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10 Things To Do For This Saturday in L.A. [2-17-2024]

February 17, 2024 by Brian Champlin
Chinatown Central Plaza
Chinatown Central Plaza. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Need a to-do (or two!) to kick off your weekend? We’re on the case!

For this Saturday in Los Angeles, you’ll find the Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival, the 125th Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown, an anniversary celebration at Boomtown Brewery, the Watts Culture Fest, a Prosperity Market at NHM, and more!

Three Top Picks To Do This Saturday

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

Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival FA > The Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Fair Oaks Avenue and Figueroa Drive, and ending at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. The post-parade festival at Robinson Park includes live bands, dance performances, community booths, guest speakers, and food for purchase. Free to attend. Parade runs 10 a.m. to noon. Festival goes from noon to 4 p.m. Get more info here.

Watts Culture FestFA > Watts Culture Fest brings together a vendor marketplace at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) on Saturday, featuring food, games, craft sellers, music, a skate park, and a sneaker painting workshop, all in the name of community empowerment. The festivities run from noon to 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Boomtown Brewery Anniversary PartyM FA > Boomtown Brewery celebrates their 9th anniversary this Saturday with an afternoon shindig featuring craft beer, live entertainment, and local food vendors. Enjoy offerings from AGL Craft Meats, Correa’s Mariscos, Quarantine Pizza and Eastside Cheesecakes plus performances by Pearl and the Oysters, Al Lover DJ Set, Jonny Marfa and the Lights, You Knew Jack, and Ned Casual. Starts at noon. Free to attend. More info here.

Seven More Things To Do in L.A. Today

  • The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles will host the 125th Annual Golden Dragon Parade on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. M FA
  • Santa Monica Place marks the Year of the Dragon with a free celebration this Saturday hosted by comedian Paul “PK” Kim. Expect traditional lion dance performances, balloon dough artists, the cherry blossom Wishing Trees. M FA
  • The San Gabriel Lunar Lantern Festival two-day event (Saturday and Sunday) features a kids zone, live shows/performances, street food vendors, free lanterns for kids, authentic Chinese live shows and more. Starts at 10 a.m. both days. Free to attend. More info here. FA
  • On Saturday, The Long Beach Symphony presents an evening of music and imagery featuring compositions by American composer Florence Price, as well as works by Dvořák, Mussorgsky, and Ravel.
  • The Japan American National Museum is organizing a special event this Saturday in commemoration of the 2024 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance. M FA
  • Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s ongoing Salt Marsh Open House program pops ups this Saturday, inviting guests to learn about the Salinas de San Pedro wetlands habitat as guided by CMA educators. Runs 1 to 3 p.m. FA
  • Prosperity Market brings together over 30 local Black-owned food producers and chefs for a diverse showcase of culinary talents, live music and family-friendly activities, all at the Natural History Museum on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. M FA

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Things To Do

Things To Do This President’s Day Weekend in Los Angeles [2-16-2024 to 2-19-2024]

February 15, 2024 by Brian Champlin
San Gabriel Lunar New Year Fest.

So it looks like we’re not getting out of February without at least one more sizable rain storm passing through the Southland. The good news for adventure-seeking weekenders is that the heavy stuff shouldn’t hit till Monday. For now, let’s talk to-dos!

From February 16-19 in Los Angeles you’ll find the L.A. Art Show, Ivy Station Night Market, Boomtown’s 9th anniversary celebration, the Watts Culture Fest, Prosperity Market at Natural History Museum, a Broken Hearts Circus at Angel City Brewery, the Family Bird Festival at California Botanic Garden, and plenty of Lunar New Year festivals. Scope out our full rundown below!

Things To Do This Weekend

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

L.A. Art ShowM TP > This Wednesday to Sunday, the L.A. Art Show returns with 180,000 feet of exhibition space at the Los Angeles Convention Center, featuring works from 120 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the world. One-day admission is $35, and it’ll run you $250 to attend the opening night premiere. Get more info here.

Chaotic Singles Party: Anti-Valentine’s Day -> If Valentine’s Day goes against every fiber of your inner core, then maybe you’re down for a Chaotic Singles Party. Coming to Harlowe in West Hollywood this Friday, the anti-Valentine’s Day edition of the viral TikTok IRL event expects 200+ singles to join the fray, all centered around an Emo-night theme. Tickets start at $17. Chaos begins at 8 p.m. More info here.

Ivy Station Night MarketM FA TP > The monthly night market at Ivy Station returns this Friday, featuring handmade and artisan goods from 25+ local vendors plus food trucks, craft beer, games, and music. Plus, this month’s event will double as CicLAvia’s season launch party / fundraiser at Los Angeles Ale Works, which is located at the Ivy Station Complex. Free to attend. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. More info here.

Jo Koy at Kia Forum -> Chart-topping comedian Jo Koy brings his brands of arena-packing humor to the Kia Forum for a pair of post-Valentine’s Day shows (this Friday and Saturday) as part of his 2024 world tour. Get more info here.

It Might Get DarkM > If you’re willing to revisit some emotional traumas from your childhood through the lens of laughter, consider It Might Get Dark, a monthly affair at The Crow in Santa Monica billed as ” variety show for people whose parents don’t love them.” Yikes! Tickets are $15. Rae Ainslee and Kendall Iler produce. Starts at 8 p.m. this Friday. More info here.

Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival FA > The Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Fair Oaks Avenue and Figueroa Drive, and ending at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. The post-parade festival at Robinson Park includes live bands, dance performances, community booths, guest speakers, and food for purchase. Free to attend. Parade runs 10 a.m. to noon. Festival goes from noon to 4 p.m. Get more info here.

Long Beach Symphony presents Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” -> On Saturday, The Long Beach Symphony presents an evening of music and imagery featuring compositions by American composer Florence Price, as well as works by Dvořák, Mussorgsky, and Ravel. The performance will showcase the exceptional cello talents of Cécilia Tsan. Audience members can experience a relaxed, yet elegant evening amidst dancing fountains, fire pits, and a bar on the Plaza. A pre-concert talk will take place at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $32. More info here.

Lunar New Year at Santa Monica PlaceM > Santa Monica Place marks the Year of the Dragon with a free celebration this Saturday hosted by comedian Paul “PK” Kim. Expect traditional lion dance performances, balloon dough artists, the cherry blossom Wishing Trees. Runs 2 to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Boomtown Brewery Anniversary PartyM FA TP > Boomtown Brewery celebrates their 9th anniversary this Saturday with an afternoon shindig featuring craft beer, live entertainment, and local food vendors. Enjoy offerings from AGL Craft Meats, Correa’s Mariscos, Quarantine Pizza and Eastside Cheesecakes plus performances by Pearl and the Oysters, Al Lover DJ Set, Jonny Marfa and the Lights, You Knew Jack, and Ned Casual. Starts at noon. Free to attend. More info here.

Watts Culture FestFA TP > Watts Culture Fest brings together a vendor marketplace at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) on Saturday, featuring food, games, craft sellers, music, a skate park, and a sneaker painting workshop, all in the name of community empowerment. The festivities run from noon to 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Volvo Lunar New Year at The BlocM > Volvo and Eastern Standard Times (EST) are teaming up for a Lunar New Year celebration at The Bloc in DTLA on Saturday. Expect a live performance by Juliet Ivy, a signing event with The CrunchBros, family portraits by Emanuel Hahn, Volvo vehicle test drives, DJ-spun tunes, plus traditional lion dance and martial arts demos. Runs 2 to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival -> The Crenshaw Dairy Mart (CDM) will host a one-day film festival at The Miracle Theater in Inglewood on Saturday, co-presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The festival prioritizes LA-based filmmakers of color and films that that resonate with Black and underrepresented communities. Tickets are $15. More info here.

2024 Day of Remembrance M FA > The Japan American National Museum is organizing a special event this Saturday in commemoration of the 2024 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance. The theme for this year, “Rooted in Resistance: Fighting for Justice during World War II,” emphasizes the significance of advocating for justice during moments of profound moral crisis. The presentation is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. More info here.

Salt Marsh Open House -> Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s ongoing Salt Marsh Open House program pops ups this Saturday, inviting guests to learn about the Salinas de San Pedro wetlands habitat as guided by CMA educators. Runs 1 to 3 p.m. Free to attend.

Prosperity Market’s Black History Month EditionM FA > Prosperity Market brings together over 30 local Black-owned food producers and chefs for a diverse showcase of culinary talents, live music and family-friendly activities. This gathering will take place this Saturday at the Natural History Museum in Exposition from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reserve complimentary tickets here.

San Gabriel Lunar Lantern Festival FA > The San Gabriel Lunar Lantern Festival two-day event (Saturday and Sunday) features a kids zone, live shows/performances, street food vendors, free lanterns for kids, authentic Chinese live shows and more. Starts at 10 a.m. both days. Free to attend. More info here.

