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Things To Do

56 Awesome Things to do This Memorial Day Weekend in L.A. [5-27-16 to 5-30-16]

May 26, 2016 by Christina Minh

Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome. Since time is precious in this fast paced city, we decided to curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles every week end that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).

This Memorial Day weekend (May 27 to May 30) includes Fiesta Hermosa, a beer fest at Santa Anita Park, FREE Movie Night on the Battleship IOWA, a surreal “Petal Drop” in DTLA, FREE Lobster Rolls, a Jazz Reggae Festival, a Poolside Luau and LOTS more to choose from.

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So grab some friends or go at it alone, but most importantly have fun and enjoy yourself!

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Fiesta Hermosa Featured

Image via Fiesta Hermosa


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Friday May 27th, 2016

1. Movie Under The Guns On Board the Battleship IOWA

Catch a free screening under the stars of the Pixar classic Toy Story this Friday on board the fantail of Battleship IOWA in San Pedro. Seating is first come first serve, so arrive early to reserve a spot! Bonus: They also have a free concert series this Sunday.

2. The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Big Lebowski

Watch the Coen Brothers’ classic comedy The Big Lebowski in musical form now through July 22 at The Rockwell Table & Stage. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

3. The 58th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

The Garden Grove Strawberry Festival returns to Village Green Park May 27-30 for a ‘berry’ fun time full of rides, parades, game booths, celebrities, music and, of course, plenty of strawberry themed treats.

4. Free Shark Lagoon Nights At The Aquarium of the Pacific 

Get up close with the ocean’s ultimate predators for FREE during Shark Lagoon Nights.

5. Free Admission To The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary turns 80! To celebrate there will be free ship admission from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. and free admission all weekend long for active service members of armed forces, retired military personnel and veterans.

6. Sci-Fest

The third annual Sci-Fest will take over the ACME Theatre from May 5-29 for a series of one-act science fiction plays featuring familiar faces from fantasy and sci-fi franchises.

7. Gamex

This all-age annual convention (May 27-30) focuses on tabletop games and draw crowds of over 2,000 to learn, play, watch and buy a wide variety of board, card, miniature, role-playing, collectible and video games. There’s a enormous shopping hall, tournaments, Gaming 101 sessions, 700+ game library, live entertainment, a miniature painting area and even special activities for families.

8. Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass 3D, Plus Pre-Show at El Capitan Theatre

Join Alice, the Mad Hatter and the rest of the colorful characters in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. The film will be shown in 3D, and you can come early for a pre-screening light show and to view the costumes and props from the movie. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

9. The Groundlings: The Completely Different Late Show

This hilarious improv show by the cast of the Groundlings’ Main Company runs on audience suggestions which can get interesting. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

10. Opening Reception for Anthony James: Morphic Fields at VAROLA Gallery

A opening reception for Morphic Fields, a Robert Rauschenberg inspired installation of eight bronze sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Anthony James will take place from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at West Hollywood gallery VAROLA.

11. Sounds on South Lake

Join the city of Pasadena every Friday this month for Sounds on South Lake, a free outdoor music series featuring a variety of SoCal artist and big names in the music industry.

12. Friday Night Jazz at LACMA

LACMA’s award winning Department of Music Program provides hundreds of free concerts and musical events every year for Angelenos to enjoy. This Friday their jazz series continues at the BP Grand Entrance.

13. Free Museums This Friday

The Long Beach Museum of Art is free every Friday.

The Museum of Latin American Art is free from 5:00pm to 9:00pm this Friday.

14. Lunchtime Yoga Retreat

Get your sun salutations on in the middle of Downtown in Grand Park! The free yoga class starts at 12:15 p.m. and runs to 1 p.m.

Saturday May 28th, 2016

15. California Gold Rush Beer and Sour Festival

Beer lovers can spend a day at the races for California Gold Rush Beer and Sour Festival. Your ticket ($35) gets you admission to the club house, 10 3 oz. beer tastings, four 3 oz. sour tastings, a racing program, tip sheet, and a souvenir acrylic pint glass. Keep in mind select discount tickets are available for $22 via Goldstar while supplies last.

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16. Geeky Craft Faire Comes to Whimsic Alley

The Geeky Craft Faire will offer a variety of vendors selling handmade goods in the Whimsic Alley Great Hall. Fans of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes, and Harry Potter should stop by this one, entry is free, the faire takes place May 28-30.

17. Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival

The 27th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival is set to take over Rancho Santa Susana Community Park this Memorial Day weekend (May 28-29) with music, Cajun-Creole food like jambalaya and crawfish plus dance lessons, kid friendley activities and so much more.

