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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

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Women's March Los Angeles
Photograph: Rozette Rago Women's March Los Angeles

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 where to go for brunch. Whether you’re looking to spend the night at a concert or getting away completely, 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 23 best things to do in L.A. this weekend

1
Fairfax Thai food restaurant Chao Krung
Photograph: Courtesy Chao Krung
Restaurants

Winter dineL.A.

Take advantage of a two-week stretch of prix-fixe menus, where diners can check out some of the best restaurants at relatively affordable prices. We’ve narrowed down the dozens upon dozens of menus to just a few of our favorites.

2
Cirque du Soleil: Volta
Photograph: Matt Beard
Theater, Circuses & magic

Cirque du Soleil: ‘Volta’

Dodger Stadium, Echo Park

In its newest show, the French Canadian megatroupe Cirque du Soleil once again delivers the spine-tingling spectacle that is its raison d’être. Strung together by a gossamer-thin plot, Volta incorporates street-style sports like BMX riding and double dutch jump rope alongside traditional circus arts.

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3
Smorgasburg LA
Photograph: Courtesy Smorgasburg LA
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Smorgasburg LA

ROW DTLA, Downtown Arts District

Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market.

4
Jerrell Gibbs, Pac, Thugz Mansion
Photograph: Courtesy Mariane Ibrahim
Art

“Disembodiment”

UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills

See works from six young, emerging black artists in this UTA Artist Space show curated by Mariane Ibrahim Lenhardt. Figurative works from Jarvis Boyland, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Jerrell Gibbs, Marcus Jahmal, Clotilde Jiménez and Vaughn Spann dive into and upend narratives about race and living in a “post-racial” America.

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5
Frozen
Photograph: Courtesy Deen van Meer/Disney
Theater, Musicals

‘Frozen’

Pantages Theatre, Hollywood

Do you want to build a... rainy day fund to save up for tickets to a smash hit Disney-inspired Broadway musical? Good, because Frozen is coming to L.A.

6
Fort Ganesvoort
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Art, Textiles

Christopher Myers: Drapetomania

Fort Gansevoort, East Hollywood

Myers inaugurates East Hollywood gallery Fort Ganesvoort with colorful quilted tapestries that respond to the ongoing oppression and marginalization of minorities, as well as works that reference Myers’s own personal historical inspirations, from Greek mythology and W. E. B. Du Bois to Buster Keaton and Steve McQueen.

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7
Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure Park.
Photograph: Courtesy Disneyland Resort
Things to do

Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

What better spot to mark the Lunar New Year than “the happiest place on earth”? Disney California Adventure commemorates the Year of the Rat with a month of multi-cultural celebrations. Kids can look forward to photo ops and parade processions with Mulan, Mushu, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, while exhausted adults will find a tasty reprieve with treats from China, Korea and Vietnam. 

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9
Oliver Savile and Sting in the Toronto production of ‘The Last Ship.’
Photograph: Courtesy Cylla von Tiedemann
Theater, Musicals

The Last Ship

Ahmanson Theatre, Downtown

This West Coast premiere and start of the national tour features music and lyrics by Sting (of the Police, for those of you living through the 1980s). And yes, Sting will star in the production, too.

10
Oscar Oiwa, Dreams of a Sleeping World, rendering, 2019
Rendering: Courtesy USC Pacific Asia Museum
Art, Drawing

Oscar Oiwa: Dreams of a Sleeping World

Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Playhouse District

Find peace in chaotic dreamscapes at the premiere of this solo exhibition from Oscar Oiwa, which includes four large-scale surreal landscape paintings, plus an 800-square-foot site-specific mural. Using nothing more than a Sharpie (OK, actually about 120 of them), Oiwa and his four assistants will draw dreamy illustrations onto the side of an inflated, white nylon dome at Pasadena’s USC Pacific Asia Museum over the course of about two weeks. Once on display, visitors will be able to step inside and stare up at the dome from the comfort of a bed in the middle. Check out this video below for a taste of Oiwa’s process.

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11
Julie Mehretu, Conjured Parts (eye), Ferguson
Photograph: Courtesy the Broad Art Foundation/Julie Mehretu/Cathy Carver
Art, Painting

“Julie Mehretu”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Miracle Mile

This co-presentation with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art takes a mid-career look at the Ethiopian-American’s striking large-scale abstractions, with 30 paintings and 32 works on paper. The first-ever retrospective of the artist spans two decades of pieces that examine geopolitics and displacement through abstraction, architecture, landscape, movement and figuration.

12
Thien Hau Temple.
Photograph: Keenan Pepper
Things to do

Chinese New Year Midnight Temple Ceremony

Thien Hau Temple, Chinatown

Chinatown welcomes New Year with a midnight ceremony at the Thien Hau Temple. Crowds begin to gather on the eve of the Chinese New Year to make offerings to the deities, awaken the spirits with firecrackers and burn incense for good fortune. Join lion dancers and monks starting at 10pm, and feel free to return to the temple throughout the week.

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13
King Princess
Photograph: Courtesy Vince Aung
Music, Pop

King Princess

The Wiltern, Koreatown

There’s something so joyful about King Princess (otherwise known as Mikaela Straus), even when she’s writing sad songs. You can feel creative excitement shining through everything she does, whether that’s the incredibly romantic but tongue-in-cheek “Pussy is God” or the elegant heartbreak of “Talia.”

14
“Urban Light” at LACMA
Photograph: Courtesy Museum Associates/LACMA
Museums

Museums Free-For-All

Various locations in L.A.,

Got a list of L.A. museums you haven’t visited yet? Clear your calendar for Museums Free-For-All, when museums all over the region throw open the doors for free admission. Over 40 museums will drop their admission fees on Saturday, January 25. It’s the perfect opportunity to knock a couple of cultural to-dos off your list, like the Japanese American National Museum, Natural History Museum, LACMA and more. Even the still-to-open Academy Museum is joining in with an activation on the west side of its campus.

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15
Brand Library
Photograph: Courtesy City of Glendale
Art

Beyond Embodiment

Brand Library & Art Center, Glendale

See works from 25 female, non-binary and trans artists who explore physicality and identity through sculpture, video, animation, photography, virtual reality and other mediums.

16
Photograph: Courtesy Santa Monica Place
Things to do

Lunar New Year at Santa Monica Place

Santa Monica Place, Downtown Santa Monica

Santa Monica Place marks the Lunar New Year with performances and activities in its open-air shopping center. Comedian Paul “PK” Kim hosts an afternoon that includes a Chinese lion dance, Korean fan dance, stilt walkers, traditional dough artist, balloon twister, crafts and New Year’s Wishing Trees.

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17
CAFAM
Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging/Ryan Miller
Art, Sculpture

The Body, The Object, The Other

Craft Contemporary, Miracle Mile

L.A.’s only public showcase devoted to contemporary craft and community-based folk art mounts its second biennial focused on how artists are pushing the boundaries of works in clay. The 21 artists featured all use the human body as a means to challenge traditional ideas of representation.

18
Pacific Asia Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Gus Ruelas/Pacific Asia Museum
Things to do

Lunar New Year Festival

Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Playhouse District

Pasadena’s Pacific Asia Museum museum rings in the Lunar New Year with a free afternoon of pan-Asian activities. You’ll find traditional performances in the museum’s courtyard, plus art activities, food trucks and, most importantly, free admission to the galleries.

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