A Big List of Things To Do This May in L.A. [2024]

2022 Community & Unity Kite Festival at L.A. State Historic Park. Photo by Brian Champlin

Need to have your funnest, bestest, awesomest May ever in Los Angeles? We’re on it.

Over the next 31 days, you can check out Netflix is a Joke Festival, The Music Center’s On the Record: Vinyl Fair, the L.A. County Fair, Museums of the Arroyo Day, Clockshop’s Community & Unity Kite Festival, the Beverly Hills Art Show, Late Night at Skirball, Topanga Days, Fiesta Hermosa, and more. Take a list at the BIG list that follows to explore all your options in the month in come… and enjoy!


Things To Do This May

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

Poetry in the Garden (Starting May 1) – FA > Spring is the perfect time to catch The Getty’s Robert Irwin’s Central Garden in bloom, and if you need another excuse, they’ll be hosting live poetry readings every Wednesday during the month of May. Each week words will float through the landscape, encouraging guests to create. The readings take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Reservations at the Getty are free, but parking is $25. More info here.

Free Pickleball Clinics (May 4, 11, 25) – FA > Even if you’re late to the pickleball craze, you can play a little catch-up this May with free clinics sponsored by Nature Made at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Clinics take place from 10 a.m. to noon on select Saturdays through June 1, and are free to attend. Perfect for beginners. Sign up and get more info here.

Netflix is a Joke Festival 2024 (May 2-12) -> Netflix’s annual city-wide comedy festival is back in May for an 11-day affair offering 300 individual shows to choose from at more than 35 locations, from large-scale concert halls to intimate performance spaces. Just a few of the featured shows include Big Mouth at The Greek (May 2), Bill Burr at the Hollywood Bowl (May 4), Kat Williams at YouTube Theater (May 4), Patton Oswalt at the United Theater, and an Ali Wong Residency at The Wiltern (May 2-12). Get more info here.

NHM First Fridays (May 3) – M > Natural History Museum’s signature monthly series returns this month with an event centered around the human relationship to plants, and impacts of plant cloning and micropropagation on the biosphere. The evening includes live music, DJ sets in the nature garden, pop-up experiences throughout the museum, and pop-up discussions. First Fridays run 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20. More info here.

Jazz at LACMA (May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) – FA > The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s annual Friday Night Jazz series returns on May 3, offering free weekly concerts at Smidt Welcome Plaza through November. And remember that LACMA is free to visit for L.A. County Residents (with I.D.) on weekdays after 3 p.m. More info here.

L.A. County Fair (May 3-27) -> The L.A. County Fair returns to Pomona for an enormous assortment of activities, musical performances, food and beverage offerings, and more. After the Friday opener, the fair continues Thursday to Sunday through the rest of the month, plus Monday, may 27. Single day, advance tickets start at $15-$25 for adults. More info here.

Cinco de Mayo Mercado (May 3) -> The City of San Gabriel celebrates Cinco de Mayo with an evening affair in the Mission District featuring live music, crafts, food, activities for kids and a beer and cocktail garden presented by Pez Cantina. Admission is free. Runs 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

What Was, What Is, What Could Be (opening May 3) – FA > Starting in May, BEYOND THE STREETS will host What Was, What Is, What Could Be, the first-ever solo exhibition from Los Angeles based-artist Gustavo Zermeño Jr., who specializes in mural-inspired landscapes but will present a series of paintings in this exhibition that pay homage to various Los Angeles landmarks. The exhibition is free to attend during normal gallery hours, and will run through June 15. More info here.

BeachLife Festival (May 3-4) -> The two-day music festival takes place oceanside in Redondo Beach. Headliners include Sting, My Morning Jacket, Incubus and many more. Tickets start at $179 a person. More info here.

The Music Center’s On the Record: Vinyl Fair (May 4) – M FA TP > On The Record: Vinyl Fair brings a one-day celebration of all things vinyl to The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza, including DJs, workshops, and performances along with a marketplace of vinyl vendors. Free to attend. Runs 4 to 8 p.m. More info here.

Great Big Family Fun Day (May 4-5) -> There’s a kid-friendly festival hosted by SoCal Moms taking over the grounds of The Autry Museum in Griffith Park. Families can enjoy a day of storytelling, live musical performances, and family activities. Tickets range between $5-$15. More info here.

