This Sunday, April 21, is Easter. The holiday is cause for celebration around Downtown Los Angeles, and not just because Peeps are stocked in stores. Downtown this week plays host to a number of happenings before, on and after the holiday.
Below are nine events and activities in the Central City, everything from religious services to egg hunts to meals. And the Easter Bunny will be popping up across Downtown. Busy bunny, that one.
Festival Time: One of Downtown’s biggest Easter traditions is back this weekend. The New City Church of Los Angeles is again hosting Easter Fest from 1-5 p.m. on Easter Sunday at Grand Hope Park in South Park. The 11th annual edition includes multiple egg hunts throughout the day (based on age groups) as well as food and drinks. The park will also have arts and crafts stations set up around the lawn, plus multiple bounce houses. Tickets are $6 per person (kids 2 and under get in free), and $30 for a family group ticket. The event regularly sells out, so hop to it and grab your tickets early. Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help staff the festival.
At 919 S. Grand Ave. or newchurchla.com/easterfest.
Bunny Hop Hop Hop: For an Easter celebration after Easter, head to Downtown’s largest park. On April 27, Los Angeles State Historic Park is hosting the Bunny Fun Day starting at 10 a.m. The three-hour event is free and kids and families can enjoy an egg hunt, egg decorating, face painting and other arts and crafts activities. There will also be a photo booth, plus a number of lawn games on the vast green plains. The event is free and is organized by the Chinatown Business Improvement District and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles.
At 1245 N. Spring St. or eventbrite.com.
Bless the Beasts: One of Los Angeles’ most beloved tradition returns the day before Easter. The Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street has been a part of the city’s history since 1930, and it takes place on Saturday. Hundreds of pet owners will line up at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, and will bring their cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, rodents, reptiles and more in a procession that passes in front of Archbishop José Gomez, who will sprinkle them with Holy Water and give them his blessing. It’s a charming event, and there is also folkloric dancing and music. The event is free and runs from noon-4 p.m., with the procession at 2 p.m.
At 125 Paseo de la Plaza, (213) 625-7074 or olveraevents.com.
Services Central: Easter is above all else a religious event tied to the resurrection of Jesus, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels will hold services throughout the week, with Gomez presiding over some of them. There will be morning prayers on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Also on the schedule is an Easter vigil at 8 p.m. on Saturday. On Easter proper there are four separate Masses, including a Spanish-language one and another bilingual service.
At 555 W. Temple St., (213) 680-5200 or olacathedral.org.
Cathedral Eating: For some Easter is less about egg hunts and services and more about enjoying a holiday meal. Redbird, in the former rectory of the St. Vibiana’s Cathedral, is offering a prix-fixe brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday. Chef Neal Fraser’s menu includes appetizers such as a Scotch egg and cornmeal waffles with berry compote, with main dishes including king salmon with risotto and lobster congee. The bunch is $48 per person. There is also a children’s menu ($19 for those 10 and younger).
At 114 E. Second St., (213) 788-1191 or redbird.la.
French Touch: Easter is celebrated around the world, and for a global touch to your Easter Sunday, there’s the French restaurant Le Petit Paris in the Historic Core. Its Easter buffet brunch runs from 10:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and will include charcuterie options, French salads, meat and egg stations for custom orders, and plenty of pastries. It’s a brunch, so don’t forget the mimosas, bellinis and the other drinks. The buffet is $69 per person.
At 420 S. Spring St., (213) 217-4445 or lepetitparisla.com.
Hotel High Life: Another buffet is at the Millennium Biltmore hotel. The establishment is once again offering a full buffet brunch on Easter Sunday in its Crystal Ballroom. From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., enjoy a selection of breakfast dishes including frittatas, French toast and pastries, plus made-to-order pancakes and eggs. There will also be lunch options including prime rib and lamb, salads and an extensive array of seafood. Additionally, the hotel is setting up an egg and cookie decorating station for the kids. Reservations are recommended and the meal is $75 per person.
At 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 6240-1011 or millenniumhotels.com.
Palm Sunday: South Park’s classic steakhouse The Palm will be serving dinner on Easter Sunday. Instead of a big brunch, The Palm is offering a special prime rib dinner for the holiday. The centerpiece is a 16-ounce cut for $48, or a 12-ounce serving for $45 (close readers will spend the $3 for four more ounces of meat). The meal includes prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, au jus sauce and horseradish sour cream.
At 1100 S. Flower St., (213) 763-4600 or thepalm.com.
More Meat: The Palm is not the only South Park meat emporium doing something special on Easter Sunday. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse at L.A. Live is also getting in on the action with a three-course prix-fixe menu. Brunch at the restaurant will begin at 10 a.m. and adult meals (starting at $30) include a starter, two sides to share and a dessert. Kids’ menus begin at $16. Choices include eggs benedict, filet mignon, crab cake and brioche French toast.
At 800 W. Olympic Blvd. or flemingssteakhouse.com.