Broken Hearts CircusM FA TP > On Sunday, Angel City Brewery’s annual post-Valentine’s Day carnival brings together a circus of aerialists, stilt-walkers, contortionists, jugglers, sword swallowers, and tarot card readers, along with speciality beer flights and candy pairings. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the festivities start at 1 p.m. Free to attend, and dog friendly too. More info here.

Family Bird Festival -> This Sunday, the Family Bird Festival at the California Botanic Garden in Claremont celebrates our feathered friends with a day of interactive educational activities, crafts, and info booths that will teach visitors of all ages about birding, bird habitats, birds frequently seen in Southern California, bird anatomy and adaptation, and much more. The event is included with garden admission, which starts at $10 for adults. More info here.

Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival FA > Returning on Sunday, the Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival includes a day of cultural performances, live art, cooking demonstrations, local vendors at an artisan alley, and augmented reality projections. Runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Main St. Free to attend. More info here.

2024 Winter Corgi Nationals -> SoCal’s most competitive Corgis take the field at Santa Anita Park this Sunday for a day of racing action, complemented by family activities, a Corgi-centric vendor village, plus food and drink for purchase. GA tickets start at $12 per person. More info here.

Common Space Art ShowFA > Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne is hosting an art show on Sunday showcasing local painters, sculptors and photographers. The showcase will run from 1 to 6 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
baltaire-brunch-maine-lobster-omelette
Maine Lobster Omelette during brunch at Baltaire. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Baltaire’s Sunday DJ Brunch -> Baltaire’s Sunday brunch offers a comprehensive multi-course dining experience within the expansive indoor-outdoor setting of the Brentwood restaurant. The ambiance is elevated with a roaming Bloody Mary cart, a Champagne cart, and live DJ. Priced at $85 per person, guests are welcomed with a refreshing Paloma Slushie shot to get the party started. Brunch begins with five shared plates for the table, including a stunning gravlax platter with blinis and zucchini bread with whipped butter. Each guest will choose their own entree from a diverse menu that includes highlights such as a Maine Lobster Omelette, Prime Filet with Eggs, and King Crab Salad with green goddess dressing. For those seeking an extra indulgence, optional additions like a build-your-own seafood tower, tins of caviar, and the Secret Colossal Cinnamon Bun are available for an additional charge. The Cinnamon Bun, a hidden gem not listed on the menu, can be requested by your server and is a worthwhile treat, measuring an impressive 6 inches in width. Baltaire’s Sunday brunch is served every week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More info here. 

Everson Royce Bar Lunar New Year Party -> This Friday, the Arts District’s E.R.B. is set to host a festive Lunar New Year party, featuring live dragon dancers, Kikori Whiskey cocktails, snapper firecrackers, and red envelopes distributed to all attendees. Feel free to drop by anytime between 5 p.m. to midnight and join in the celebration. More info here

Sunday Social at Citizen Public Market -> On Sunday, February 18, Citizen Public Market in Culver City is set to kick off “Sunday Social,” a happy hour event spanning the entire food hall. Taking place from 6 to 9 pm, this initiative will feature specially priced food and drinks from all vendors. Notable offerings during include The Jolly Oyster presenting a 50% discount on select items, such as a tray of Santa Barbara Uni and Purple Peruvian Scallop Crudo. Additionally, Go Go Bird sweetens the deal by offering complimentary fries with every entree order. Beer enthusiasts have cause for celebration, as The WeHo Sausage, Go Go Bird, and The Press are all participating in a “buy one beer, get one for 5 cents” promotion during this time. Adding to the ambiance, Sunday evenings also brings live jazz performances starting at 5 p.m. 


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Things To Do

Things To Do This Valentine’s Week in Los Angeles [2-12-2024 to 2-16-2024]

February 12, 2024 by Brian Champlin
The Heart Mural on the Micheltorena Stairs. Photo by Brian Champlin

Does Valentine’s Day make your heart sing? Or perhaps the idea of greeting cards and bouquets induces a decidedly less pleasing bodily response. Either way, we’ve got some ideas for you this week.

From February 12-16 in Los Angeles, you can check out Fat Tuesday at the Original Farmers Market, a free Tuesday at LACMA, the L.A. Art Show in DTLA, Lovestruck Cinema at Million Dollar Theatre, Celebrating in Our Ancestor’s Footsteps at Union Station, a Chaotic Singles Party, Night Market at Ivy Station, and more. Whatever your feelings on romance, we hope you enjoy the week!


Things To Do This Week

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

Synth Night at Common SpaceFA > Normally held every first Monday of the month, the LA Synth Club brings monthly jam session to Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne for a special second Monday event this week where musicians are invited to bring their favorite synthesizers, drum machines, or any other electronic instruments to experiment / jam with. Runs 6 to 10 p.m. More info here.

Celebrating James Brown: Say It LoudM > On Monday, the GRAMMY Museum hosts a special evening celebrating life and career of the late “Godfather of Soul” James Brown. The program features exclusive clips from A&E’s forthcoming documentary James Brown: Say It Loud followed by a conversation with director Deborah Riley Draper and producer Jimmy Jam. Event runs 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. More info here.

Fat Tuesday at The Original Farmers MarketFA > Mardis Gras festivities at The Original Farmers Market culminate this week with a Fat Tuesday celebration this week featuring Cajun grub and a performance by The Nevis Brothers. Runs 6 to 8:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Netflix Is A Joke Radio Presents: Are You Still Listening?M FA > Netflix’s free monthly stand-up series returns to Dynasty Typewriter this Tuesday with host Mae Martin and a lineup that features Amberia Allen, Hannah Jones, Mala Muñoz, Milan Patel, Sydney Castillo, and Tommy Brennan. No cost to RSVP for admission, but seating is first-come, first-served and not guarantee entry. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and show starts an hour later. More info here.

Free Tuesday at LACMAFA > Every second Tuesday of the month the Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers free admission all day long. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Get more info and reserve in advance here.

friend or flame @ The Friend: A Big A** Valentines PartyFA TP > friend of flame brings their single and mingle meet-up to The Friend in Silver this Valentine’s Day for an evening of specialty cocktails, tunes by DJ Allancito, popup speed dating, and chill vibes. Free to attend. 21+ only. More info here.

Lovestruck CinemaM > Street Food Cinema’s Valentine’s Day themed series wraps up this Wednesday at the Million Dollar Theatre in DTLA with a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, preceded by a live performance by Cabaret Versatile. GA tickets start at $35 with several different types of packages for couples that go up to $110 (per couple) that include perks like sangria, snacks and reserved seating. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Starts at 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Silent Book Club of DeathM FA > This monthly meet-up at Lawless Brewing in NoHo beckons bookworms with decidedly existential vibe. The group gathers for a quick mix and mingle, spends some time in quiet reading of a death-themed book (your choice), then gathers afterwards for a post-read chat. Bring your own book. Buy your own beer. Starts at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Note that walk-ins will be accepted even if RSVP’s are full. More info here.

Free Flowers in DTLAM FA > To celebrate Valentine’s Day, DTLA Alliance will host a free flower giveaway at office buildings located on and near Flower Street this Wednesday. Beginning at 11:30 am until all flowers are distributed, 1,500 free roses will be given away at six locations including Bank of America Plaza (333 S. Hope St.), The Bloc (700 W. 7th St.), City National Plaza (515 Flower St.), FourFortyFour South Flower (444 Flower St.), Ketchum-Downtown YMCA (401 S. Hope St.), and US Bank Tower (633 W. 5th St.).

L.A. Art ShowM TP > This Wednesday to Sunday, the L.A. Art Show returns with 180,000 feet of exhibition space at the Los Angeles Convention, featuring works from 120 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations from around the world. One-day admission is $35, and it’ll run you $250 to attend the opening night premiere. Get more info here.

Celebrating in Our Ancestor’s FootstepsM FA TP > This Thursday, Metro celebrates the Where You Stand: Chinatown 1880 to 1939 exhibition with a live performance of a traditional lion dance by local students of the East Wind Foundation, followed by a walk-through led by Metro Art. Also on hand will be representatives from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California plus several descendants of the families connected to the exhibition to hear personal stories and insights. The event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the station Waiting Room. Free to attend. More info here.

Chaotic Singles Party: Anti-Valentine’s Day -> If Valentine’s Day goes against every fiber of your inner core, then maybe you’re down for a Chaotic Singles Party. Coming to Harlowe in West Hollywood this Friday, the anti-Valentine’s Day edition of the viral TikTok IRL event expects 200+ singles to join the fray, all centered around an Emo-night theme. Tickets start at $17. Chaos begins at 8 p.m. More info here.

Ivy Station Night MarketM FA TP > The monthly night market at Ivy Station returns this Friday, featuring handmade and artisan goods from 25+ local vendors plus food trucks, craft beer, games, and music. Plus, this month’s event will double as CicLAvia’s season launch party / fundraiser at Los Angeles Ale Works, which is located at the Ivy Station Complex. Free to attend. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. More info here.