18. Fiesta Hermosa

Claimed as the “Largest Arts & Crafts Fair in Southern California,” expect over 300 artists, sculptors, photographers and hand crafters to participate at Fiesta Hermosa a three-day affair taking place May 28-30. The festival is free with plenty of fun for all ages from a charity beer and wine garden to a special kiddie carnival area.

19. Santa Anita Carnival

Santa Anita Park Infield will be transformed into a free three day carnival with all the classic carnival attractions and indulgences.

20. Topanga Days

Topanga Days County Fair will take over Memorial Day weekend with live music, food, arts, and a parade at the Topanga Community Club.

21. Hollywood Beer & Music Festival

Celebrate beer and music in the heart of Hollywood this Saturday with DJs, live music, food trucks and unlimited samples of over 60 craft beers from over 25 local and regional breweries.

22. Street Food Cinema 

Street Food Cinema has three screenings this weekend. Space Jam at Victory Park (discount tickets via Goldstar), Purple Rain at Exposition Park and Hook at Will Rogers State Park ( discount tickets via Goldstar).

23. La Bohème

Puccini’s La Bohème comes to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a limited engagement. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

24. The Virus: An Immersive Escape Room Experience

A deadly virus has swept the earth and a team of scientists (played by you and other folks!) are in an underground laboratory trying to find a cure.  Sounds like your kind of mission?. Head down this Escape Room experience in Burbank with a couple of your smartest friends to see if you have what it takes! Get more information and discount tickets for this weekend via Goldstar.

25. Eat|See|Hear

Eat|See|Hear is back with a screening of The Big Lebowski at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park. Be sure to check for discount tickets for this event via Goldstar.

26. Valley Greek Festival

Head to Northridge to the Valley Greek Festival (May 28-30) for a day of Greek food, Greek wine, dancing, shopping, cooking demos and more. Taking place at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church admission is $3, children under 10 are free and folks over 65 are free as well.

27. Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Free Admission for U.S. Military Personnel

Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City USA will both offer free admission to all U.S. active and retired military personnel this Memorial Day Weekend May 28- 30. Military personnel will also be given access to purchase discounted tickets for family members.

28. Wekfest Long Beach Car Show

Come see 400+ European, Japanese, and Domestic builds, shop automotive and lifestyle brands and meet promo models at this outdoor California car show at Queen Mary Events Park.

29. Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo

The L.A. Zoo will play host to some prehistoric residents. Come get up close and personal with 17 life-size animatronic dinosaurs some reaching almost 22 feet high and weighing close to 7,000 pounds. Additions to the new exhibit are a Fossil Dig, controllable Stegosaurus, climbable Pachyrhinosaurus, and a free 3-D augmented reality app. Tickets cost $5 the exhibit will run till October 31st.

30. Cinespia Screens Singing in the Rain 

Cinespia returns for its 15th season bringing classic films to the famed Fairbanks Lawn at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Some 4,000 moviegoers are expected to attend per night, bring your own own blankets, food, and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) to help make each evening one to remember!

31. Saturday Sale: California Market Center

Brace yourself a really big SALE is coming your way! The Saturday Sale at the California Market Center is open to the public with slashed prices of  50 to 80% off tons of contemporary brands.

32. Totally 80’s Dance Party & Prince Tribute

DJ Paul V. presents a night of 80’s dance music with Synthpop, New Wave, Goth, Alternative and Pop, plus a tribute to Prince with his 80’s hits and B-sides in the mix all nightlong.

33. HUSH Debuts New Collection at Corey Helford Gallery

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Internationally celebrated UK street artist HUSH will debut a new collection of 24 works titled “Allure” this Saturday. The opening reception is from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles.

34. Free Lobster Rolls at The Anchor’s Memorial Day Party

The Anchor in Venice will celebrate their two year anniversary and Memorial Day weekend by giving away 100 lobster rolls this Saturday while supplies last.

35. Go For Broke National Education Center Debuts Exhibition “Defining Courage” + Free Festivities all day!

Go For Broke will open a brand new interpretive center in Little Tokyo’s historic district that will explore the concept of courage. Although the exhibition have been sold out, the center will have some tickets available on the day of the event starting at 1:20 p.m. but keep in mind that all music, films, and food this Saturday at the center are FREE and require no advance tickets.

36. Artists & Fleas Venice 

Brooklyn-born craft market Artists & Fleas is heading to Venice this month and will feature locally made art, fashion, vintage edibles and beyond. Admission is free

37. Muscle Beach Memorial Day Weekend Spectacular

Watch some of the strongest people in Los Angeles compete at Muscle Beach over Memorial Weekend (May 29-30) this is an all ages free spectacle.

