Escapes: Have a whale of a time in Monterey



Celebrate the ocean’s most massive mammals at the fourth annual Whalefest Monterey at Fisherman’s Wharf. The event, lasting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and next Sunday, is designed to educate the public about local marine organizations, and, of course, whales. In addition to whale watching trips on Monterey Bay, there will be lectures, documentary screenings, book signings, maritime musical performances and a 60-foot model gray whale for guests to explore. Thousands are expected to attend the free, family-friendly festivities. For more information, visit


Vietnamese Lunar New Year

What: For the 18th year, San Francisco will celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar new year in Vietnam. Expect lion dances, a firecracker show, entertainment and treats. And children might receive some lucky red envelopes.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Where: United Nations Plaza, Market Street at Hyde Street, San Francisco

Cost: Free



Chowder Day

What: Take a culinary tour of the town by tasting chowder after chowder from competing chefs. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold, so arrive early – it may take three hours to taste all the chowders.

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: The Tides Wharf Restaurant & Bar, 835 Bay Highway, Bodega Bay

Cost: $10



Muir Woods Earth Day

What: Help restore Muir Woods during the national park’s volunteer day. Projects include planting, weeding and trail maintenance, among others. All volunteers are invited for lunch, too.

When: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.


Where: Muir Woods Visitor Center, 1 Muir Woods, Mill Valley

Cost: Free, RSVP requested

Information:; (415) 561-3077


Insect fest

What: Learn about – and even handle – creepy crawlers with games and crafts for the whole family. Don’t forget the free temporary bug tattoos.

When: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: World of Wonders Science Museum, 2 North Sacramento St., Lodi

Cost: $4-$6



Snow sculpture

What: At the second annual Carve Tahoe, eight international teams of three people will create elaborate sculptures from 20-ton blocks of snow utilizing hand tools, snow and water. Judging and the ensuing party take place Feb. 1.

When: Jan. 28-Feb. 2, but recommended viewing is Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Where: Northstar California, 5001 Northstar Drive, Truckee

Cost: Free



Travel club

What: Join the No Reservations Travel Club for its monthly meeting. Bill George gives a presentation on the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Donner Summit.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 4

Where: Arcade Library Community Room, 2443 Marconi Ave., Sacramento

Cost: Free


— Janelle Bitker