Jo Koy at Kia Forum -> Chart-topping comedian Jo Koy brings his brands of arena-packing humor to the Kia Forum for a pair of post-Valentine’s Day shows (this Friday and Saturday) as part of his 2024 world tour. Get more info here.

It Might Get DarkM > If you’re willing to revisit some emotional traumas from your childhood through the lens of laughter, consider It Might Get Dark, a monthly affair at The Crow in Santa Monica billed as ” variety show for people whose parents don’t love them.” Yikes! Tickets are $15. Rae Ainslee and Kendall Iler produce. Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Pali-Wine-Co-Arts-District-Credit-Regan-Norton
A Cheers moment at Pali Wine Co. Photo Credit: Regan-Norton.

Pali Wine Co. Valentine’s Day Wine Flights and Pairings -> Pali Wine Co. in the Arts District hosts special Valentine’s Day wine flights and pairings from Tuesday, February 13 through Thursday, February 15. Five of Pali Wine Co.’s blush and sparkling wines will be featured, accompanied by a choice of pairings such as fresh local oysters, a curated cheese board, or chocolate-covered strawberries. Priced at $50 per person, the tasting can be booked via Tock

Good Clean Fun’s Free Wine Tasting & Valentine’s Day Menu -> Visit Good Clean Fun between 5 to 8 p.m. on V-Day to enjoy a complimentary wine tasting as part of their “Wine Wednesday” series. The Downtown Los Angeles wine bar is also offering a special Valentine’s Day three-course menu priced at $60 per person. Highlights of the menu include Grilled Artichoke, Cacio e Pepe, and a Mini Lovers Cake. Secure a spot via Resy.

English Pub Food on Valentine’s Day -> The Cat & Fiddle, the 42-year-old institution in Hollywood, is an excellent option for those seeking a substantial meal paired with great beer. On February 14, guests can indulge in a three course meal featuring a choice of starter and enticing mains like Prime Rib & Chips, Blackened Salmon, Beef Wellington, and a Nut Roast Wellington. Several dessert options help wrap the meal up, choose between Chocolate Mousse, Sticky Toffee Pudding or a Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream Cake. With prices ranging between $34 and $50, the pub offers a reasonably priced dining experience for Valentine’s Day. Reservations are recommended and can be made through Resy. The menu is also available for delivery and takeout.

Agua Viva Valentine’s Day Specials -> Agua Viva, Chef José Andrés’s Asian-Latin influenced rooftop eatery at Conrad Los Angeles, will offer special menu items exclusively on February 14. Guests can enjoy a poached lobster served with peanuts, tobiko, and Thai dressing; Acorn Squash Soup with miso and charred habanero oil; and a Carrot Agua Chile with Peruvian scallop, carrot escabeche, and cucumber. Prices range from $20 to $74. Reservations can be made through OpenTable. 


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10 Things To Do For This Sunday in L.A. [2-11-2024]

February 11, 2024 by Brian Champlin
the-rose-hills-foundation-conservatory-for-botanical-science-the-huntington
The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Super Bowl Sunday has arrived. Will the big game dominate your plans today or is football all just a big yawn? Either way, we’ve got you covered.

In view for today in L.A., you’ll find a Chinese New Year fest at The Huntington, a big game watch party at Angel City Brewery, A Love Letter to Silent Film at The Elysian, Jurassic Quest at Fairplex, and more. Hope you have a good one!

Three Top Picks To Do This Sunday

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

Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington -> Celebrate the Year Of The Dragon in and around The Huntington’s gorgeous Chinese Garden this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday), alongside of an array of traditional entertainment. Enjoy lion dancers, mask-changing performances, martial arts demonstrations, live music, arts and craft demos, and dining specials throughout the two-day event. Tickets start at $29 for adults. More info here.

Grand Central Market’s Super Bowl Watch PartyM FA > Grand Central Market hosts a Super Bowl Sunday watch party with vendors food specials all day long and free popcorn from Maple Block. The party takes place on the Hill street patio. More info here.

The Elysian Presents: A Love Letter to Silent Film! “You’re The One”TP > As an ode to origins of the The Elysian Theater’s film screening roots, this Sunday the joint will host a matinee of romantic comedies from the silent film era, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The lineup includes Mabel Normand’s Won in a Cupboard along with Buster Keaton’s One Week and Seven Chances. Award-winning composer Michael Mortilla will play the piano accompianment live for each film. Starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. More info here.

Seven More Things To Do in L.A. Today

  • My Bloody Valentine (An Evening of Horror Burlesque) comes to Pasadena’s Crown Theatre on Sunday starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.
  • The Artspace Warehouse on Beverly Blvd is hosting a live painting and dialogue event with portraitist Erin Hammond this Sunday.
  • Carla’s Fresh Market in Highland Park hosts a Valentine’s Day Market pop-up this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jurassic Quest continues at Pomona Fairplex with a slate of dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a triceratops horn and life-size dino skull, a soft play area for kids, bounce houses, inflatable attractions, photo opportunities, a scavenger hunt, and more. General admission tickets start at $22.
  • Angel City Brewery is hosting a “Big Game” tailgate and watch party from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The UCLA Film & Television Archive screens Flesh and the Devil (starring Greta Garbo) at The Hammer as part of the series Then Came Garbo.
  • LA Dancefit Studio is hosting a free Super Bowl Sunday Sound Bath at 8 p.m. (donations encouraged).

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Things To Do

Things To Do This Weekend in Los Angeles [2-9-2024 to 2-11-2024]

February 8, 2024 by Brian Champlin
Japanese Garden at The Huntington
Japanese Garden at The Huntington. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Okay, the clouds are clearing, the streets are drying up, and the sun is peaking its pretty head out. Now let’s see about finding you a few weekend to-dos.

From February 9-11 in Los Angeles, you’ll find Astronomy Night at Columbia Space Center, Jurassic Quest at Fairplex, Mardi Gras at The Original Farmers Market, a Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington, Lunar New Year at UPAM, a Valentine’s pop-up at the Typewriter Connection, a Super Bowl watch party at Grand Central Market, and more. Enjoy the weekend (and the weather!).

Things To Do This Weekend

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

Grounded in Creative PracticeM FA > Starting Thursday, a new exhibition on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center highlights works by local young photographers who have intimately captured older Angelenos in joyful moments of creative happiness. Grounded in Creative Practice will be on display from February 8-25. Free and open to the public. More info here.

Astronomy Night at Columbia Space Center FA TP > This Friday, the Columbia Space Center is hosting an Astronomy Event where a guest speaker will discuss recent stargazing events and happenings, and then (weather permitting) attendees can gaze at the cosmos through onsite telescopes. Runs 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Jurassic Quest -> This weekend at Fariplex in Pomona, it’s all about dinosaurs. From Friday to Sunday, Jurassic Quest offer a slate of dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a triceratops horn and life-size dino skull, a soft play area for kids, bounce houses, inflatable attractions, photo opportunities, a scavenger hunt, and more. General admission tickets start at $22. More info here.

Eataly’s Notte Italiana: Valentine’s Edition -> The Valentine’s edition of Eataly’s late night tasting experience pops up this Friday with 20+ all-you-can-eat Italian bites and libations, live entertainment, a photo booth and more. Tickets cost $99 a person. This event is 21+. More info here.

The Troubies Present: Cupid’s Eros -> The Getty Villa’s Valentine’s presentation, “Cupid’s Eros,” is a family-friendly musical performance that brings characters from antiquity to life. From Medusa & Perseus, Achilles & Patroclus to Pandora and her Box see the stories unfold with a live Troubadorchestra providing sounds from the 1970s and ’80s. Performances run this Friday to Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $35 per person. . More info here.

Santa Monica King Tides CelebrationFA TP > “King tides” occur when the orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year. Climate Action Santa Monica is organizing a morning meetup at Heal The Bay Aquarium this Friday to mark the annual occurrence, discuss the relevancy of rising tides in consideration of climate change, and collect images for scientific documentation of the tides for the Coastal Commission. Starts at 7:30 a.m. and free to attend. More info here.

Mardi Gras at The Original Farmers MarketFA > Mardis Gras festivities at The Original Farmers Market kick off this Friday with a performance by Alligator Beach on the West Patio. Weekend events include the annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade & Costume Contest on Saturday, plus a lineup of themed activities, including jester puppet-making and more live music. The slate of activities comes to a close with a Fat Tuesday celebration on February 13. All free to attend. More info here.

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA Fireside Films Series -> Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA is set to kick off Fireside Films, a limited-run series, starting this Friday on the fourth floor of the LEVEL Hotel. The outdoor area will be transformed into a warm and inviting cinematic experience, complete with wood-burning patio heaters. Attendees can enjoy complimentary hot beverages such as hot cocoa and spiced apple cider, along with the option to purchase spirits from the on-site bar. This weekend’s featured film is “10 Things I Hate About You,” and tickets are available in the $30-$40 range. More info here

Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington -> Celebrate the Year Of The Dragon in and around The Huntington’s gorgeous Chinese Garden this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday), alongside of an array of traditional entertainment. Enjoy lion dancers, mask-changing performances, martial arts demonstrations, live music, arts and craft demos, and dining specials throughout the two-day event. Tickets start at $29 for adults. More info here.

