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Los Angeles Golden Dragon Parade
Photograph: Betto Rodrigues/Shutterstock

Things to do in L.A. this weekend

We pick out the best things to do in L.A. this weekend, including our favorite concerts, culture and cuisine

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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We don’t know about you, but our mind is always focused on the weekend. It can never come soon enough—which is why we’re already thinking about what new restaurants we want to try or where we can drive for the day. Whether you’re looking to scope out the latest museum exhibitions or watch a movie outdoors, you’ll find plenty of things to do in L.A. this weekend.

We curate an L.A. weekend itinerary of the city’s best concerts, culture and cuisine, every week, just for you.

The best things to do in L.A. this weekend

  • Art
  • Installation
  • Hollywood

Famous Russian feminist protest band Pussy Riot stages this anti-Vladimir Putin exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch’s Los Angeles gallery. The group burned a 10-by-10-foot portrait of Putin last summer in response to the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine, and now founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova has bottled those ashes and incorporated them into the objects on display in this gallery show.

The show opens on January 27 with a performance by Pussy Riot—though only people wearing balaclavas will be granted entry.

  • Theater
  • Puppet shows
  • Highland Park

Kick off the Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s 60th anniversary with this bustling big top-inspired show. Over 100 handcrafted marionettes—including elephants and plenty of clowns—fill the Highland Park production, which actually predates both of the BBMT’s locations (late founder Bob Baker first staged the show as a department store window display in the ’40s).

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Downtown Arts District

Every Sunday you can find dozens of food vendors at this market at ROW DTLA, with a mix of much-loved pop-ups and future foodie stars. Look out for this year’s new vendors, including the Golden Skewer, Shlap Muan and Thai Town’s Rad Na Silom.

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  • Things to do
  • Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

Stroll through a garden illuminated by celestial-inspired lights during this year-end event at South Coast Botanic Garden. Astra Lumina will set up about an hour-long nighttime trail through the Palos Verdes garden, with eight starry installations along the way.

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  • Art
  • Film and video
  • Miracle Mile

The Academy Museum’s second-ever special exhibition is an essential and energetic display that spotlights an entire century of often-overlooked filmmaking and demonstrates that Black artists have been a vital part of cinema since its inception. “Regeneration” uses posters, costumes and film clips to dive into the works of Black actors, directors and production companies from the birth of the motion picture industry through the Civil Rights era.

  • Art
  • Textiles
  • Westside

See how American quilters have knitted together stories since the 1600s at the Skirball’s celebration of quilt makers. Over 40 artists will have work on display, as will a complementary exhibition, “Together for Good: Caron Tabb and the Quilting Corner,” a large-scale collection of keepsakes that respond to the pandemic. Both run at the same time as outdoor sculpture exhibition “Chloë Bass: Wayfinding.”

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  • Art
  • Performance art
  • Downtown

Best known for her lo-fi sculpture-centric Dance Constructions, choreographer Simone Forti’s pieces explore movement and the dialogue between visual art and contemporary dance. Catch weekly stagings of those Dance Constructions, plus six decades of works on paper, videos and holograms, during this career-spanning exhibition at MOCA. 

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  • Art
  • Painting
  • Little Tokyo

The Chicana muralist and Great Wall of Los Angeles artist brings her collaborative mural to the Geffen. A two-and-a-half-decade-long project, The World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear features nine 10-by-30-foot panels that Baca worked on with collaborators as the toured the globe, displayed here in a cathedral-like installation.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • USC/Exposition Park

Whether he’s submerging actors in abandoned power plants (The Abyss) or teaching them to hold their breath for five minutes (Avatar: The Way of Water), it’s clear that James Cameron kind of has a thing for shooting underwater. But the big-budget director also has a deep personal connection with the sea: He’s been down to the wreckage of the Titanic and even became the first person to embark on a solo expedition to the deepest point of the Mariana Trench. Now, that 12-ton, 24-foot-tall submersible will be on view at the Natural History Museum as part of a pop-up installation about how exactly one navigates their way seven miles deep into the Pacific Ocean.

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  • Art
  • Miracle Mile

More than 100 works spanning from the 17th century to today chart the history of the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies in the African diaspora. The works and expressions on display in this LACMA exhibition come from just about every landmass that touches the Atlantic—and therefore places that participated in the slave trade—with works that are hundreds of years old shown next to contemporary creations.

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  • Art
  • Film and video
  • Little Tokyo

A formidable storyteller who employs lo-fi filmmaking to call out systemic racism and America’s social problems, Garrett Bradley became the first Black woman to win Sundance’s directing award for her incarceration documentary Time. For her first solo museum exhibition, a selection of recent single and multi-channel films and videos will be on display at the Geffen, including America, a visual archive of early African American cinema.

  • Art
  • Miracle Mile

See more than 130 works of Korean art organized chronologically, stylistically and conceptually from the years 1897 to 1965, including European-influenced art via Japan in the Korean Empire (1897–1910) and colonial period (1910–45), American influences absorbed throughout the Korean War (1950–53) and the birth of the contemporary period.

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  • Things to do
  • Fairfax District

Throw it back to the days of movie rentals with this limited-time themed speakeasy taking over Stone Street, the all-day café below Prohibition-themed Bathtub Gin. Each $45 ticket includes two cocktails (non-alcoholic options available), with a drinks menu that draws names and flavors from the turn of the millennium (think Gushers and Capri Sun, as well as long-gone beverages like Tab and Crystal Pepsi).

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