At this weekend's herb-garden workshops at Pasadena's Kidspace Museum, kids can plant rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano seeds in take-home containers which, if diligently tended, will turn into respectably giftable plants for Christmas.
Each workshop begins with a kid-scale discussion of the history of herbs for teas and medicines, followed by the actual project-making.
Plantings will be done with potting soil in large containers, and kids will receive instructions from staff members about how to start their plants growing. Once the herbs start to grow they can be transplanted into fancier pots.
Recommended for ages 6 and older, the workshops are scheduled for today and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Each class lasts 30 to 45 minutes, and there is a materials charge of 50 cents. Kids should sign up for a specific time when they enter the museum. Kidspace is at 390 S. Molino Ave., Pasadena, (818) 449-9144. Weekend hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $2.25 per person (kids younger than 2 are free).
For lunch, you might head for Two Pandas at 830 N. Lake St. in Pasadena, where walking, talking robots serve the food. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends (dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and serves the odd-but-quite-practical combination of hamburgers and Chinese food. Or you might stop by Stottlemyer's at 712 E. Colorado Blvd. for sandwiches from their delicatessen, which you could eat on the premises or take to nearby Brookside Park directly south of the Rose Bowl on Arroyo Boulevard.
Factory of Nightmares--For kids and adults who hate to give up the Halloween ghost, tonight's the last chance to visit this spectacular haunted house. The North Hills Jaycees do a state-of-the-art production guaranteed to scare the wits out of everyone--parents are urged to use caution with preschoolers. Visitors poke their way through eight rooms of horror: a dungeon, graveyard, butcher shop and more. Outside, there's fresh air and a carnival, game and food booths. Cal State Northridge North Campus (formerly Devonshire Downs), with parking on Devonshire Street, (818) 363-9329. Tickets are $4.
Malibu Creek State Park--Now that the weather is cooling off, this is a great time of year to plan a hike to the park's Century Lake. This small man-made lake looks natural, fed by a stream and surrounded by trees, and is relatively secluded because it's about a two-mile walk from the closest parking spot. But it's a pretty, easy walk through the Santa Monica Mountains on a service road. Load the backpacks with lunch, plenty of water and a light blanket, since picnic tables are few. 28754 Mulholland Highway, Agoura, (818) 706-1310. (The park entrance is located a quarter of a mile south, on Las Virgenes Road; ask for a map at the kiosk).
Treasure Island--The Unicorn players, directed by actress Mariette Hartley, will perform a 60-minute version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic this afternoon at 2 at El Camino College. Produced by the South Bay Youth Theater Guild, this play is suitable for kindergartners through grade-school children: Here, Long John Silver is not nearly as terrifying as he was on film. The Unicorn Players is a professional group that travels throughout California. Redondo Beach Boulevard at Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance, (213) 329-5345. Adults are $5, children are $3.
Guys and Dolls--This is a musical for both parents and kids (age 8 and older), and the Showboat Dinner Theater at the Swedish Inn puts on a spirited 35-member-cast production. Arrive an hour or two before show time for a buffet dinner. The tables are cleared before the show begins, and soft drinks are available throughout the 2 1/2-hour performance. Tonight's show starts at 8 and costs $23 for adults, $22 for kids (this includes dinner, tax, tip and show). Sunday night's show starts at 7 and costs $21 for adults, $18 for kids. Reservations are required. 19817 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 884-7461.