Shanghai NightsFA TP > Benny Boy Brewing hosts Shanghai Nights on Saturday, a Lunar New Year celebration, featuring a multi-lingual performance by Jessica Fichot featuring a songbook of 1940s Mandarin Chinese jazz tunes, Mandopop, iconic multilingual songs, and celebratory Chinese New Year classics. Runs 6 to 9 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Puppy Bowl TAILgate (& Adoption!) PartyFA > Wags & Walks Adoption and Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., will host the official Los Angeles Puppy Bowl TAILgate (& Adoption!) Party this Saturday with sports-themed activations for dogs to enjoy, stadium snacks for humans and doggos, free merch and photo opps. Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. will also be pouring coffee and selling merch. The event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Only the Young Opening Celebration with Dynamicduo and PROWDMON FA > This Saturday, the Hammer Museum’s celebrates the opneing of Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea 1960s–1970s with a special performance by Korean hip-hop group Dynamicduo and dance crew PROWDMON, presented by CJ ENM. The event include cash bars, free admission, and access to the galleries until 10:30 p.m. Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Lunar New Year at UPAMM FA TP > USC Pacific Asia Museum celebrates Lunar New Year with free admission to the museum this Saturday, plus special activities including a lion dance, storytelling, calligraphy, crafts, and food trucks. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Lovestruck Cinema Screening at Million Dollar TheatreM > Street Food Cinema celebrates Valentine’s Day with two lovestruck themed movie screenings at the historic Million Dollar Theatre in DTLA, including a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this Saturday. Tickets start at $45 with several different types of packages for couples that go up to $130 (per couple) that include perks like sangria, snacks and reserved seating. Starts at 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Love Letters – A Valentine’s Pop-Up Market & Type-InFA > The Art District’s Typewriter Connection is hosting “Love Letters” this Saturday, a special Valentine’s Day-themed pop-up market and type-in event where can guests can punch out love notes (or platonic correspondence) on classic machines, plus you can meet-and-greet with other typewriter enthusiasts. Admission is free. Runs 3 to 8 p.m. More info here.

Galentine’s at Common SpaceFA > On Saturday, Galentine’s at Common Space Brewing features DIY Floral Arrangements, Tarot readings, DJ’d tunes, and more. Runs noon to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Skate Oddity presents: Valentines and Frankensteins -> This Saturday, Skate Oddity brings a night of gothic romance and vinyl tunes to the LA Kings Burbank Sports Center. From 4 to 8 p.m., expect a curated lineup of local vendors, new wave and post punk beats provided by DJs, tarot, vegan bites for purchase. Tickets to skate start at $22. More info here.

Grand Central Market’s Super Bowl Watch PartyM FA > Grand Central Market hosts a Super Bowl Sunday watch party with vendors food specials all day long and free popcorn from Maple Block. The party takes place on the Hill street patio. More info here.

My Bloody Valentine (An Evening of Horror Burlesque) -> The Hollywood Jane Revue tackles Valentine’s Day with a send-up of horror classics from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s horror movies. The evening of burlesque comes to Pasadena’s Crown Theatre on Sunday starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. More info here.

Erin Hammond: Live PaintingFA > The Artspace Warehouse on Beverly Blvd is hosting a live painting and dialogue event with portraitist Erin Hammond this Sunday. Guests can witness the creation of art in real time, and also check out the space’s latest exhibition Not Exactly Realism. Event runs 2 to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. More info here.

Valentine’s Day Market pop-up at Carla’s Fresh MarketFA > Carla’s Fresh Market in Highland Park hosts a Valentine’s Day Market pop-up this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Curated by owner Ariell Ilunga, the event brings together a diverse group of BIPOC founders for a distinctive shopping experience. Vendors include Nayarit-style tacos from La Cena SB, sustainable womenswear by Selva Negra, handmade jewelry from Laura Estrada Jewelry, Ikebana floral arrangements by Yoa Ikebana, Oaxacan-made candles and home goods from Oeste, flash tattoos by Brujita Tattoos, custom poems by Typaway Poetry, and more. 

The Elysian Presents: A Love Letter to Silent Film! “You’re The One”TP > As an ode to origins of the The Elysian Theater’s film screening roots, this Sunday the joint will host a matinee of romantic comedies from the silent film era, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The lineup includes Mabel Normand’s Won in a Cupboard along with Buster Keaton’s One Week and Seven Chances. Award-winning composer Michael Mortilla will play the piano accompianment live for each film. Starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
king-cake-mardi-gras-little-doms
Little Dom’s King Cake for Mardi Gras. Photo credit Little Dom’s Instagram.

The Annual Mardi Gras Menu at Little Dom’s -> Little Dom’s on Los Feliz hosts its annual Mardi Gras feast, spanning from Saturday, February 10 to Fat Tuesday, February 13. Guests can indulge in Chef Brandon Boudet’s Cajun and Creole creations, complemented by Mardi Gras desserts crafted by Pastry Chef Ann Kirk. The menu features delights such as Chicken & Andouille Gumbo, Jambalaya Balls, Crawfish Monica Fusilli and Smoked Roast Beef Po’ Boy. For dessert, enjoy Beignets with Raspberry Sauce, Apple Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce, or a slice of colorful King Cake. If you find a baby in your King Cake you’ll win a shot from the bar. The à la carte menu is reasonably priced, ranging from $6 to $17.

A Lunar New Year Menu at Steep -> This Friday and Saturday, as part of Steep After Dark, Chinatown’s Steep will showcase a contemporary Lunar New Year menu featuring dishes like radish cake and geoduck crudo. The evening will also include special baijiu-based cocktails. The menu is offered à la carte, and Steep After Dark will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. More info here

Fast Food Fridays at Vintage Wine + Eats -> Every Friday throughout February, Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City will recreate popular fast food favorites from scratch and pair them with a selection of wines curated by owner and Sommelier, Rebecca Rose Phillips. This Friday, indulge in a Crunch Wrap Super Supreme, available from 4 p.m. until closing time or until they sell out. Can’t make this one? Future schedules include Chicken Nuggz on February 16 and Animalistic French Fries on February 23. More info here

Seoulmates Grand Opening Party -> On February 10, Seoulmates will host a grand opening party for its new location at Colony Cooks in Santa Monica. The latest location features an extensive menu from bowls, to sandwiches, Korean lunch boxes, and the OG item Bulghoagie. To celebrate the opening, Seoulmates is inviting guests to join the party from noon to 4 p.m. with Korean street food, a DJ and complimentary drinks. The first 50 attendees will receive a complimentary Korean Spicy Pork Sando, crafted with Ginza Nishikawa shokupan with the purchase of another food item. More info here


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Things To Do

Things To Do This Week in Los Angeles [2-5-2024 to 2-9-2024]

February 5, 2024 by Brian Champlin
A cloudy day at Vista Hermosa Park. Photo by Brian Champlin

First things first. With stunning rainfall totals over the past 24 hours and flash flood warnings still in effect, the priority is to stay safe out there. So if that means staying off the road and in the comfort of your (hopefully) dry home, then good. Priorities people. Now as for to-dos once the deluge lets up… we’ve got you covered.

This February 5-9 in Los Angeles., you’ll find the return of the Benson Movie Interruption, a free Watson lecture at Cal Tech, a new outdoor art exhibition at The Music Center, the Valley Food Truck Festival, the Santa Monica King Tides Celebration, Mardis Gras at the Original Farmers Market, and more. Have a great week, and stay safe out there!


Things To Do This Week

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

Benson Movie InterruptionM TP > What’s better than seeing a terrible/awesome movie with your friends and making fun of it while you watch it? One word: Celebrities! This Tuesday at Dynasty Typewriter, Doug Benson hosts a “your choice” version of his Movie Interrupted series with special guests including Mae Martin. Guests are invited to bring in a Blue Ray / DVD of their choice, and the audience will vote on what to watch before the show begins. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 the day-of. More info here.

Shochu Night at Redbird-> The third annual Shochu Month in Los Angeles is celebrating the Japanese spirit with a series of speciality cocktails and live programming at nine of L.A.’s top bars, including Accomplice Bar, Death&Co LA, Employees Only LA, Gold Line, Redbird, Steep LA, The Lincoln, The Semi-Tropic, and Thunderbolt. The next live activation is a special Shochu Night at Redbird on February 6, featuring award winning mixologist Takuma Watanabe. $35 reservations get you 2 cocktails at the bar plus passed hors d’oeurves. You can get more info and reserve your slot here.

