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In the Loop

by Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

March kicks into high gear with exceptional exhibits and as you will read in this month’s roundup of short hops and trips around the Golden State.

To the northwest in Santa Rosa, Friday-Sunday March 22-24, the 18th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival focuses on tours, educational, and sensory experiences and an Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace that showcases over 100 artisans, cheese producers, winemakers, and brewers. Guests can taste and buy a variety of hand-crafted cheeses, complementary foods, and drinks, and receive an exclusive insulated cheese tote bag (707-238-2402).

Down below, the LA Phil presents “Superman in Concert: John Williams Spotlight” in Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, March 15, with Thomas Wilkins conducting (323-850-2000).

Also in Los Angeles, at the California Science Center, “Leonardo Da Vinci: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer” opens Saturday, March 2, displaying 30 ingenious inventions—among them the Flying Bicycle, Great Organ, Mechanical Bat, and Great Kite—each built by contemporary Italian artisans according to da Vinci’s drawings. Test your engineering skills by building da Vinci’s famous self-supporting bridge, climb aboard and operate his paddle boat, and engage in other hands-on science learning activities (323-724-3623).

In Buena Park from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, April 7, plus weekends until April 28, the annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival hearkens to the park’s historic roots by highlighting the berry that started it all and offering a lineup of dishes ranging from savory foods with a boysenberry twist to one-of-a-kind specialty desserts and drinks including a variety of wines and craft beers that you can only find at Knott’s Berry Farm during this limited-time food-inspired event, all combined with live music, musical stage shows, and activities for all ages (714-220-5200).

In Costa Mesa’s Samuel Theater at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the University of Wonder & Imagination, Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24, invites students of all ages and magical abilities to join “the mysterious Professor Bamberg who will guide you through this interactive theater experience, and the choices you, the audience, make will shape your unique course. You will interact with the liveliest of lecturers, choose your subjects of study, enter themed rooms, and encounter all kinds of problems and puzzles, unlocking your magical powers as you go” (714-556-2787).

Southwest on the coast Saturday-Sunday March 23-24, the Aquarium of the Pacific’s 21st annual International Children’s Festival celebrates the amazing talents of children of many cultures and will honor a local youth with its annual Young Hero Award in recognition of the student’s efforts to make our planet a better place (562-590-3100).

To the south on the coast, Sea World San Diego’s Seven Seas Food Festival runs on select dates, Friday, March 1 through Sunday, April 28, with international flavors and musical performances (619-222-4SEA).