Escapes: The science of ‘Star Wars,’ big bangs and more


Jedi Nights

Grab your lightsaber and get ready to enter the world of Stormtroopers, R2-D2 and Jedi knights.

On Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the science behind “Star Wars” will become a reality at the Tech Museum of Innovation (201 S. Market St.). Create a dry ice-filled “alien egg,” leverage the force and tinker with circuitry in workshops that explore space travel, robotics and magnetic levitation. Tickets ($12-$22) for Jedi Nights can be purchased at

For franchise fans who can’t make it, the 10,000-square-foot “Star Wars: Where Science Meets the Imagination” exhibition lasts through February. In addition to interactive labs, the exhibit holds costumes and props from all six films. For more information, call (408) 294-8324.


Spooky bike ride

What: Grab a costume – for you and your bike – and gear up for an eco- and family-friendly Halloween. Adults can end the evening with a crawl through downtown watering holes.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Proctor Street and Plaza Street, Carson City

Cost: Free, but spending money is recommended



Ode to cranes

What: The weekend-long Sandhill Crane Festival welcomes the migratory birds home for the 17th year. Workshops, presentations, exhibitions, an art show, music and children’s activities are among the free attractions. Guided wildlife tours are offered, too.

When: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Nov. 3

Where: Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St., Lodi

Cost: Free admission. Tours require registration and range from $5 to $60.



Day of the Dead

What: In honor of El Dia de Los Muertos, the Sonoma County Museum will host themed crafts and activities for the whole family.

When: 12-3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sonoma County Museum, 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa

Cost: $5-$7, children under 12 free



Fungi adventure

What: Hop aboard the historic Skunk Train for an entertaining ride through the redwoods. This is the main event of the 10-day Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival.

When: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, other festival events start Friday

Where: Depart from Skunk Train Willits Depot, East Commercial Street, Willits; or Fort Bragg Depot, Laurel Street, Fort Bragg

Cost: $95



Tour London gardens

What: Interested in exploring the horticultural heritage of Britain? The first step just might be this travel presentation. Those who sign up for the spring expedition will see London, the Chelsea Flower Show and more. A portion of the tour fees help the Belle Cooledge Library.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Belle Cooledge Library Community Room, 5600 South Land Park Drive, Sacramento

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 457-1426

— Janelle Bitker