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October 18, 2009|Christopher Reynolds; Jen Leo; Chris Erskine; Judi Dash

Calling all shutterbugs

The new Annenberg Space for Photography is a haven for serious shutterbugs, designed to remind you of a camera's insides and to show you the wide world as well. The free exhibit is also aimed at the digital future: Though gorgeous photos hang on the walls, there isn't much wall space. You're probably going to spend more time looking at digital images on monitors and larger rear-projection screens, which can deliver eye-popping, color-drenched spectacles. The 10,000-square-foot space at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City also features rooms for slide shows, lectures and workshops. Through Nov. 1, the space is showing "Pictures of the Year International," a survey of 2008 photojournalism assembled by the Missouri School of Journalism's Donald W. Reynolds Photojournalism Institute. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City; (213) 403-3000, annenbergspaceforphotography.org. Admission: Free.

-- Christopher Reynolds

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Oct. 31 treats

Is your neighborhood a dud when it comes to Halloween? If you're thinking about taking a quick getaway over Halloween weekend this year and haunted hotels and haunted houses are a bit too scary or inappropriate for your kids, you might consider a quick jaunt to San Diego. The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay near Sea World is ramping up the Halloween fun for guests from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, and the room rates won't scare you: They start at $135 a night and come with lots of family-friendly Halloween activities, including a spooky family movie in the pool, Halloween s'mores and monster-themed hula-hoop contest. Meanwhile, Sea World is

less than a mile away and having Spooktacular events through Nov. 1. Contact: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, (619) 224-1234, www.missionbay.hyatt.com

-- Jen Leo

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Miles of music

Graphics that pop, plenty of maps and a breezy tone make the new "Music + Travel" guidebook a handy reference and a rockin' good time. Twelve writers profile 12 countries, offering the inside scoop on the best music venues in, among other sites, Dublin, Ireland; Buenos Aires; Paris; Berlin; and Chicago. Jessica Hundley's chapter on Southern California touches on such figures as Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons. She writes: "Calicountry, the dust-blown cowboy strut that began with the Okie folk songs of the Dust Bowl emigres, continues to hang over Los Angeles like campfire smoke." That may be overstating things, but there's little doubt you'll want to read on. Available Nov. 3, from Museyon Guides, $17.95.

-- Chris Erskine

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Indoor sports

Lousy weather can turn the day into a real nightmare when you're stuck inside with restless tots. Or

you could all have a blast teaching them to play baseball, tennis or

golf. All you need is a TV. The new 3-in-1 Smart Sports from Fisher-Price uses a remote-controlled base unit plugged into a TV's video ports to help kids virtually learn those sports using a remote control grip with included baseball bat, golf club and tennis racket attachments. On-screen characters teach via nine interactive games, with progressive levels of play. Runs on six AA batteries (not included). Nice way to wear them out while having fun. 3-in-1 Smart Sports is $60 at www.fisher-price.com. Info: (800) 432-5437.

-- Judi Dash

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travel@latimes.com

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