Things to do this weekend in L.A.
Kick back, relax and get the weekend started with the best things to do this Friday night.
Let the brunching commence with our guide to the best things to do this Saturday.
End the weekend on a high note, whether on the beach or back at the brunch table, with the best things to do this Sunday.
This weekend's best events
Everyone’s favorite NPR affiliate has a hand in over a half-dozen summer concert slates at locations like Union Station and the Hammer Museum. But the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza have become a particular favorite. Familiar KCRW personalities like Garth Trinidad, Travis Holcombe, Anne Litt and Jason Bentley spin the tunes at these food truck-fueled block parties. Participate in cultural workshops before busting a move on the dance floor to DJ sets and live bands. A craft beer garden, cooking demonstrations and a vintage market round out the fun to be had at this music-centric event.
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.
Now one of L.A.’s most treasured summer traditions, Barnsdall Park’s wine tastings regularly attract sell-out crowds. Perched atop Olive Hill in the west lawn of historic Hollyhock House (which you can tour during the evening for an additional $15), the Barnsdall Friday fundraisers include fine selections of boutique wines provided by Silverlake Wine with a spectacular sunset and 360-degree views of the city. Bring along a blanket and a picnic basket, or just nosh on the variety of food trucks parked up there. Though there used to be lots of kids running around, the event lawn is now 21-and-up—perfect for a date night. Proceeds support the park’s art programs and historic renovations.
Eat|See|Hear travels to different locales throughout the city each Saturday during the summer, showing cult flicks on an inflatable HD screen taller than your average Malibu mansion. Bring your own bites or sample snacks from the impressive roster of resident food trucks and show up early for a set from local LA bands. Parking is free at most of the venues, and tickets for screenings at the Autry even include admission to the museum. What's more? If you want to skip the crowds and stroll in casually during the opening credits, spring for an exclusive "Fashionably Late" pass. All of the events dog-friendly, and a portion of ticket sales benefit Best Friends Animal Society in support of NKLA.
It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings hoards of movie-lovers to Hollywood Forever, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snack spreads and lots of booze. Each year, Cinespia brings classic cult favorites to the hallowed resting place of such Hollywood greats as Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. This year’s first batch of screenings includes The Neverending Story, Drive, Almost Famous and Casablanca. Angelenos line up for hours to partake in the concept—and to enjoy DJ sets, dance parties, sleepovers and more magical mischief otherwise strictly forbidden behind the cemetery gates. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best film venues in the city. Just be sure to get your ticket early, arrive early (doors open at 6:45pm), pee early... it’s getting a bit overcrowded, to say the least.
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.
Lace up your Muggle skates and roll around the not-Quidditch pitch at the annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night. The fan group Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army takes over Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale for a night of Harry Potter-themed music, merch and games. Come dressed in costume and load up on candy and butterbeer—non-alcoholic, unfortunately—while you’re there.
Author and historian Roger Gastman put together MOCA’s popular 2011 street art retrospective, “Art in the Streets.” Now, the graffiti authority is back to curate another massive exhibition, set to take over a spacious warehouse on the northern edge of Chinatown. “Beyond the Streets” celebrates the evolution of the artform with works from over 100 artists. Site-specific installations include large-scale banners from feminist activists Guerrilla Girls, a playable handball court decorated by Lee Quiñones, a sprawling double-sided painting by Takashi Murakami that encircles visitors and FAILE’s Temple, an interactive construction of ceramic, steel, mosaics and prayer wheels. The show also features L.A.-inspired installations, including a recreation of griffiti and skate destination Venice Pavilion, in partnership with adidas Skateboarding, and an outdoor garden installation by Ron Finley, known for his “gangsta gardening” projects to bring food sources back to inner-city communities. The touring exhibition debuts in L.A. on May 6 at Werkartz (1667 N Main St) and runs through July 6. Timed tickets cost $25.
Celebrate the legacy of L.A.’s late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold with a tribute event on the steps of City Hall. L.A. Times writer Carolina Miranda hosts Jonathan’s brother Mark, Good Food host Evan Kleiman, City of Gold director Laura Gabbert, councilmember José Huizar, Providence chef Michael Cimarusti, Guelaguetza co-proprietor Bricia Lopez, Lukshon chef Sang Yoon and composer Carl Stone. DCRW DJ Anthony Valadez will be spinning along with a selection of Gold’s favorite food trucks. The event kicks off at 5:30pm, with remarks at 6:30pm and a selection of clips and outtakes from City of Gold at 7:30pm.
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.
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