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Culture, Things To Do

A Cheatsheet of Free Things To Do This Fall in L.A. [2022]

September 23, 2022 by Brian Champlin
First-ever KCRW Summer Nights at Japanese American National Museum + MOCA Geffen. Photo by Christina Champlin

Summer freebies in Los Angeles? That’s a child’s game. Concerts series. Free outdoor movies. Signature seasonal events. 4th of July. Labor Day weekend. The list writes itself. But a fall guide…? Actually, it turns out that’s pretty easy too.

Below, I’ve compiled some of the best admission-free things happening in Los Angeles over the next two months as the clock ticks down to Turkey feasts and Black Friday sales. Here you’ll find neighborhood festivals and block parties, exhibition openings, film screenings, discussion panels, art walks, and more.

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Now, before you scan the list, a couple of caveats. First, I defined “fall” as anything between now and Thanksgiving weekend. Don’t like my definition? Too bad.

Second, I know that I’m missing some stuff on the back end of this list, in part because some of the community organizations and institutions that put on events haven’t yet announced their plans for November. Also, I’m human and I miss stuff. And sometimes I’m just lazy. In any case, if you can think of a worthy inclusion, send us a note to tips@welikela.com with the subject line “Fall Freebies in Los Angeles” and I promise to update this list at least once in October. For now… enjoy the rundown!

Fall Freebies in Los Angeles

September 23 (Friday) The Port of Los Angeles hosts a free evening screening of Finding Nemo at at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

September 23 (Friday) Redondo Beach Pier Movie Nights screens American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story. Event starts at 7 p.m.

September 30 (Friday) Latin Nights at Runway Playa Vista offer free Latin tunes and salsa lessons every Friday in September.

September 24 (Saturday) San Pedro Festival on the Arts offers an afternoon of free dance performances to Peck Park.

September 24 (Saturday) The Westchester Arts & Music (WAM) Block Party is a day-long community event benefiting local non-profits, featuring live music, dance, art, garden tours, kids activities.

September 24 (Saturday) The Totally Valley Block Party pops up at Westfield Fashion Square in conjunction with My Valley Pass.

September 24 (Saturday) Back in person for the first time since 2018, the Frogtown Artwalk welcomes visitors to the neighborhood for a day/evening of studio tours, bites for sale, kids crafts, hula hooping, pedicab rides, performances, dance, a chalk walk, a literary lounge, poetry and spoken word artists, and pop-up installations.

September 24 (Saturday) Grand Performances waves goodbye to summer with one final concert at California Plaza, headlined by Chilean songstress Francisca Valenzuela.

September 24 (Saturday) The Hammer Museum screens Anywhere But Here and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers as part of UCLA Film & Television Archive series 

September 24-25 (Saturday-Sunday) Watts Towers big yearly event weekend includes Saturday’s 40th annual Day of the Drum Festival and Sunday’s 45th annual Simon Rodia Jazz Festival.

September 25 (Sunday) FoLAR hosts the LA River Fest at Los Angeles State Historic Park. The evening includes food trucks, DJ-spun tunes, activations and giveaways, plus screenings of films that highlight the river’s cultural, historical, and ecological connection to the community.

September 25 (Sunday) The Hammer’s Family Flicks Series screens School of Rock.

September 25 (Sunday) Santa Monica’s Americana in the Park series concludes with jazz tunes from Jacob G. and the Score.

September 26 (Monday) Oxy Arts hosts a performance presentation by artist/comedian/writer Kristina Wong, presented in conjunction with their latest exhibition, Voice a Wild Dream: Moments in Asian American Art and Activism, 1968-2022.

September 27 (Tuesday) Zócalo Public Square goes interstellar by convening a special panel to discuss How Should We Prepare For Aliens?

September 28 (Wednesday) As Part of LA Times Food Bowl, Hulu x bxp present a free community screening of Prey at Colorado Center in Santa Monica.

September 29 (Thursday) KCRW Summer Nights wraps their 2022 series with a final event at the courtyard of the Japanese American National Museum and MOCA Geffen.

September 30 (Friday) Redondo Beach Pier Movie Nights screens Pixar’s Soul. Event starts at 7 p.m.

September 30 (Friday) Latin Nights at Runway Playa Vista offer free Latin tunes and salsa lessons every Friday in September.

September 30 (Friday) Ovation Hollywood hosts a free film screening on the last Friday of every month that includes a pre-film DJ set and free popcorn. For September, they’ll screen Encanto.

October 1 (Saturday) NAIJA FEST brings a celebration of Nigerian culture to DTLA’s Grand Park.

October 2 (Sunday) Stein-hoisting challenges, sauerkraut-eating competitions, and a live Oompa band are all part of Angel City Brewery Oktoberfest.

October 2 (Sunday) 826LA comes to The Hammer Museum for a special map-making workshop designed for kids 8-14. Reservations encouraged.

October 2 (Sunday) Japan Family Day comes to Santa Anita Park featuring a live taiko drum performance, cosplay contest, and J-pop performance. Free admission with online sign-up.

October 6 (Thursday) The Rock 2ND & PCH series hosts a free evening concert along Seaport Way in Long Beach.

October 8 (Saturday) The Santa Monice Mountains Fund celebrates National Archaeology Month with an Archaeology Day event at King Gillette Ranch featuring family-friendly performances and tons of hands-on activities and workshops.

October 8 (Saturday) Grand Park hosts a 10th Anniversary concert featuring performances from Tolliver, Boogaloo Assassins and Las Cafeteras.