Disco Fever Dance Party (May 4) -> Don your finest disco attire and make your way to the Long Beach Arena for an electrifying Disco Fever Dance Party hosted by the Long Beach Symphony. Groove to the tunes of Classical Night Fever, acclaimed as “The Ultimate Disco Party Band,” and dance the night away while indulging in an indoor picnic experience. Doors open at 6:30 pm for picnics in stadium seating or tables on the Arena floor. Feel free to bring your own picnic or opt for pre-ordered catering from designated vendors. Tickets are available starting at $30. More info here.

JACCC’s Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) Celebration (May 4) – M FA > Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) will host a special Children’s Day celebration in Isamu Noguchi Plaza. Expect performances, food and beverage vendors, activities and ticketed workshops. More info here.

May The 4th Be With You at Scum & Villainy (May 4) – M FA > Scum & Villainy Cantina hosts their annual May The 4th Be With You celebration, including free commemorative pins for early attendees (while supplies last). The bar will be open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. the following day, and you can expect special trivia games with prizes plus a themed food and drink menu. Costumes are encouraged, but no minors, please. More info here.

A Current Affair (May 4) -> The pop-up vintage marketplace with a highly curated list of vendors from all over the state is taking over the Cooper Design Space in DTLA for a multi-decade shopping experience. Tickets range from $15-$45. More info here.

Cinco de Mayo at The Rose Bowl (May 4) – FA > Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a free family festival at The Rose Bowl featuring a community marketplace, live entertainment, sport activities and movie screenings. Free to attend. More info here.

Los Angeles Flower Farm Tour (May 4) – FA > Eight woman-owned urban flower farms have come together to open their doors to the public. On May 4 the public can wander through the flower fields, meet the farmers and learn about locally grown blooms. The tours are self-guided through a map. Each farm will offer an array of delightful goods for purchase. From fresh-cut bouquets, u-pick flowers, and potted plants to handmade items, treats, and beverages, there’s something for everyone. Admission is free. More info here.

Clay LA (May 4-5) -> CLAY LA, Craft Contemporary’s annual ceramic marketplace and fundraiser, highlights numerous emerging and established ceramic artists from the wider Los Angeles region. In addition to browsing the artists’ works, attendees can participate in air-dry clay activities during this two-day event. Admission to CLAY LA is free with museum entry, which costs $9. More info here.

3rd Valley Asian Cultural Festival (May 4) – FA > Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the West Valley – Warner Center Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Asian Valley Cultural Festival at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. The event flyer promises food, music, dance, shopping, children’s activities, and more. Free admission. Runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

Museums of the Arroyo Day (May 5) – M FA TP > Five museums and historic homes along the Arroyo Seco offer free admission for the annual Museums of The Arroyo Day. Participants include The Gamble House, Heritage Square, the L.A. Police Museum, the Lummis Home, and the Pasadena Museum of History. Runs noon to 4 p.m. More info here.

Downtown Santa Monica Cinco de Mayo (May 5) – FA > Downtown Santa Monica celebrates Cinco de Mayo with special live entertainment and dining options along the 1200 block of the 3rd Street Promenade. Both Mariachi de Uclatlán and Academia de Danza BFFM, and outdoor food options include Casa Martin, Cabo Cantina, 1212, or Ugo Tratorria. Runs 4 to 5:30 p.m. More info here.

Late Night! Wild Things Are Happening (May 10) – TP > The Skirball’s signature after-hours event is back this season, offering a night of food, drinks, music, and dancing as they honor the imaginative worlds of Maurice Sendak in the new exhibition, Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak. This exhibition boasts over 150 artifacts, showcasing the remarkable breadth of Sendak’s creativity. Tickets are priced at $10. More info here.

Summer of Salsa (May 10) – M FA > LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ Summer of Salsa returns for the first installment of 2024, offering monthly dance parties one Friday per month through September. Progressive dance orchestra Rumbankete kicks off the series on Friday, May 10. Free to attend. More info here.

Night Dive at The Aquarium of the Pacific (May 10)-> The Aquarium of the Pacific’s signature adults-only, after-hours series is back this month featuring food trucks, cash bars, DJs throughout the Aquarium galleries, art, and a live band performing in the Great Hall of the Pacific. GA tickets are $64.95. Runs 7:30 to 11 p.m. More info here.

