Botanic Garden Chocolate Festival

TREATS NEAR TREES: Botanic gardens are known for holding plant sales, and rose talks, and the occasional herbal tea course. But chocolate makes a rarer appearance among the beds and buds, which is too bad, since, of course, cocoa is very much of the natural world. The San Diego Botanic Garden intends to correct that path with a full-on Chocolate Festival on Saturday, May 7. The six-hour party will present demos and tastings, which is really the two things one wants when it comes to chocolate. (What do I do with this chocolate, and now may I eat this chocolate, in short.) There will also be the opportunity for Mother's Day gift shopping, which is handy, seeing as how the big day is the following day. Personally, we'd make the Chocolate Festival our Mom's Day gift.

IN THE REGION: If you're making the trip, note that the Flower Fields at Carlsbad have extended their season. The new closing date is Sunday, May 15 -- a two-week extension from the previous closing date -- meaning there is still time to take in all the glorious ranunculuses. (Glorious ranunculuses is definitely a good "say that ten times fast" candidate.)

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