October 8 (Saturday) USC Pacific Asia Museum hosts Taipei Night, which includes short film presentations, giveaways, and a Taiwanese Night Market.

October 8 (Saturday) Muertos Artwalk brings 35+ artists to Olvera Street in DTLA.

October 8 (Saturday) Dreaming Land Back Into Reality is a new discussion series focusing on intersectional movements, hosted at Clockshop in Frogtown. Free to attend with RSVP, but a $10 donation is suggested.

October 9 (Sunday) CicLAvia – Heart of LA brings the city’s biggest open streets event to Downtown Los Angeles for a route that includes hubs in Chinatown, Mariachi Plaza, Echo Park, and Grand Park.

October 9 (Sunday) Grand Park’s 10th anniversary Family Festival run in parallel to the latest edition of CicLAvia (see above)

October 9 (Sunday) Clockshop’s quarterly Listening By Moonrise series is back at Los Angeles State Historic Park with a featured performance by Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer.

October 9 (Sunday) The Hammer Museum hosts a Fall Exhibitions Celebration featuring music in the courtyard and a cash bar.

October 13 (Thursday) The Rock 2ND & PCH series hosts a free evening concert along Seaport Way in Long Beach.

October 14 (Friday) The fall edition of Pasadena’s biannual ArtNight includes free activations at 20+ partner locations, including the Gamble House, Armory Center for the Arts, and the USC Pacific Asia Museum.

October 15 (Saturday) The Getty celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with a hands-on workshop, curato-led tours, and a special spoken word performance, all presented in conjunction with the exhibition Reinventing the Américas: Construct. Erase. Repeat.

October 15 (Saturday) ¡Jotería! at LA Plaza de Culture y Artes highlights queer Latinx Culture through a free screening of Bamby Salcedo’s documentary QueenCiañera along paired with music, vendors, food, arts and crafts, and panels.

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October 15-16 (Saturday-Sunday) The fall edition of the bi-annual Beverly Hills Art Show comes to Beverly Gardens Park with over 200 artists expected to participate.

October 16 (Sunday) 826LA comes to The Hammer Museum for a creative writing workshop drawing inspiration from the New York City Jazz scene of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Designed for kids 8-14. Reservations encouraged.

October 19 (Wednesday) The Elysian hosts an Open Stage Night to kick off the theater’s Forget About Spaghetti Festival. Expect 5 to 15 minute snippets of ensemble works in progress. Also: FREE spaghetti to all attendees and performers.

October 20 (Thursday) Forest Lawn Museum hosts an opening reception for a new exhibition examining the storied history the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Bob Baker Marionette Theater: 60 Years of Joy & Wonder will remain on view through March 19, 2023.

October 21 (Friday) The PCH Movies & Moonlight fall series screens Disney’s Coco.

October 22 (Saturday) Grand Ave Arts: All-Access bands together over 10 arts and culture institutions along Grand Avenue for a day of art, activations, and family fun.

October 22 (Saturday) If you’re a Los Angeles history nerd, check out the trove of historical treasures at the annual L.A. Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. as Subject and the USC Libraries.

October 22 (Saturday) Rocktober comes to Main Street in Santa Monica for an evening of Halloween activities, local vendors, and live music.

October 22 (Saturday) San Fernando Outdoor Market hosts a special “Spooky Market” edition just in time for Halloween.

October 22 (Saturday) The P-22 Day Festival honors L.A.’s most famous big cat with a one day, family-friendly celebration in Griffith Park.

October 22-23 (Saturday-Sunday) The two-day Fall Festival at the Original Farmers Market features a pumpkin patch, pig races, games, live music, and crafting for kids.

October 23 (Sunday) The Hammer Museum’s Family Flicks Series screens Coco.

October 27 (Thursday) The Rock 2ND & PCH series hosts a free evening concert along Seaport Way in Long Beach.

October 28 (Friday) Ovation Hollywood hosts a free film screening on the last Friday of every month that includes a pre-film DJ set and free popcorn. For September, they’ll screen Coco.

October 29 (Saturday) Yoga on the Mountain brings a free morning wellness session to King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.

October 30 (Sunday) LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes hosts a free Dia de los Muertos family day.

November 4 (Friday) The PCH Movies & Moonlight fall series screens Disney’s Maleficent.

November 5 (Saturday) Self Help Graphics Dia de los Muertos celebration includes live music, a muertito art market, altars, food, and art from their newest exhibition, Canciones de ti.

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November 5-6 (Saturday-Sunday) The bi-annual Brewery Artwalk is back this November, offering a free two-day showcase of over 100 participating resident artists.

November 6 (Sunday) 826LA comes to The Hammer Museum for a poetry workshop designed for kids 8-14. Reservations encouraged.

November 11 (Friday) The PCH Movies & Moonlight fall series screens Disney’s Monsters Inc.

November 12 (Saturday) Bergamot Station hosts a pair of opening receptions at Lois Lambert Gallery.

November 13 (Sunday)The Hammer Museum’s Family Flicks Series screens The Wizard of Oz.

November 19 (Saturday) Venice Winter Fest takes over a three-block stretch of the Mar Vista Arts District for a day of local vendors, art, music, food trucks, and more.

November 19 (Saturday) Yoga on the Mountain brings a free morning wellness session to King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.

November 19-20 (Saturday-Sunday) Indie craft market Jackalope returns to Central Park in Old Pasadena for a two-day, pop-up marketplace with over 200 vendors.

November 27 (Sunday) The Hollywood Christmas Parade brings its annual float-tastic spectacle to Hollywood Boulevard on the last Sunday of November.


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