Cinespia (May 10, 17, 25) -> Cinespia returns this season with movie screenings at L.A. Historic Park and The Rose Bowl. Kicking things off is Mama Mia at L.A. Historic Park on May 10, then The Lord of the Rings: Twin Rowers at L.A. Historic Park on May 17 and then Almost Famous at The Rose Bowl on May 25. Tickets cost $22-$23. More info here.

4th Annual Community & Unity People’s Kite Festival (May 11) – M FA TP > Head to Los Angeles State Historic Park for the 4th Annual Community & Unity People’s Kite Festival. Hosted by Clockshop at Los Angeles State Historic Park, expect demos from kite masters, special workshops, curated snacks for purchase, and tons of colorful kites sailing through the sky. Free to attend, and donations welcome. More info here.

Creative Ways Mental Health Wellness Fair (May 11 & May 25) – M FA > Gloria Molina Grand Park and Center Theatre Group are joining forces to host a mental health wellness fair that celebrates mental wellness through the arts. The public is warmly welcomed to participate in two days filled with engaging activities, cultural presentations, workshops, and special activities in anticipation of the upcoming Ahmanson Theatre production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “A Strange Loop.” Attendees can also enjoy a wellness break featuring yoga, meditation, and sound healing. This inclusive event is free to attend and suitable for all ages. More info here.

Mercado MOCA (May 11) – M FA > The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA invites the public to an afternoon filled with music, food, and a marketplace featuring 20+ local BIPOC vendors hailing across East Los Angeles. This community event is free to attend. More info here.

Cruel World Festival (May 11) -> The music festival returns to Brookside Park in Pasadena with headliners Duran Duran with a supporting lineup that includes Simple Minds, Placebo, Blondie and more. Tickets starting at $229. More info here.


Multicultural Arts Festival (May 11) – FA > Non-profit Elevate Burbank hosts a Multicultural Arts Festival featuring performers, artists, musicians, local food trucks, art show, food trucks, a kids’ area, and select local vendors and nonprofit organizations sharing resources for the community. Free to attend. More info here.

Unique LA Market (May 11-12)-> Shop small at Unique LA. Discover 150+ indie brands and artist under roof at the California Market Center. Tickets start at $15. More info here.

Autry After Hours: May Music Nights & Cowboy Cocktails (May 16 & May 30) -> Enjoy live music on the plaza with country rock band Emily Rose and the Rounders, sip on cocktails and nosh on barbecue while partaking in cowboy trivia. Tickets cost $18 and also include after-hours museum access. More info here.

17th Annual Day of Black Docs – (May 17) >The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers (BADWest) presents “Day of Black Docs” a screening event showcasing documentaries about the Black experience made by Black creatives. The screenings will also include moderated Q&As with the filmmakers. More info here.  

NHM’s Bug Fair (May 18-19) – M > The Natural History Museum gets buggy with a weekend-long event highlighting exotic insect collections, bug-inspired goods, bug-tastic crafts and live animal demos. Admission is free with paid entrance to the museum. Get more info here.

Long Beach Pride (May 18-19) -> The 41st Annual Long Beach Pride Festival will transform the Marina Green with an array of live music, scrumptious food, and captivating entertainment, featuring Saucy Santana as the headliner on May 18th. Festival tickets start at $35. On May 19th, don’t miss the Long Beach Pride Parade, which is free to attend. More info here.

Beverly Hills Art Show (May 18-19) – FA > Over 230 artists are expected to participate in the Beverly Hills Art Show this year. Taking place in Beverly Gardens Park the event is free to attend and includes a wine and beer garden, demonstrating artists, children’s activities, gourmet food trucks and several community exhibits. More info here.

Just Like Heaven (May 18) -> Just Like Heaven returns to Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with a line up that includes The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Phoenix, The War on Drugs and other acts. Tickets start at $199. More info here.

Artazan (May 18-19) -> Artazan comes to the Pasadena Convention Center for a two-day event exploring all things hand crafted. Over 200 exhibitors are participating from jewelry to woodwork, ceramics, clothing and food. Tickets cost $8. More info here.

