Don your corset and Victorian-era skirt – or tailored suit and monocles – and head to Mendocino County’s third annual steampunk festival, Kinetic Carnivale.
The weekend holds a wealth of events, including handcar races at the Skunk Train tracks, a steampunk art show, lectures, historical workshops and museum exhibits. A grand ball at 7 p.m. Saturday features “fan folding, corset lacing, swooning, blushing” and more, according to the website. Perhaps of more importance, there will also be aerial acrobats, marionettes, fire dancers and live music. Tickets run $20-$40 for the ball.
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The general, family-friendly fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 with craft merchants, music, dancing, theater, food vendors and the Whimsy Circus for children. The Carnivale is held at Recreation Grove Park, at 400 East Commercial St., Willits. Entrance costs $10 per day for adults and $5 for seniors and youths ages 13 to 18. The festival is free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit www.kineticcarnivale.com.
What: Discover how families lived during Mexican Rancho days. Expect horse and wagon rides, a tug of war, stilts and sack races, as well as lessons in roping and making tortillas by hand.
When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Wilder Ranch State Park, 1401 Coast Road, Santa Cruz
Cost: $10 parking per vehicle
Environmental family fun
What: With science activities, games, crafts and demonstrations, the 15th annual Children’s Environmental Science Day educates families of all ages about Lake Tahoe’s unique ecology. The event is hosted by UC Davis scientists and staff, and is intended for kids ages 6 and up.
When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences Building, Sierra Nevada College, 291 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nev.
Information: Contact Heather Segale (775) 881-7562; http://terc.ucdavis.edu
What: Explore Mount Diablo State Park as the sun sets for this special “Things That Go Bump in the Night Hike.” The 4-mile trek might find owls, bats, scorpions, tarantulas and more. Bring a flashlight and dress in layers. Reservations required.
When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mitchell Canyon Parking Lot
Cost: $6 parking per vehicle
Information: www.mdia.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
What: Italian travel guide Tosca Perotti will be on a live video conference call from Rome, offering tips for visiting traditional tourists sites as well as lesser-known attractions in the region. There will also be a presentation on travel and wine tasting in Tuscany.
When: 9:30 -11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Holloway Travel Outfitters, 1150 Fulton Ave., Sacramento
Cost: $10 registration fee
Information: www.experienceitaly.com or email email@example.com
What: Learn about traveling in Croatia, including Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Forest, Zadar, Split, Brac Island, Hvar Island and Dubrovnik. Reservations required.
When: 2-3:30 p.m. Aug. 10
Where: 102 Russler Lane, Folsom
Information: (916) 983-8651; www.verticalhorizonstravel.com