First Wednesday Lecture at The AoP  -> Every first Wednesday evening of the month, the Aquarium of the Pacific hosts a guest lecture and cocktail reception at the Pacific Visions Theater. For February 7, join them for a special presentation from Bonnie Nixon, Director of ESG and Sustainability at Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT). Tickets are $5 in advance, or $10 the day of. More info here.

First Wednesday Comedy at Common SpaceFA > Common Space Brewery’s monthly comedy night takes place on the first Wednesday of every month. Hosts Dave Williamson and Sean McBride host a cozy show in the Brewery’s gallery space, and it’s free to attend. Runs 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Criminal Live -> The true crime podcast, Criminal, is marking its 10-year anniversary this February with a 13-city live tour. They’ll be making a stop in Los Angeles this Wednesday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. Expect an evening filled with brand new stories narrated live by the show’s host, Phoebe Judge, and co-creator Lauren Spohrer. Tickets for the event start at $20. More info here.

The Watson Lecture SeriesFA TP = > Caltech’s Watson Lecture Series returns this Wednesday with a focus on the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), a robotic camera based at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory. Shri Kulkarni, ZTF’s principal investigator and the George Ellery Hale Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science, will drop knowledge on how the cutting-edge instrument works and what phenomena it has helped to discover. Free to attend. Starts at 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Grounded in Creative PracticeM FA > Starting this Thursday, a new exhibition on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center highlights works by local young photographers who have intimately captured older Angelenos in joyful moments of creative happiness. Grounded in Creative Practice will be on display from February 8-25. Free and open to the public. More info here.

Valley Food Truck FestivalFA > This Thursday at the Westfield Topanga, catch the latest edition of the Valley Food Truck Festival, a recurring event which wrangles 10 local food trucks along with live music, and special entertainment, all presented at the Topanga Social parking lot. Admission is free (but not the food!). Runs 6 to 9 p.m. More info here.

Eataly’s Notte Italiana: Valentine’s Edition -> The Valentine’s edition of Eataly’s late night tasting experience pops up this Friday with 20+ all-you-can-eat Italian bites and libations, live entertainment, a photo booth and more. Tickets cost $99 a person. This event is 21+. More info here.

The Troubies Present: Cupid’s Eros -> The Getty Villa’s Valentine’s presentation, “Cupid’s Eros,” is a family-friendly musical performance that brings characters from antiquity to life. From Medusa & Perseus, Achilles & Patroclus to Pandora and her Box see the stories unfold with a live Troubadorchestra providing sounds from the 1970s and ’80s. Performances run this Friday to Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $35 per person. . More info here.

Santa Monica King Tides CelebrationFA TP > “King tides” occur when the orbits and alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce the greatest tidal effects of the year. Climate Action Santa Monica is organizing a morning meetup at Heal The Bay Aquarium this Friday to mark the annual occurrence, discuss the relevancy of rising tides in consideration of climate change, and collect images for scientific documentation of the tides for the Coastal Commission. Starts at 7:30 a.m. and free to attend. More info here.

Mardi Gras at The Original Farmers MarketFA > Mardis Gras festivities at The Original Farmers Market kick off this Friday with a performance by Alligator Beach on the West Patio. Weekend events include the annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade & Costume Contest on Saturday, plus a lineup of themed activities, including jester puppet-making and more live music. The slate of activities comes to a close with a Fat Tuesday celebration on February 13. All free to attend. More info here.

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA Fireside Films Series -> Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA is set to kick off Fireside Films, a limited-run series, starting this Friday on the fourth floor of the LEVEL Hotel. The outdoor area will be transformed into a warm and inviting cinematic experience, complete with wood-burning patio heaters. Attendees can enjoy complimentary hot beverages such as hot cocoa and spiced apple cider, along with the option to purchase spirits from the on-site bar. This weekend’s featured film is “10 Things I Hate About You,” and tickets are available in the $30-$40 range. More info here

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Lunar-New-Year-Sets-Bistro-Nas
Lunar New Year dishes from Bistro Na’s. Photo courtesy of Bistro Na’s.

As we head into the peak of the Lunar New Year season, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you dive into delicious customs, whether it’s indulging in noodles for longevity, fish for abundance, or glutinous rice balls for a sense of togetherness. Some ideas below:

Special Lunar Dishes at Woon -> Experience a laid-back Lunar New Year celebration at Woon from February 7 to 11. Each day, the first 100 guests will be treated to a red envelope containing lucky prizes, which may include a complimentary drink, free noodles, or a free t-shirt. The menu will feature a variety of food specials, including stir-fried rice cakes, longevity string beans, and Honey Walnut Shrimp Baos. Additionally, a limited edition t-shirt will be available for purchase. More info here.

Bistro Na’s Imperial Chinese Culinary Experience -> Bistro Na’s, celebrated for its exquisite imperial court cuisine hailing from the Qing Dynasty, offers an ideal venue for hosting a truly special Lunar New Year celebration. Running from February 9 to 24, guests can feast on curated dinner sets featuring Bistro Na’s renowned Crispy Shrimp dish, complemented by new additions such as Stewed Crab Meat and Fish Maw. The ambiance, designed to emulate a traditional Chinese courtyard, immerses patrons in the splendor of the last imperial dynasty of China. With opulent bamboo trim, high-hanging lanterns, and elegant decor, the setting serves as a nostalgic journey through time. These exclusive dinner sets are designed for groups of six and include over ten dishes, with prices ranging from $500 to $900. For larger parties of ten, there are options with 16 dishes or more available at $888, $988, $1,288, and $1,588. More info here

Joseon’s Korean Royal Family Tasting Menu -> Celebrate the Lunar New Year by dining as if you’re part of the Royal Family of Korea’s last dynasty, the Joseon Dynasty. Chef Debbie Lee’s beautiful Silver Lake concept skillfully interprets Northern Korean cuisine, originally crafted for the royal family, now reimagined for contemporary palates. Noteworthy dishes on the menu include Galbee Jjim paired with wasabi cauliflower puree, market vegetables, and puffed vermicelli. Other highlights include Kalguksu, a Korean gnocchi in a light broth featuring manila clams, seafood fume, zucchini blossom, and bottarga, as well as Perilla Cured Tasmanian Sea Trout served with edamame cream and a yuzu jalapeno gelee. Choose from a tasting menu offering either a five-course option priced at $79 or a more extensive seven-course option at $99. More info here

Melody’s Korean Classics Pop-Up -> Justin Min, previously of Hanchic, will be popping up at Melody in Virgil Village from Tuesday, February 6 to Saturday, February 10. The Lunar New Year menu promises Korean classics like kimchi mandu, bulgogi, and mandu-guk. Complementing these dishes is Melody’s regular wine selection. More info here

Meet Fresh x Bistro Na’s Dessert for a Good Cause -> Bistro Na’s has partnered with Taiwanese dessert brand,  Meet Fresh to offer an exclusive dessert just in time for Lunar New Year. From February 10-24, indulge in Chef’s Tian creation – a delectable Black Sesame Soup with Tofu Pudding and potaro balls, priced at $8.5. What makes this treat even sweeter is that for every purchase of the Chef’s Tian dessert, $5 will be donated to the No Kid Hungry Charity. More info here

Sprinkles Lunar New Year Cupcakes -> Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with Sprinkles’ Gold Dragon Bruce Lee Cupcake. This delectable treat features red velvet cake swirled with almond slivers on an almond cookie crust, topped with almond cream cheese frosting, and adorned with a custom Bruce Lee Dragon decoration. Get a dozen of these delightful cupcakes packaged in a special Lunar New Year box, accompanied by eight traditional red envelopes for gifting to your loved ones during the holiday season. These limited-edition cupcakes are available now until February 11, 2024. More info here


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Things To Do

10 Things To Do For This Saturday in L.A. [2-3-2024]

February 3, 2024 by Brian Champlin
Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

This break in the rain won’t last, so if you want to get out and about, Saturday is your day.

On the docket for today in Los Angeles, you’ll find a free fitness class at The Bloc, a Lunar New Year Fest at SteelCraft, Dumpling Day at Santa Anita Park, a Black History Month celebration in Culver City, A Century of Film Music at Disney Concert Hall, and more. Check out the full list below!

Three Top Picks To Do This Saturday

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

FitSpoLA at The BlocM FA > On Saturday, the 2024 FitSpoLA series continues at The Bloc with a bodyweight fitness class by personal coach Davey Fisher. The one-hour session includes a warmup, strength training, interval oriented cardiovascular work, and a mobility focused cooldown. Starts at 10 a.m. and free to attend, but registration required. Rain or shine event. More info here.

Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraftFA > This Saturday, Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraft Bellflower will feature pop-up shops, lion dancers, kids crafting, and live music. Runs 2 to 10 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Dumpling Day at Santa Anita Park -> This Saturday, Smorgasburg curates a unique dumpling experience at Santa Anita Park featuring popup dumpling vendors trackside. A dumpling starter pack cost $34 and the VIP version coast $55. More info here.