CicLAmini Wilmington (May 19) – FA > The smaller scale CicLAvia event heads to Wilmington for a “mini” course. Expect the usual pedestrian-oriented experience featuring activities such as self-guided walking tours, scavenger hunts, street games, local business engagements, and art and cultural activities along the entire 2.25 mile open streets event. Runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free to attend. Rain or shine event! More info here.

MAINopoly (May 19) -> Board game meets food fest at the 9th annual MAINopoly, taking place on Main Street in Santa Monica. Advance GA tickets start at $30 per person, which get you an allotment of credits (MAINopoloy dollars) you use to pick up bites at restaurants up and down the block. Each spot you visit helps fill up your game board which offers a shot at prizes. More info here.

WeHo Pride (May 22 & May 31 – June 2) – TP > WeHo Pride 2024 starts off on Harvey Milk Day, May 22, 2024, with an exciting drag pageant. Following that, the June Pride month celebrations continue with WeHo Pride Weekend from Friday, May 31, 2024, through Sunday, June 2, 2024. This weekend includes various events such as a free Street Fair, the ticketed OUTLOUD at WeHo Pride music festival and Friday Night at OUTLOUD, the annual Dyke March and Women’s Freedom Festival, and the annual WeHo Pride Parade, among others. Additionally, entertainment venues in West Hollywood’s Rainbow District along historic Route 66 will host numerous special Pride events. More info here.

L.A. Fleet Week (May 22-27) – FA > This year’s L.A. Fleet Week celebrates our nation’s sea services with a week of special performances and forums, an expo on the waterfront in San Pedro that includes live entertainment, ship tours, aerial demos, and more. Free to attend. Get the full schedule of events here.


Fiesta Hermosa (May 25-27) – FA > Memorial Day weekend in Hermosa Beach means one thing: Fiesta Hermosa! This May’s three-day festival features a marketplace with over 250 vendors, live music and a carnival. Admission is free. More info here.

2nd Annual Long Beach BBQ Festival (May 25) -> The 2nd Annual Long Beach BBQ Festival hosted by Axiom Kitchen, NoahS’s Arc Foundation and LB Living will once again take place at ShoreLine Aquatic Park. There will be plenty of barbeque, live music from local bands and games. General admission cost $15 does not include food or beverages, VIP $150 and come with special lounge areas, exclusive food and beverage tastings, VIP lines, whiskey tastings. More info here.

Topanga Days (May 25-27) – > The annual fundraiser festival for the Topanga Community Center returns over Memorial Day weekend for three days of games, food and live music, capped by a Memorial Day parade. Adult single day tickets for non-members start at $50 per person. More info here.

10th Annual Taste of South Pasadena (May 28) – M > Sample food along Mission and Fair Oaks and enjoy live music in a family-friendly atmosphere during Taste of Pasadena. Presented by the Rotary Club of South Pasadena the event features over 30 food and drink stops including an additional VIP section with 19 wine, beer and spirits participants. Tickets start at $20 for youth, $45 for adults, and $80 for the VIP food and alcohol package. More info here.

Outdoor Movies at the Skirball: The NeverEnding Story (May 31) -> The Skirball’s annual outdoor movies series returns with a screening of the 1984 classic The NeverEnding Story. Follow Falkor and Atreyu’s journey as they save the magical realm from The Nothing. Guests are invited to come earl to view the latest Skirball exhibition Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak among others. Ticket cost $20. More info here.

Friday Night Wine Tastings at Barnsdall Park (starting May 31) – M TP > After a five-year hiatus, Friday night wine tasting events are back at the Barnsdall Art Park West Lawn starting May 31. A $45 ticket gets you a flight of wine curated by Silverlake Wine, plus access to a rotation of food trucks, all supported by tunes from local DJs and sweet sunset views of the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Observatory. The series continues every Friday through August 30. More info here.

Is Car Culture The Ultimate Act of Community? (May 31) – M FA > Zócalo Public Square pairs artist and sculptor Charles Dickson along with Destination Crenshaw founding lead historian Larry Earl for a discussion on Dickson’s sculpture, “Car Culture,” which will be on permanent display in Sankofa Park. The conversation will explore the relevance of public art projects and cruising scenes throughout Southern California as tool to bridge community divides. Free to attend. Get more info here.

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