred date and entry time. Admission for the Noah’s Ark exhibit is the same cost at the rest of the Museum (and is also FREE on Thursdays), & includes admission to all exhibitions.
image via Skirball Cultural Center