Seven More Things To Do in L.A. Today

  • Westfield Culver City is hosting a Black History Month celebration featuring live performances and storytelling from noon to 5 p.m. FA
  • As part of the John Williams Spotlight series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, this Friday to Sunday you can catch A Century of Film Music. The concert takes guests through some of the greatest musical moments in cinematic history, including selections from The Godfather, Batman, Back to the Future, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by David Newman. M
  • The Fifteen Percent Pledge, an organization committed to narrowing the racial equity gap by partnering with major retailers to carry Black-owned brands, is organizing a pop-up event at Paramount Studios on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The L.A. Travel & Adventure Show hits the Los Angeles Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday.
  • Be Kind, Rewind brings their 90s/2000s pop-up party to Harlowe in West Hollywood on Saturday. FA
  • The South Coast Botanic Garden celebrates Lunar New Year every weekend in February.
  • The third annual Shochu Month in Los Angeles celebrates the Japanese spirit with a series of speciality cocktails and live programming at nine of L.A.’s top bars, including Accomplice Bar, Death&Co LA, Employees Only LA, Gold Line, Redbird, Steep LA, The Lincoln, The Semi-Tropic, and Thunderbolt.

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Culture

The SoCal Museums Free-For-All Returns in March

February 2, 2024 by Brian Champlin
academy-museum
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Brian Champlin.

One of our favorite events is set to return, but in 2024 you’ll have to way just a few more weeks than usual for the big day.

SoCal Museums annual free admission promo has (pandemic hiatus notwithstanding) normally been held at the tail end of January or early February… a winter affair. This year, however, the tentpole of freebies pops up on Saturday, March 23, four days after the official start of spring.

What won’t change is that there will be some thirty museums participating, including more than two dozen in the Greater Los Angeles area. The list features locations that provide free admission year-round (The Getty, The Getty Villa, The Broad, etc…) joining others that normally charge for entry (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Autry, Skirball Cultural Center, etc…). The free tickets, which in most cases you’ll have to reserve through each individual museum’s website, are good for regular admission, and don’t include special exhibitions. And of course parking fees still apply.

My two cents? The free-for-all is sure to draw big crowds, so book early and consider homing in on a particular geographical area where institutions are clustered, which will save you on both parking costs and transportation headaches.

For example, you could swing over to over to Wilshire Blvd along Museum Row where you can walk to LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits Museum, and the Academy Museum. Or maybe you’ll stick to DTLA, where you might use Metro to shuttle between The GRAMMY Museum, The Broad, and the Japanese American National Museum.

Your choice!

Either way there are lots of options, all of which you can see below.

2024 Museums Free-For-All Participants

Urban Light
Urban Light at LACMA. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

American Museum of Ceramic Art

Armory Center for the Arts

Autry Museum of the American West

Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College

Bowers Museum

The Broad

California Botanic Garden

California Science Center

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum

Catalina Museum for Art & History

Cayton Children’s Museum

Columbia Memorial Space Center

Craft Contemporary

Forest Lawn Museum

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Frederick R. Weisman of Art, Pepperdine University

The Getty Center

The Getty Villa

GRAMMY Museum

Hammer Museum

Holocaust Museum LA

Institute of Contemporary Art, LA

The International Printing Museum

Japanese American National Museum

Laguna Art Museum

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Lincoln Memorial Shrine

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

Museum of Ventura County

Orange County Museum of Art

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Santa Monica History Museum

Skirball Cultural Center

Wende Museum

Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum


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Things To Do

Things To Do This Weekend in Los Angeles [2-2-2024 to 2-4-2024]

February 1, 2024 by Brian Champlin
griffith observatory observation deck
Griffith Observatory Observation Deck / Photo by: Brian Champlin

The deluge of Los Angeles is underway. We soaked up over an inch of rain since last night, and though we’re going to get a nice break over the next day or so, a second wave of storms (bringing several more inches) ought to pass through starting Sunday. So what’s your plan?

In view for L.A. from February 2 to 4, you’ll find a Groundhog Day Trivia Night at a Cat Cafe, a new exhibit at USC Fisher Museum, a Latte Larry’s pop-up, First Fridays in Chinatown, A Century of Film Music at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dumpling Day at Santa Anita Park, a Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Transit Equity Day, and more.

Things To Do This Weekend

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

Free First Fridays at Norton SimonFA TP > Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum offers free admission every first Friday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m. In addition to the museum’s permanent galleries, visitors can check two temporary exhibitions: Benevolent Beings: Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from South and Southeast Asia and Word as Image. More info here.

Groundhog Day / Bill Murray Trivia Night at a Cat Cafe -> Calling all Bill Murray super fans! This Friday, Pasadena’s Tail Town Cat Café will host a trivia night centered on the film Groundhog Day and all things Bill Murray – movies, TV and even questions dating all the way back to his Chicago Second City Days. There will be prizes, cats and BYOB. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the game starts at 7 pm. Tickets cost $20 per person. More info here

First Fridays in ChinatownM FA > L.A.’s Chinatown stays open late on Friday for an evening of exploring the unique small businesses and contemporary art and culture spaces that make up the historic neighborhood. West Plaza and Chungking Road will activate local pop-up vendors, DJ-spun music, and area galleries with extended hours. The December edition of First Fridays runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

Scene Shift: The Exhibit M FA > The USC Fisher Museum’s latest exhibition opens this Friday, offering visitors an up close and personal examination of the works of contemporary scenic designers, as inspired by the book, Scene Shift: US Set Designers in Conversation. The exhibition will feature work by Abigail DeVille, Regina Garcia, Marsha Ginsberg, Shing Yin Khor, Mimi Lien, Collette Pollard, and Deb O, among others. USC Fisher Museum is free to visit on Tuesday to Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. More info here.

Bixby Knolls First FridayFA > The February edition of First Fridays along Atlantic Ave in Long Beach doubles as a Black History Month celebration, with an evening of live music, extended hours at participating businesses, and special discounts. Runs 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

What Water WantsFA > A new collaboration between artist Rosten Woo and Clockshop puts L.A.’s waterways in focus, investigating issues of water treatment, water modeling, and habitat creation through a series of in-person tours and conversations with conversations with local watershed experts. The tour series kicks off this Friday with an event at the Sepulveda Basin ceneterd on “capture and quality.” Free and open to the public Runs 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. More info here.

A Century of Film MusicM TP > As part of the John Williams Spotlight series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, this Friday to Sunday you can catch A Century of Film Music. The concert takes guests through some of the greatest musical moments in cinematic history, including selections from The Godfather, Batman, Back to the Future, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by David Newman. At the time of this post, available tickets start as low as $94. Get more info here.

Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraftFA > This Saturday, Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraft Bellflower will feature pop-up shops, lion dancers, kids crafting, and live music. Runs 2 to 10 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Dumpling Day at Santa Anita Park -> This Saturday, Smorgasburg curates a unique dumpling experience at Santa Anita Park featuring popup dumpling vendors trackside. A dumpling starter pack cost $34 and the VIP version coast $55. More info here.

FitSpoLA at The BlocM FA > On Saturday, the 2024 FitSpoLA series continues at The Bloc with a bodyweight fitness class by personal coach Davey Fisher. The one-hour session includes a warmup, strength training, interval oriented cardiovascular work, and a mobility focused cooldown. Starts at 10 a.m. and free to attend, but registration required. Rain or shine event. More info here.

Lunar New Year Celebration at South Coast Botanic Garden -> The South Coast Botanic Garden celebrates Lunar New Year every weekend in February. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Garden will present a pair of 30-minute live performances (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) featuring including lion dancers, folk dancers and drummers. Free with garden admission, which starts at $15 for adults. More info here.

L.A. Travel & Adventure ShowM > This two-day affair (Saturday and Sunday) at the Los Angeles Convention Center offers the latest travel tips, trends and advice. Plus, you can meet-and-greet travel celebrities including Rick Steves, Phil Rosenthal and Pauline Frommer. Single day tickets start at $13. More info here.

Fifteen Percent Pledge Pop-Up Shop -> The Fifteen Percent Pledge, an organization committed to narrowing the racial equity gap by partnering with major retailers to carry Black-owned brands, is organizing a pop-up event at Paramount Studios on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free with an RSVP, offering the public a chance to explore a specially curated collection of Black-owned brands. More info here.

Whale Fiesta FA TP > On Sunday, the annual Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium offers a day of family fun featuring special activities and exhibits, games, arts and crafts, puppet shows, marine awareness organizations, expert guest lecturers, music and a life-size pod of inflatable whales. Runs 10 to 3 p.m. Free and open to the public. More info here

Lunar New Year at Runway Playa VistaFA > Runway Playa Vista’s Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday features live performances, traditional arts and crafts, 15+ local vendors, and fun raffles. The event runs from 10:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free admission. More info here.

