This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Hello Kitty. To celebrate, the world’s first ever official Hello Kitty Convention is taking place this weekend in downtown Los Angeles at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. If you weren’t able to get tickets (they are sold out now), there are many other activities to celebrate Hello Kitty’s anniversary that are taking place in Los Angeles as well (more details at the end of this post).

Longtime readers know my love for Hello Kitty. The convention runs from Thursday through Sunday, but on Wednesday evening, they had a media preview, which allowed us to have an opportunity to take photos of the set-up before it became flooded with people. Of course I had to go!

Through this post, I’m sharing the highlights of what I saw on preview night as well a road map for those attending the Con. I’ve been actively following the happenings from Thursday and Friday, so hopefully I can provide some good tips for people attending the weekend sessions.

Inside Geffen Contemporary, you’ll find a lot of photo opportunities: Hello Kitty displays, a look into the Hello Kitty world, exclusive convention items for purchase, vintage collector items, art displays, fashion displays, an artist corner where you can get sketches from various Hello Kitty artists, a tattoo parlor, and vendors selling Hello Kitty items.

There are many adorable life-sized pieces that you can step inside for a picture.

Fruit Leather

I love making homemade fruit leather. It’s a healthy snack, a great way to use up a lot of fruit, and it makes nice gifts too. It’s so simple to make and your homemade version doesn’t need to have preservatives and other additives.

Din Tai Fung recently opened a new branch inside the high-end shopping mall South Coast Plaza, located in Costa Mesa.

I was initially concerned about how this new one would be because I wasn’t a fan of the Glendale one, also located in a high-end shopping plaza and catering to a more American audience. But after hearing some good reviews for this one, we stopped in to check it out.

Like the Glendale location, this one has a full bar and also makes boba tea drinks.

During the opening week, customers were reporting wait times up to 3-4 hours. We went on Saturday evening, and I was surprised when they estimated only a 1 hour wait. You give them your phone number and the computer system is set up to text you a few minutes before your table is almost ready, so you don’t have to stand around and wait. We took the time to go shopping at Uniqlo, a popular clothing store from Japan selling trendy clothes at accessible prices,  which was situated right below Din Tai Fung.

Truffle Dumplings