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.
Take every artsy street fair you’ve ever attended, add all the stereotypes about Venice Beach and you’ve got the general idea. At this year’s festival, dozens of top food trucks and booths will be on hand, as well as four live music stages. Get your drink on in three different beer gardens, or shop from local vendors selling art, jewelry and other handcrafted goods.
The acclaimed Chinese artist kicks off a flurry of activity in L.A. with this takeover of the Marciano’s massive theater gallery, including an inflatable boat inspired by the refugee crisis as well as Ai’s floor-covering “Sunflower Seeds” and “Spouts” pieces.
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.
Start teaching your pooch how to carve waves because Huntington Beach’s annual surf dog competition is right around the corner. The event kicks off with a pooch party and four-legged fashion show on Friday, followed by the competition itself on Saturday and a post-competition surf ride and meet-up on Sunday. It's one of those have-to-see-it-to-believe-it events that you simply can't miss.
To kick off its 100th season, the LA Phil joins forces with CicLAvia for a car-free, music-filled fest that stretches from Downtown’s Walt Disney Concert Hall to the orchestra’s summer home at the Hollywood Bowl. Bike, skate or walk between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood as more than 1,800 musicians, artists and dancers will perform at six pedestrian hubs across the eight-mile route. The afternoon culminates in a show at the Hollywood Bowl, where Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic with performances from Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and more. Free tickets to the show will be available via a lottery beginning August 20. “We wanted to thank the communities that make up our beloved home and bring the music of the LA Phil out of the concert hall for everyone to enjoy,” says Summer Bjork, the LA Phil’s centennial director. Pedestrian hubs in MacArthur Park (Park View St between Wilshire Blvd and 6th St, inside the park), Koreatown (Liberty Park at Wilshire Blvd between Serrano Ave and Oxford Ave), Melrose (Melrose Ave at N Windsor Blvd) and Hollywood (Vine St between Hollywood Blvd and Yucca St) will remain car-free from 9am to 4pm. A shuttle-serviced hub at the Hollywood Bowl (on the Kagan Patio) will wind down at 2pm to prepare for the evening’s concert. If you’re shut out of that free ticketed event, the Grand Ave Hub (Grand Ave between 1st and 3rd street, outside of the Concert Hall) will keep going until 8:30pm.
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.
Amid a trio of L.A. exhibitions, the Chinese artist sits down with LACMA director Michael Govan.
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.
Get an intimate look at the glamorous world of Hollywood icon and enduring legend Marilyn Monroe through Essentially Marilyn: The Auction/The Exhibit. From August 18 through September 30, you can browse a collection of the late blonde bombshell's costumes and artifacts including hand-annotated scripts, childhood photographs and signature outfits. Wish you could have a famed print in your living room? At the end of October, all items will be available for auction from Profiles in History. With all the love for Marilyn in this town, get ready for a bidding war.
The Grammy Museum presents this Andaz West Hollywood-housed exhibition of 17 psychedelic posters from the 1960s, with works from artists including Wes Wilson, Bonnie MacLean, Jim Blashfield, Greg Irons and Stanley Mouse.
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.
It has a new name, a new schedule and refocused curation, but the former Twilight Concert Series is returning to the Santa Monica Pier. The free concert series formerly brought indie favorites and up-and-comers to the Pier in the middle of the summer, as well as crowds that were maybe a bit more than the city could handle—notably a 25,000-person turnout for Khalid in 2017. This time around, Twilight on the Pier kicks off in September—past prime tourist season—and dives deep into a different global sound each Wednesday night. Expect themed nights that draw from Latin, Australian, Afrobeat and South Asian sounds, with notable acts like Brazilian Girls, Betty Who and Fela! The Concert. The series will now feature three stages instead of just one, with region-specific vendors scattered between as well as a beer garden and games. Notably, the public beach adjacent to the Pier will not be activated as a viewing area anymore, though it’s not clear yet if or how that’ll be enforced.
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.
On Sunday, October 7, from 10am to 4pm, bike, bus, train or walk your way to a free and fun means of exploring the beautiful city of Santa Monica at the third annual COAST Open Streets Festival. This local event transforms two miles of streets into a festival for the day. Stroll with stilt walkers, dance to local bands and DJs, and feel the breeze as you move through Santa Monica. Explore the interactive COAST Zones celebrating arts, culture, sustainability and mobility, as well as other attractions along the route. COAST takes place on Main Street and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. For more information about COAST, visit the website. Share your experience on social media with the hashtag #COASTSaMo!
Halloween time can be a bit scary for kids—we've all been there—so for a less frightening affair, head to the Farmers Market for their children-friendly Fall Festival: carnival games and a petting zoo are all mainstays at this annual harvest fest. Come in costume and catch a musical performance, explore the always delicious treats at the market or test your appetite with a pie-eating contest.
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.
Pasadena’s charming Playhouse District pays its respects to the departed with this long-running community celebration. Marigolds and lanterns cover the courtyard of the Pasadena Playhouse in golden light, while the adjacent Zona Rosa Caffe decks out its upstairs lounge with a monthlong exhibition of holiday art from local schools. On top of face painting, altar decorations and papel picado demonstrations, you’ll want to stick around for food, horchata and live music.
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.
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.