Whale of an exhibit in San Francisco
Discover the wonder of giant, elusive whales at the California Academy of Sciences. A new interactive exhibit, “Whales: Giants of the Deep,” runs April 3-Nov. 29.
Two huge sperm whale skeletons – the longest measures more than 58 feet – sit at the center of the exhibit, alongside whale skulls, scale models and other demonstrations of the enormous whale anatomy. Multimedia installations will bring visitors underwater, with engaging videos, informative graphics and whale songs. The stories of legendary whale riders, scientists and whaling families will also be told.
Don’t forget special hands-on programs related to the new exhibit throughout the year, including a day with scientists learning about krill and another afternoon dancing like whales. These programs are also located at the museum, 55 Music Concourse Drive in Golden Gate Park, and are free with general admission, which costs $24.95 for children ages 4 to 11 and $34.95 for adults. Learn more at
What: Eggs will cover Commons Beach for the annual Spring Eggstravaganza hunt for the golden egg. The Easter Bunny is expected to stop by for photos, among other family games and activities.
When: 10 a.m. April 4
Where: Commons Beach, 400 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City
What: Join an experienced naturalist for a 2-mile hike through Mount Diablo State Park, exploring both wildflowers in bloom and the habitat of tarantulas. Advanced registration is required.
When: 3-5 p.m. Saturdays through April 25
Where: Mitchell Canyon Visitors Center, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton
Cost: $15 plus $6 parking
What: Armed with wine, beer and snacks, embark on a NASA simulated space mission to Mars with your fellow adult fliers – no one under 21 is allowed on this journey. Helmets and flight suits will also be provided.
When: 7:30 p.m. April 5
Where: Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
Whale & Jazz Festival
What: For the next couple of months, experience all sorts of jazz in all sorts of settings: classic standards, hot swing, inventive bop, improvisational compositions, Afro beat-fusion and more, in various beautiful venues. Some come with a multicourse dinner, others with local wine. Plus jazz film screenings, jazz education, jazz mixed with poetry and – per tradition – one lecture about whales.
When: Various times through May 14
Where: Various venues throughout Mendocino County
Cost: Individual ticket prices vary
What: Curious about the lands of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan? Local traveler Jerry Barnes will share stories and tips for traveling in these three “stans.”
When: 7 p.m. April 7
Where: Arcade Library Community Room, 2443 Marconi Ave., Sacramento
Information: (916) 457-1426; www.noreservationstravelclub.blogspot.com