Sunday May 29th, 2016

38. Petal Drop LA Round 2

Petal Drop LA (02) invites the public to an industrial site adjacent to DTLA where thousands of fallen jacaranda blossoms will be used to create a “surreal factory” that will only last through the morning. This is something you have to see IRL.

39. MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street Returns to Santa Monica

A fun time for the whole family, the 3rd Annual MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street will return to Santa Monica for a day of sampling some of Main Street’s top food and beverage establishments.

40. Downtown Modernism Marketplace in DTLA

Imagine a flea market for vintage twentieth century design thats what the Downtown Modernism Marketplace is all about. Taking place in Downtown Los Angeles guest will have a chance to browse over 60 various art dealers, take a break with various food vendors, and walk through special design exhibitions.

41. Memorial Weekend Blues & Burlesque Variety Show

Spend Sunday afternoon at Harvelle’s in Long Beach for a blues, burlesque and comedy variety show. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

42. Free Brisket Sandwiches for National Brisket Day at Maple Block

Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City will briefly celebrate National Brisket Day by giving away brisket sandwiches to the first 20 people who show up. They open at 11:30 a.m. just in time for a early lunch.

43. Mimosa Music Series

KCRW DJ Gary Calamar’s intimate Mimosa Music Series originated from his Laurel Canyon living room and has since expanded to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. The free all ages show will feature Ruby Friedman Orchestra and The Glorious in a Sunday brunch setting with great music and lots of mimosas!

44. USO Tribute Show at Clifton’s Downtown

Join Clifton’s for a full scale U.S.O. star studded bash with performances by some of the most iconic stars from the 40’s who’ve entertained the troops including the Andrew Sisters, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and more. Celebrate in style by dressing up in 40s fashion too! $10 admission and free for active military and veterans. Get more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

45. Crawfest 2016

700 lbs. of AYCE crawfish is expected at this Venice seafood boil with all the fixings (andouille sausage, corn, potatoes etc.) your ticket also gets you all you can drink beers and a souvenir cup too.

46. 27th Annual Holland Festival

Come celebrate the cultural heritage of the Netherlands and Indonesia (a former Dutch East Indies) during the 27th Annual Holland Festival. Enjoy food, music, family fun and numerous vendors selling Dutch and Indonesian products and food.

47. Free Museums This Sunday

Craft and Folk Art Museum is pay what you can every Sunday.

The Museum of Latin American Art is free every Sunday.

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48. Katana’s Red Sun BBQ

The summer series kicks off this Memorial Day weekend, featuring a Yakiniku DIY tabletop grilling experience, rotating guest DJs, craft cocktails, and more. The meal cost $35 per person and takes place every Sunday for summer.

Monday May 30th,2016

49. Jazz Reggae Festival Happening at UCLA 

Celebrating three decades of the Jazz Reggae Festival along with the sweet sounds of Barrington Levy, Jesse Royal, Nightswimmers, and more. Spend a day enjoying ethnic food options, shopping for handcrafted cultural items and even art.

50. Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade

To pay respect to those who lost their lives for American freedom, the 27th Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade features marching bands, larger than life floats and even military aircrafts up in the sky. Festivities start at 11 a.m.

52. Viviane Poolside Memorial Day Luau

This all-day, AYCE luau at Chef Michael Hung’s poolside restaurant will coincide with The Avalon’s Summer Sundays Pool Party. Guest will feast on Hawaiian BBQ dishes and refresh with tiki cocktails all day long. The special Memorial Day event will also allow restaurant guests access to the pool something usually reserved for hotel guests.

53. Playa Provisions Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary with a Memorial Day Bash

From noon – 5 p.m. at the parking lot directly in front of Playa Provisions, guests can enjoy a beer garden featuring a variety of Stone Brewing’s craft beers on-tap, plus cocktails, grilled burgers, and hot dogs. A DJ will be spinning and local band Royal Rats will perform. Kid friendly entertainment includes face painting and an inflatable obstacle course. Tickets can be purchased at the door, pricing is TBD at the moment.

54. Wavey Pool Party

Celebrate Memorial Day with a pool party at Skybar at the Mondrian. Kicking off the Wavey sessions is live music and DJ performances by Todd Edwards, Juan MacLean, With You and more. RSVP here.

55. AYCE Backyard BBQ at Terrine

All-you-can-eat Backyard BBQ returns to Terrine’s gorgeous patio. Chef Kris Morningstar will be at the grill all day serving up smoked beef brisket, smoked pork ribs, fried chicken and more. The meal cost $45 per person.

56. LACMA Free On Memorial Day

LACMA is free this Memorial Day all day!


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