All the neighborhood stations of the Los Angeles Fire Department will be open today as part of Fire Service Regulation Day. For children, the big draw is a chance to climb around on those big red engines. Children can sit at the wheel or pretend they are hanging onto the back as the engine whips around a corner. Parents, with one eye on the climbers, can pick up fire-prevention literature and ask questions of firefighters. Firefighters will be handing out fire hats and badges to the children and some stations will serve light refreshments.
In addition, the Fire Department is staging major demonstrations at five sites around the city. At these spots, they will be demonstrating helicopter water drops and rappelling (the way firefighters make their way down the sides of buildings). The Jaws of Life apparatus will also be on display. There will be shiny fire engines (these open to young climbers, too) at all five sites: Fire Station No. 88 (5101 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks), Fire Station No. 69 (15045 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades), Ports O' Call Village (San Pedro), Lincoln Park (East Los Angles) and the Los Angeles Coliseum (39th Street and Menlo Avenue section).
Honorary Fire Chiefs Merlin Olsen and Danny Villanueva will join in ceremonies at Fire Station No. 88 at 10 a.m. and then visit the other sites by helicopter. Information: (213) 485-5162.
Mother's Day Hikes--Children often have a hard time feting their moms properly on Mother's Day--allowance problems, you know. A practical solution could be a family hike this Sunday. These Mother's Day specials are scheduled for local parks.
At William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom at Franklin Canyon, mothers and their families are the focus of an easy-paced 2.3-mile walk through the canyon. This ranger-led hike begins at 9 a.m. Sunday at the ranch house and is appropriate for children 4 and older (or babies in backpacks). It is not stroller accessible. After the walk, families may set up a picnic brunch on the ranch's broad lawn. Tables are available.
At Topanga State Park, an hourlong "Family Wildlife Learning Activity" is designed to get children thinking about their environment with rangers leading short games and asking questions to stimulate discussion about wildlife. The program begins at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Trippett Ranch. Here too, picnicking facilities are excellent: plenty of tables and shade trees. Families who stay the day may join in the 4 p.m. walk through the meadows and on to ridge-top views of the ocean and city.
Spring Carnival--Today's free carnival, the Pilgrim School's big fund-raiser, is a joint effort of parents, students and faculty. Parents will be manning the food booths, which reflect the broad ethnic makeup of the school by featuring soft tacos and Korean barbecue as well as hot dogs. Students will be running the game booths, geared for children of all ages. In addition there will be face painting, pony rides, seven carnival rides and a bake sale. The school is at 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., at 6th Street, in the MacArthur Park area. Information: (213) 385-7351.
"Something to Crow About"--Today's 2:30 p.m. performance at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is an hourlong musical revue celebrating morning, noon and night on the farm with a bevy of clever animal puppets. After the performance, the audience can take an hourlong tour backstage to see how the puppets are made and made to work, finishing up with light refreshments. The theater is at 1345 West 1st St., Los Angeles. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for children. Reservations: (213) 250-9995.