Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. The Brooklyn export has landed in the Arts District and become a hotbed of fantastic food and retail vendors, with some that are testing out their dishes before launching a full-blown brick-and-mortar in the city. Bonus: there is plentiful (and free, for two hours!) parking in the nearby parking garage.
The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminster Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites. Though relatively small in size, owing perhaps to its prime location bookending the neighborhood’s famed Abbot Kinney stretch, vendors hawk a diverse range of hand-made and expertly curated wares that seems to simultaneously fit in and stand out in one of the nation’s most unusual neighborhoods.
Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that's deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who's there—that's part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.
Silver Lake's legit little music venue offers up some of the best local music in the city every Monday night... for free. Check out LA bands that are about to make it big (acts like Fitz & the Tantrums, Superhumanoids and even Local Natives have graced the residency stage) without spending a dime—well, except on maybe a beer, or a round for the folks onstage. Check the Satellite calendar to see who's on the bill each month. Acts often have a rotating cast of openers, so you can see different bands each week while watching the main act work on material, become more comfortable onstage and find their rhythm as the month goes on. Then a few years from now, you can say "I saw them when...."
It's free music every Monday when sponsored, up-and-coming local bands call the Echo stage home for a one-month stint, honing their stage presence and giving various opening acts a chance at the spotlight as well. If you're worried a Monday night will fill up to capacity, you can RSVP on the Echo website for VIP entry. When a band is on its third or fourth Monday and killing it, this is a pretty convenient way to make sure you're in on the action.
The acclaimed Chinese artist kicks off a flurry of activity in L.A. with this takeover of the Marciano’s massive theater gallery, including Ai’s floor-covering “Sunflower Seeds,” which features millions of porcelain seeds, as well as the similar but smaller “Spouts,” a pile of thousands of Song dynasty teapot spouts. “Life Cycle” also marks the premiere of its namesake work, a nearly 60-foot inflatable raft made entirely from bamboo. Inspired by the European refugee crisis, the work employs traditional kite-making techniques to create its passengers, which are often pulled from the signs of the Chinese zodiac—such figures also factor into the astounding mythological mobiles and creatures that surround the black box space.
Head to Echo Park on Mondays for free residencies at one of the best venues on the East side, the Bootleg. Theater shows happen in the Gallery, and music in the Theater (in back) and the Bar (in front). Residencies take place in the bar, with high tables and stools in the back, a bar with great craft brews and a high, open-beamed roof with great acoustics. Check the Bootleg's calendar to see who's on the bill month to month.
Want to admire the moon and constellations up close, but don’t have your own powerful telescope at home? Not to worry, Griffith Observatory has you covered with their popular (and free) monthly Public Star Parties. Head out to the Observatory’s expansive lawn among hundreds of other star enthusiasts and check out the views through a wide variety of telescopes, with savvy amateur astronomers happy to discuss what you see through their equipment. The views of celestial objects above and L.A.’s majestic city lights below make this a special evening for the whole family.
Ragnar Kjartansson’s mesmerizing, musical video installation The Visitors returns as part of this free exhibition about the passage of time. The show includes more than 50 works from the likes of Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursky, Glenn Ligon and Anselm Kiefer. The exhibition also marks the L.A. debut of works from Sharon Lockhart, Sherrie Levine and Ed Ruscha, whose monumental diptych Azteca/Azteca in Decline will be on display.
Seasoned photographer and author Joel Sartore has contributed to National Geographic magazine for over two decades. Now, Angelenos will have a chance to see a glimpse of his stunning photos of some of the world’s most threatened species with this selection of 100 large-format prints. Sartore’s Photo Ark project has brought him to over 40 countries to capture portraits of 8,000 species in his quest to catalog all of the world’s animals before they disappear.
With summer movie season behind us, get your outdoor film fix at an equally alluring venue: the Santa Monica Pier. For one long weekend in October, this series unfolds a chair on the Pacific’s front porch for a string of family-friendly flicks.
Los Angeles gets a taste of Broadway once a week on Musical Mondays (MuMo) at the massive Eleven Nightclub. Unlike most nights, when the latest Top 40 dance hits can be heard in heavy rotation at the Santa Monica Boulevard hotspot, the genre of choice on Mondays at Eleven is musicals... purely musicals. For one night only, Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna and Rihanna take a backseat while the songs of musical legends like Barbra Streisand, Patti LuPone, Kristen Chenowith and Linda Eder rule the stage. A mix of live performances and videos of classic moments from Broadway and film make this not only one of the most feel-good nights of the week, but also one heck of a reason to actually look forward to Mondays.
The Beverly Hills gallery, which received an architectural overhaul from Ai Weiwei, hosts a solo show that includes the artist’s hundreds of the artist’s interlocking, marble grass-like works.
