If you believe summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, then let us help you celebrate the season. We'll start with the first 34 days (which conveniently takes us through the month of June):
May 28: Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The 10th season of Cinespia kicks off tonight with a screening of "Vertigo." Bring blankets and picnics and be prepared to scream. Movies are freakier when there are dead people around.
May 29: Brunch buffets aren't just for Vegas. Today chef Tony DiSalvo at Whist is rolling out a new Southern brunch buffet. For $45 per person you'll feast on an unlimited procession of biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, green tomato salad, collard greens, cole slaw, mac 'n' cheese and house-cured Cajun salmon. It's $10 extra for a mint julep or marmalade cocktail. At the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica.
May 30: If you are planning to hit the barbecue circuit tonight, let yourself eat with abandon by beginning the day with a workout. Why not try the stairs near 4th Street and Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica? (People love it on Yelp!)
May 31: Enjoy the summer responsibly by purchasing a fabulous summer hat. Our stylist offers several options in different prices.
1: Raise a glass with our favorite drink of the season — the classic gin and tonic. To make it extra special, follow our food critic's recipe, which includes Hendrick's Gin and Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water. Fancy!
2: Plan a visit to your favorite state park while you still can. Come fall, Californians could find themselves with fewer parks to visit and fewer services available at the ones that are still open. At least, that was the tenor of the plan that California State Parks officials outlined as they targeted for shutdown 70 of the state's 278 parks because of budget problems.
Link: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-california-state-park-closures-20110513,0,1562549.story Info: http://www.parks.ca.gov/
3: Nothing represents summertime leisure more than the hammock — that icon of vacations and emblem of laziness. Decide which hammock best suits your lifestyle with our six riffs on the traditional sling.
4: In Los Angeles we're blessed with a variety of beach options, but deciding where to go can be overwhelming. To help you out, our travel writers put together this handy guide to the best beaches in Southern California.
5: Check out a good old-fashioned vaudeville cowboy show when Sourdough Slim (greatest cowboy name ever?) plays Wells Fargo Theater in Griffith Park today from 2 to 3:30. Tickets are $20.
6: If you're from the East Coast you are likely to start craving fish around now, a desire that's tied up with memories of vacations by the shore (Maine, South Carolina, Jersey, Cape Cod). If you share that nostalgic feeling, head to Bear Flag Fish Co. in Newport Beach, which our reviewer describes as "the seafood wonderland we all long for on idle summer days."
7: Not sure what to put on your summer reading list? We have lots of suggestions, including "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," which comes out today. Sprinkled with spooky old photos, it offers gothic fun for everyone!
More on "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children": http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/05/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-ransom-riggs.html
8: If you haven't planted your summer vegetable garden yet, there's no time like the present. Scheme during the week and then buy your plants over the weekend. Here's a guide to help you get going.
9: Fanboys unite! Tonight the Hero Complex Film Festival kicks off with a screening of "Dick Tracy" at 7, followed by a Q&A with special guest Warren Beatty. The festival, which goes through June 12, is at the Chinese Theatre 6 at the Hollywood & Highland Center.