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7 ways to welcome spring in Los Angeles

Getty Center Central Garden.
Photograph: Rachel Titiriga/Flickr Getty Center Central Garden.

Get all of those jabs about LA not having seasons out of the way, because it really is starting to feel like spring. Wildflowers everywhere, the pink (soon to be purple) tree-lined streets, warm breezes, that extra evening sunshine: the season of Coachella is truly upon us. We have to admit, we're a little sad to see winter go, taking with it any realistic chance of rain—you know that old expression, April's lack of showers bring even fewer May flowers. But we'll set aside those slight misgivings with these seven ways to celebrate the first day (and weekend) of spring.

Soak up the sun like a lizard.

Dry skin, bright colors, a deep dependency on the sun—yup, we Angelenos are pretty much lizards right about now. Machine Project is planning an entire weekend dedicated to our cold-blooded compadres, starting with a hike on Saturday. Meet up at Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank for a hike up to a former camp now colonized by lizards; once there, artist Candice Lin will host a picnic of both bugs and veggies. On Sunday, researcher Marion Preest leads a lecture all about feeding behaviors in lizards.

Get happy.

Nearly two thirds of Los Angeles isn't living to its full well-being potential. That's all about to change—hopefully—thanks to the United Nations-backed folks at Happy City LA. The new community organization is celebrating its happiness-driven initiative with a kickoff party at Art Share LA. The evening will play host to local vendors and performers, including the Poem Store's Jacqueline Suskin.

Bicycle! Bicycle! Bicycle!

For the first time, CicLAvia is venturing over the hill and hosting a ride through the Valley. The 5.5-mile route starts in the NoHo Arts District, heads south on Lankershim Boulevard, turns toward Ventura Boulevard near Universal Studios and makes its way west to Coldwater Canyon Drive. Hubs are centered around the North Hollywood and Universal City Metro stops, as well as the Studio City Farmers' Market and Sportsmen's Lodge on Coldwater Canyon.

Relax on the beach.

While half of the country is starting its thaw and just beginning to flirt with the idea of going to the beach, it's business as usual for us. Sure, the water temperature is still hypothermia-inducing, but it always is, and let’s be honest: you had no plans to get wet anyway. With beach city temperatures expected to hover in the mid-70s this weekend, it sounds like the perfect time to hit the sand. That said, it's still spring break, so you may want to head farther out toward El Matador, Leo Carrillo and County Line to avoid the tourist-choked summer-like crowds.

Get some perspective.

Climb up into the hills before those sweaty summertime days—and crowds—return. And did we mention the views? Those snow capped mountains and clear, post-rain days may be behind us, but spending the afternoon in the sweet-smelling air high above the city feels quintessentially springtime to us. If you're looking for a more refreshing trek, consider charting a course for a waterfall. Or if you want to skip the hiking part altogether, spend the afternoon sauntering around a garden oasis.

Ring in Persian New Year.

Head to LACMA on Sunday for an afternoon of activities and performances to usher in Nowruz, Iranian New Year and a festival to mark the arrival of spring. The free event includes a traditional Iranian costume parade, musical performances and plenty of delicious Persian-inspired cuisine.

Get weird. Real weird.

Observe the vernal equinox in a weird, mystical way that only HM157 could put together. ✵☽OSTARA FEST☾✵—as it was so appropriately stylized in an announcement email we received—has recruited dreamy, droney local band the Warlocks to headline an evening of psychedelic music. But what spring celebration would be complete without a spoonbending demonstration, tarot readings and an equinox ritual to honor the goddess Ostara as performed by Maja D'Aoust, "The White Witch of Los Angeles"?

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