“Enchanted: Forest of Light” is an interactive, nighttime installation of light and sound sculptures installed along a one-mile path through the grounds of Descanso Gardens. While popular with young families, the special appeal of this annual classic goes beyond kid stuff. Anyone interested in sheer low-key delight and childlike wonderment — and let’s face it, grownups can use a bit of that themselves these days — will find a lot to love in this garden of kaleidoscopic wizardry and natural beauty.
A massive lawn of electronic tulips, like the world’s biggest Lite-Brite, changes color and sings with the twinkling, soothing, magic sound of silver bells. A laser show dances across a misty lake. A walkway of celestial stars leads to a garden walk alive with the shadows cast from whirling lanterns. A path of deep red lanterns welcomes visitors to a surreal, otherworldly plane.
A grove of old oaks offers interactive lights like portals to another dimension. A vast lawn is covered with lit-up paths, whose colors change as you walk across them, like a Candyland version of the “Billie Jean” video. A vast grove of quivering trees brings the sky to earth with a forest of tiny lights that sparkle on every leaf and twig, creating a canopy of fairy dust.
Along the way, plenty of hot chocolate (while not quite wintry, it does get chilly at night) and more adult beverages are on offer, and if you book ahead, there’s a version of the ticketing that includes dinner at the on-site restaurant. This event always sells out, so grab your tickets now.
1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada; (818) 949-4200, enchantedla.com. Daily, rain or shine, 5:30-10 p.m., through Jan. 6 (closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24 & Dec. 25); timed entry tickets $30.
There are plenty of selfie opps at the new Happy Place, including expanded versions of the “rainbow room,” featuring a giant pot of gold you can actually jump into (it’s one of those ball pits, with plastic coins inside), and the “super bloom” room, which allows both subject and photog to pop their heads through a flowery field for photos.
When most Coachella-goers are winding down for the night, a special few were putting on their dancing shoes and getting ready to boogie all night. Music lovers saved their disco moves for the Rhonda Queen of the Desert afterparty. Presented by A Club Called Rhonda, the evening featured music by Talaboman and Motor City Drum Ensemble, as well as Peggy Gou.
All photography by Shane Lopes
Deep in the east side of Chinatown, surrounded by old warehouses and adjacent to train tracks, was the platform for Factory 93 with headliner Carl Cox on Saturday, March 23. Partygoers dressed in ’90s throwback fashions graced the scene, dancing from the early afternoon to well past sundown. With a nostalgic tribute to the downtown warehouse parties, Factory 93 was a refreshing change from today's highly produced party scene.
All photography by Shane Lopes.
On a searingly hot summer day, Kazuko Higashi is sitting on a small stool in the garden shed of Fujiyama Nursery, clippers in hand. A slight, tanned, reticent woman of 75, Higashi is a self-taught topiary master, and today she is turning a shrub into a deer. The nursery, which...