Barney’s Weekend Picks

STAY HOT PLEASE: If the Indian Summer weather holds, it should be a great weekend to get outdoors. (That’s what we used to do before TV and All Things Bright and Electronic.)

Here’s some easy stuff: Stroll Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. Once the site of a mansion, then El Mirasol Hotel, and then proposed as a medium-rise condo (the courts rejected that), it was a gift to the city from the late Alice Keck Park.

Lotusland is magnificent, the former Montecito estate of Madame Ganna Walska, a great beauty and mediocre opera singer who had an eye for wealthy men and the beauty of nature. But I have a feeling that many Santa Barbarans have never heard of the gardens or if they have, never thought of visiting. You need reservations. To schedule a visit, call visitor services at 969-9990, between 9 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday.

BOO AT THE ZOO: The Santa Barbara Zoo is open to Halloween kicks Friday through Sunday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., offering ghoulish thrills for little pirates and princesses. There’ll be a trick or treat trail, a Boo-Choo train ride, spooky storytelling, nightly costume parade, and goblin games. Info at 962-5339.

REMEMBER BOOKS? The good folks at Chaucer’s are opening the pages to their 32nd book sale Friday through Sunday. Twenty percent off most stuff. At Loreto Plaza.

EVENING FOR PEACE: The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will honor Bianca Jagger and Blasé Bonpane at its 23rd annual Evening for Peace, this Saturday at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. She’ll receive the 2006 World Citizenship Award and he will get the 2006 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award.

WITCH IT UP: Start working on your Halloween outfit, making it crazy as possible and laying in teeth-rotting candy for the sweet kids that will come knocking at your door. Make a Jack-o-Lantern. (Where did that name come from, anyway?)

WEEKEND DINING: For fun, drop in at Dargan’s Irish Pub on Ortega Street just off State Street, order a Guinness and bowl of Irish stew.

For another quality dining experience, have dinner at Mollie Ahlstrand’s La Trattoria Mollie on Coast Village Road. Fine Italian dishes in a beautiful room, but pricey. (This is not Chef-Boy-R-Dee country.) The delightful Mollie is liable to stop by your table for a chat. My late father-in-law, Pete De Lapa, whomped up huge Italian dinners every single night. “Almost as good as Chef-Boy-R-Dee,” I’d remark. He laughed.

Back when the kids were small and we were on a tight budget while camping at Yosemite, we’d build a fire, open a tall can of you-know-what, and heat it up. After a day romping in the valley, the hot spaghetti tasted great to the kids.

CATCH A FLICK: Reviews are good for the family movie Flicka, at the Fiesta Five. A girl, a horse, and a family farm.

I am not big on the Brit royalty scene, but with Helen Mirren as the latest Queen Elizabeth, The Queen sounds watchable at the Riviera, if you really care about Liz’s relationship with PM Tony Blair after the death of Princess Di. Check out Roger Durling’s interview with Mirren in this week’s Indy.

WOODY ALLEN: Tickets for his Dec. 17 New Orleans Jazz Band concert at the Lobero go on sale Saturday at noon. $125 a pop.

HEEBIE JEEBIE HALLOWEEN: The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will put on a contest, pumpkin pie-eating contest, live bat show, and more on Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ART SEEN: If you’re tired of looking at the quirky but fun public art on the sidewalk on State Street, check out Barnaby Conrad’s work at Neuvie, 132 Santa Barbara St.

JON STEWART’S COMING: You don’t know who he is? Stewart is the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” where he interviews and satirizes politicians. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Arlington theater for the Nov. 18 appearance at UCSB’s Events Center at 8 p.m. Gold Circle tickets available to the public and promising best seats, go for $200. Regular admission is $70-$90. UCSB students get in for $35.

LAW & MURDER: On Sunday, 5-9 p.m., the Legal Aid Foundation will present a Law & Murder Halloween Bash, a mystery dinner theater benefit at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. Wear costumes. Info at 963-6754.

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