Lunar New Year at One ColoradoFA > This Sunday’s Lunar New Year Celebration at One Colorado includes live music, traditional dragon and lion performances, crafts, red envelope giveaways and more. Runs 1 to 4 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

826LA@HammerFA > 826LA is back at the Hammer Museum this Sunday with another fun creative session for kids and teens. Writer / art therapist Lorraine Allen Derosa leads the program as participants imagine their own planet or island, then create travel guides to lure visitors to these strange and wondrous places. Free to attend, and recommend for ages 8-14. Although the program is not ticketed, reservations are encouraged. Starts at 11 a.m. More info here.

Transit Equality Day FA > Both L.A. Metro and Metrolink are offering free rides this Sunday for Transit Equity Day, which is held annually on the birthday of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
rooted-fare-tang-yuan-flier
Tang Yuan workshop flier. Photo credit Rooted Fare Instagram.

Lucky Lunar New Year Tang Yuan Workshop with Rooted Fare x Gu Grocery -> On Saturday, discover the art of crafting tang yuan (glutinous rice balls), an iconic dessert enjoyed for over 1,000 years during Lunar New Year. Led by Ashley and Hedy from Rooted Fare, and Jess and Peggy from Gu Grocery, participants will receive a brief overview of Lunar New Year and the role that tang yuan plays. Following this, the experts will guide attendees in creating the dessert with two different fillings (black sesame and fruit). Once all the tang yuans are cooked, everyone in the class will have the opportunity to savor them together. Additionally, a “marketplace” featuring goodies from Rooted Fare and Gu Grocery will be available to shop from. Attendees can also contribute to the senior tang yuan fund, a mutual aid initiative providing seniors at Cathay Manor with homemade tang yuan. Tickets for the workshop are priced at $88 per person. More info here

Latte Larry’s -> This weekend, experience the infamous “spite store” Latte Larry’s from the HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm (new season premiering this Sunday). Brought to life at Menotti’s in Venice and Culver City from Friday through Sunday, fans can enjoy complimentary hot “Cups of Spite” (coffee) and Dry Scones from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. while supplies last. Limited edition merchandise will also be available for purchase, including Menotti’s x Curb Your Enthusiasm shirts and mugs, along with a special blend signature roast of “Latte Larry’s Beans.” Complimentary coffee and scone offered per person, and no purchase is necessary. More info here

Ayara Thai Dessert Tasting Menu -> Ayara Thai introduces a dessert-centric dining experience starting this weekend and running for four consecutive weekends. Chef Cathy Asapahu crafts a prix fixe menu spotlighting sweets as the main course. Her expertise, honed at Michelin-starred restaurants like The Musket Room and Providence, shines through with each bite defying expectations. Priced at $92 per person, the experience includes a savory dessert, palate cleanser, chocolate dessert, and Petit Fours. Seating begins at 8 p.m., with the option to add an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink pairing for $33. Reservations and more info here


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Culture, Things To Do

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

January 31, 2024 by Brian Champlin
The Huntington's Chinese Garden
The Huntington’s Chinese Garden. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Looks like we’re getting a wet start to February in Los Angeles, but not to worry. There’s a lot of month left to go (it is a leap year after all) with a lot to do.

Over the next four weeks you’ll find the L.A. Art Show, Lunar New Year Festivals (lots of ’em), Mardi Gras at The Original Farmers Market, the Chinatown Firecracker Run, an Afro-Latinx Family Festival at MOLAA, CicLAvia on Melrose, Lovestruck Cinema, Frieze Los Angeles, and much more. Take a look at all your options below, and have a great month!

Things To Do This February in Los Angeles

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

DTLA ArtNight (February 1) – FA > DTLA ArtNight runs every first Thursday of the month, activating 25+ galleries along Downtown’s Historic Core all free to attend. More info here.

What Water Wants (February 2)- FA > A new collaboration between artist Rosten Woo and Clockshop puts L.A.’s waterways in focus, investigating issues of water treatment, water modeling, and habitat creation through a series of in-person tours and conversations with conversations with local watershed experts. The tour series kicks off in Feburary with an event at the Sepulveda Basin ceneterd on “capture and quality.” Free and open to the public Runs 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. More info here.

A Century of Film Music (February 2-4) – M > As part of the John Williams Spotlight series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, A Century of Film Music takes guests through some of the greatest musical moments in cinematic history, including selections from The Godfather, Batman, Back to the Future, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by David Newman. At the time of this post, available tickets start as low as $94. Get more info here.

Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraft (February 3)- FA > Lunar New Year Fest at SteeleCraft Bellflower will feature pop-up shops, lion dancers, kids crafting, and live music. Runs 2 to 10 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Lunar New Year Celebration at South Coast Botanic Garden (February 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25) -> The South Coast Botanic Garden celebrates Lunar New Year every weekend in February. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Garden will present a pair of 30-minute live performances (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) featuring including lion dancers, folk dancers and drummers. Free with garden admission, which starts at $15 for adults. More info here.

Dumpling Day at Santa Anita Park (February 3) -> For one day only, Smorgasburg curates a unique dumpling experience at Santa Anita Park featuring popup dumpling vendors trackside. A dumpling starter pack cost $34 and the VIP version coast $55. More info here.

L.A. Travel & Adventure Show (February 3-4) – M > This two-day affair at the Los Angeles Convention Center offers the latest travel tips, trends and advice. Plus, you can meet-and-greet travel celebrities including Rick Steves, Phil Rosenthal and Pauline Frommer. Single day tickets start at $13. More info here.

Whale Fiesta (February 4) – FA > The annual Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is a day of family fun featuring special activities and exhibits, games, arts and crafts, puppet shows, marine awareness organizations, expert guest lecturers, music and a life-size podof inflatable whales. Runs 10 to 3 p.m. Free and open to the public. More info here

Transit Equality Day (February 4) – FA > Both L.A. Metro and Metrolink are offering free rides on Transit Equity Day, which is held annually on the birthday of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. More info here.

Lunar New Year at One Colorado (February 4) – FA > The Lunar New Year Celebration at One Colorado includes live music, traditional dragon and lion performances, crafts, red envelope giveaways and more. Runs 1 to 4 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Shochu Night at Redbird (February 6) -> The third annual Shochu Month in Los Angeles is celebrating the Japanese spirit with a series of speciality cocktails and live programming at nine of L.A.’s top bars, including Accomplice Bar, Death&Co LA, Employees Only LA, Gold Line, Redbird, Steep LA, The Lincoln, The Semi-Tropic, and Thunderbolt. The next live activation is a special Shochu Night at Redbird on February 6, featuring award winning mixologist Takuma Watanabe. $35 reservations get you 2 cocktails at the bar plus passed hors d’oeurves. You can get more info and reservere your slot here.

First Wednesday Lecture at The AoP (February 7) -> Every first Wednesday evening of the month, the Aquarium of the Pacific hosts a guest lecture and cocktail reception at the Pacific Visions Theater. For February 7, join them for a special presentation from Bonnie Nixon, Director of ESG and Sustainability at Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT). Tickets are $5 in advance, or $10 the day of. More info here.

Eataly’s Notte Italiana: Valentine’s Edition (February 9) -> The Valentine’s edition of Eataly’s late night tasting experience will feature a dozen Italian bites and libations, live entertainment, a photo booth and more. Tickets cost $99 a person. This event is 21+. More info here.

The Troubies Present: Cupid’s Eros (February 9-11) -> The Getty Villa’s Valentine’s presentation, “Cupid’s Eros,” is a family-friendly musical performance that brings characters from antiquity to life. From Medusa & Perseus, Achilles & Patroclus to Pandora and her Box see the stories unfold with a live Troubadorchestra providing sounds from the 1970s and ’80s. Tickets are priced at $35 per person. More info here.

Mardi Gras at The Original Farmers Market (February 9-10, & 12) – FA > Mardis Gras festivities at The Original Farmers Market include the annual Mutti Gras Pet Parade & Costume Contest, a lineup of themed activities, including jester puppet-making, live music and a Fat Tuesday celebration to wrap it all up on February 13.

Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington (February 10-11) -> Celebrate the Year Of The Dragon in and around The Huntington’s gorgeous Chinese Garden, alongside of an array of traditional entertainment. Enjoy lion dancers, mask-changing performances, martial arts demonstrations, live music, arts and craft demos, and dining specials throughout the two-day event. Tickets start at $29 for adults. More info here.

Shanghai Nights (February 10) – FA > Benny Boy Brewing hosts Shanghai Nights, a Lunar New Year celebration, featuring a multi-lingual performance by Jessica Fichot featuring a songbook of 1940s Mandarin Chinese jazz tunes, Mandopop, iconic multilingual songs, and celebratory Chinese New Year classics. Runs 6 to 9 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Puppy Bowl TAILgate (& Adoption!) Party (February 10) – FA > Wags & Walks Adoption and Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co., will host the official Los Angeles Puppy Bowl TAILgate (& Adoption!) Party with sports-themed activations for dogs to enjoy, stadium snacks for humans and doggos, free merch and photo opps. Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. will also be pouring coffee and selling merch. The event runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Only the Young Opening Celebration with Dynamicduo and PROWDMON (February 10) – FA > Celebrate the Hammer Museum’s opening of “Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea 1960s–1970s” with a special performance by Korean hip-hop group Dynamicduo and dance crew PROWDMON, presented by CJ ENM. Experiences include cash bars, free admission, and access to the galleries until 10:30 p.m. More info here.