Scope out a frabric sculpture constructed from decades’ worth of Mickey Mouse plush at this pop-up installation. “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition” lands in New York this fall for Mickey’s 90th birthday, but Angelenos can get an early peek thanks to this L.A. pop-up. Artist Shinique Smith will premiere her fabric bale work “Bale Variant No. 0026 (Ode to Mickey Mouse, My First Love),” which will be on display at the Arts District’s Lupetti Pizzeria from October 10 to 23 before heading to New York.
See Downtown’s critically derided, dysfunctional sculpture shine again during this performance series. The YACHT-curated event includes the likes of Reggie Watts, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the Institute for Art and Olfaction and more. Gather at the base of the light and sound sculpture (corner of Temple and Main) from 6 to 10pm.
The Getty examines how photographers have influenced the course of fashion and style through 200 photos as well as a selection of costumes, advertisements and magazine covers.
While the rest of the country scoffs at the idea of Grand Avenue becoming L.A.’s Champs-Élysées, we’re too busy making the most of the Downtown street’s cultural treasures. For one afternoon, 11 institutions will celebrate their Bunker Hill home with free performances, exhibitions and tours. Most of the action takes place on Grand Avenue between Temple and Sixth Streets. Highlights include the chance to conduct a small chamber orchestra at the Colburn School; an “instrument petting zoo” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; a sugar skull workshop at the Los Angeles Central Library; a recital from up-and-coming LA Opera resident musicians; a performance fby the LA Chamber Orchestra on the Grand Performances stage; a Day of the Dead celebration at Grand Park and free admission to MOCA. Other participating institutions include the Broad, REDCAT and the Music Center.
AFI Fest presented by Audi features red carpet galas, acclaimed international films and the best of independent cinema. It also presents conversations and panels with notable filmmakers, as well as a tech showcase featuring immersive virtual reality experiences. Each day, a mix of films, lectures and special discussions will be offered at a variety of venues, including the Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 and the Egyptian Theatre. The complete schedule of events is listed online, but highlights include centerpiece galas; special screenings; as well as world cinema, shorts, virtual reality films and a competition for first- and second-time filmmakers. All film tickets are free, but limited. Special packages that include such privileges as priority access, reserved seats, access to the VIP lounge and invitations to festival parties are available for $400–$2,500.
This is the largest Halloween street party in the world, and there's really no better place to be on October 31st. Sure, the crowd is huge (like, a half million people huge) and a bit belligerent, but the amazing display of costumes and general merry-making spirit deem it at least a worthy stop, if not your main destination for the evening. There will be dancing, drinking, and many mid-parade costume contests. Even if you don't plan on entering one, it's best to still come dressed to the nines—no one likes a party pooper in jeans and a t-shirt. See photos from the 2015 West Hollywood Costume Carnaval.
Walk among a mix of traditional and contemporary altars outside of businesses across Old Pasadena at this three-day Day of the Dead celebration. This year’s event includes face painting, a salsa dance party, live music and more.
Stroll the streets of Downtown San Pedro during this waterfront Day of the Dead celebration. You’ll find traditional and contemporary Latin American performers. Snack on regional Mexican fare, sip on suds in the beer garden, shop for artisan crafts and clothing and let the kiddos run around and get their face painted. Make sure to stop by the ceremonial altars—you can enter your own in a free competition—in addition to the community-wide altar of remembrance. The event takes place on 6th Street between Pacific Avenue and Centre Street.
This fun neighborhood stroll highlights the numerous artists, musicians, shops and galleries of Mar Vista, where huge vivid murals brighten exterior walls everywhere you look. Since launching in 2015, the quarterly event has dramatically expanded, now featuring several clusters of activity along Venice Boulevard. Catch local musicians and performers throughout the evening, artists selling their works as well as creating new ones on the spot, grab food from trucks, and browse galleries and shops that stay open late. The walk takes place the first Thursday of March, June, September and November, each time featuring a different theme and the artists are curated by Monique Boileau and Mitchelito Orquiola.
Explore a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce castles, carnival games and seasonal crafts at this Pasadena pumpkin patch and costume parade. All proceeds benefit the Kidspace Children’s Museum’s Kidspace For All programs, which works to provide free and discounted admission for those in undeserved communities.
Join Grand Park and Self-Help Graphics & Art—which hosts its own Day of the Dead celebration—for a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony to pray for and honor the dead. Catch performances by traditional Aztecan, Oaxacan and Michoacán dancers and take part in a giant community altar.
Peruse altars in the plaza of El Pueblo at this Day of the Dead celebration. Expect plenty of festive wares from the merchants on Olvera Street, along with children’s crafts in the morning and a candlelight procession every night. Stop by during weekends for face painting, mariachi bands, Aztec dancers and more.