Lunar New Year at UPAM (February 10) – M FA > USC Pacific Asia Museum celebrates Lunar New Year with free admission to the museum, plus special activities including a lion dance, storytelling, calligraphy, crafts, and food trucks. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Lovestruck Cinema Screening at Million Dollar Theatre (February 10 & 14) – M > Street Food Cinema celebrates Valentine’s Day with two lovestruck themed movie screenings at the historic Million Dollar Theatre in DTLA. Slated films include The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Romeo & Juliet. Tickets start at $45 with several different types of packages for couples that go up to $130 (per couple) that include perks like sangria, snacks and reserved seating. More info here.

Galentine’s at Common Space (February 10) -> Galentine’s at Common Space Brewing features  DIY Floral Arrangements, Tarot readings, DJ’d tunes, and more. Runs noon to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Skate Oddity presents: Valentines and Frankensteins (February 10) -> Skate Oddity brings a night of gothic romance and vinyl tunes to the LA Kings Burbank Sports Center. From 4 to 8 p.m. Expect a curated lineup of local vendors, new wave and post punk beats provided by DJs, tarot, vegan bites for purchase. Tickets to skate start at $22. More info here.

Grand Central Market’s Super Bowl Watch Party (February 11) – M > Grand Central Market hosts a Super Bowl watch party with vendors food specials all day long and free popcorn from Maple Block. The party takes place on the Hill street patio. More info here.

L.A. Art Show (February 14-18) – M > The L.A. Art Show offers 180,000 feet of exhibition space at in the Los Angeles Convention this center over a 5-day event in DTLA. 120 galleries, museums, and non-profit arts organizations will exhibit painting, sculpture, works on paper, installations, and photography from around the world. One-day admission is $35, and it’ll run you $250 to attend the opening night premiere. Get more info here.

Jo Koy at Kia Forum (February 16-17) -> Chart-topping comedian Jo Koy brings his brands of arena-packing humor to the Kia Forum for a pair of post-Valentine’s Day shows in February as part of his 2024 world tour. Get more info here.

Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival (February 17) – FA > The Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival begins at 10 a.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Figueroa Drive and ends at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. The post-parade festival at Robinson Park includes live bands, dance performances, community booths, guest speakers, and food for purchase. Free to attend. Parade runs 10 a.m. to noon. Festival goes from noon to 4 p.m. Get more info here.

Long Beach Symphony presents Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” (February 17) -> The Long Beach Symphony presents an evening of music and imagery featuring compositions by American composer Florence Price, as well as works by Dvořák, Mussorgsky, and Ravel. The performance will showcase the exceptional cello talents of Cécilia Tsan. Audience members can experience a relaxed, yet elegant evening amidst dancing fountains, fire pits, and a bar on the Plaza. A pre-concert talk will take place at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $32. More info here.

Salt Marsh Open House (February 17) -> Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s ongoing Salt Marsh Open House program invites guests to learn about the Salinas de San Pedro wetlands habitat as guided by CMA educators. Runs 1 to 3 p.m. Free to attend.

Crenshaw Dairy Mart Film Festival (February 17) -> The Crenshaw Dairy Mart (CDM) will host a one-day film festival at The Miracle Theater in Inglewood, co-presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The festival prioritizes LA-based filmmakers of color and films that that resonate with Black and underrepresented communities. Tickets are $15. More info here.

2024 Day of Remembrance (February 17) – FA M > The Japan American National Museum is organizing a special event in commemoration of the 2024 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance. The theme for this year, “Rooted in Resistance: Fighting for Justice during World War II,” emphasizes the significance of advocating for justice during moments of profound moral crisis. The presentation is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. More info here.

San Gabriel Lunar Lantern Festival (February 17-18) – FA > The San Gabriel Lunar Lantern Festival features a kids zone, live shows/performances, street food vendors, free lanterns for kids, authentic Chinese live shows and more. Free to attend.

Family Bird Festival (February 18) -> The Family Bird Festival at the California Botanic Garden in Claremont celebrates birds with a day of interactive educational activities, crafts, and info booths that will teach visitors of all ages about birding, bird habitats, birds frequently seen in Southern California, bird anatomy and adaptation, and much more. The event is included with garden admission, which starts at $10 for adults. More info here.

Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival (February 18) – FA > The Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival includes a day of cultural performances, live art, cooking demonstrations, local vendors at an artisan alley, and augmented reality projections. Runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Main St. Free to attend. More info here.

2024 Winter Corgi Nationals (February 18) -> SoCal’s most competitive Corgis take the field at Santa Anita Park for a day of racing action, complemented by family activities, a Corgi-centric vendor village, plus food and drink for purchase. GA tickets start at $12 per person. More info here.

Common Space Art Show (February 18) – FA > This February, Common Space Brewery is hosting an art show showcasing local painters, sculptors and photographers. The showcase will run from 1 to 6 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

Night Dive at AoP (February 23) -> The Aquarium of the Pacific’s signature adults-only, after-hours series returns in February with food trucks, cash bars, DJs throughout the Aquarium galleries, art, and a live band playing in the Great Hall of the Pacific. GA tickets are $64.95 per person. Runs 7:30 to 11 p.m. More info here. More info here.

Would Parliamentary America Have More Fun? (February 23)- FA > Constitutional law professor Maxwell L. Stearns comes to Zócalo Public Square to discuss his new book Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy, as part of Zócalo’s ongoing series of election year programming. Stick around after the talk for a reception, with complimentary food and beverages. Starts at 7 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

46th annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk/Ride (February 24-25) – M > The L.A. Chinatown Firecracker race is back with a two-day event that includes a bike race, a dog walk, a kiddie run, 5k and 10k runs/walks and a festival featuring over 50 exhibitors showcasing products and services including nutrition, beverages, snacks, running shoes and cycling apparel. Registration costs $46-$63. The festival/expo is free to attend. Get more info and register to race here.

African American Festival at AoP (February 24-25) – > The Aquarium of the Pacific’s annual African American Festival celebrates African American and African culture through an two-day affair featuring dance, music, storytelling to historical displays. All activities included with general admission, which starts at $44.95 for adults. More info here.

The LA River Public Art Project’s Presents River Sessions: Frogtown (February 24) -> The LA River Arts community-led, multi-disciplinary art project, River Sessions, returns this month, this time in Frogtown. The session encourages participants to contemplate the LA River, climate change, social justice, and the emotional interconnectedness of these themes. Attendees will gain insights into river ecosystems and site histories through the perspectives of poets, artists, Indigenous Culture Bearers, and ecologists. Tickets cost $29. More info here.

Care Bears™️ Forever (February 24 to March 30) – FA > Attention kids of the 80’s! Corey Helford Gallery is hosting an opening reception for the group exhibition, Care Bears™️ Forever, which features new works by over 75 contemporary artists. The February 24 reception runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Works remain on view through March 30. Entrance to the gallery is always free. More info here.

Lunar New Year at Runway Playa Vista (February 25) – FA > Runway Playa Vista’s Lunar New Year celebration include live performances, traditional arts and crafts, 15+ local vendors, and fun raffles. The event runs from 10:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free admission. More info here.

CicLAvia – Melrose (February 25) – M FA > The first CicLAvia event of 2024 pops up along Melrose Ave with a four-mile course stretching from Fairfax to Vermont. Expect multiple activity hubs, special from local businesses, and plenty of room to walk, skate, bike, and play along the open streets route. Runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and always free to attend. More info here.

The Museum of Latin American Art’s Afro-Latinx Family Festival (February 25) -> Celebrate the cultural diversity of the Americas and the African influence in Latin America at MOLAA’s Afro-Latinx Festival. Experience a mixture of customs from African and Mestizo peoples in the Americas including live performances, cultural exhibitions, local vendors, food, and more. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum cost $15. More info here.

Lunar New Year Chamber Music with the LA Phil (February 27) – M > Celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon with music that reimagines Chinese folk songs and captures the exuberance of village festivities. Yi-Wen Jiang’s quartet will perform popular Chinese folk tunes to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Tan Dun’s Concerto for Six will merge Eastern and Western traditions, showcasing the virtuosity of each player. Additionally, Mendelssohn’s Second String Quintet features pieces rich in drama and lyricism. Tickets start at $20. More info here.

Felix Art Fair (February 28 to March 3) – M > The sixth edition of Felix Art Fair takes over The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an international roster of 60+ galleries occupying both indoor and outdoor spaces of the iconic hotel. Tickets run $75 per day, or a run of the show pass cost $100. More info here.

Frieze Los Angeles (February 29 to March 3) -> Frieze Los Angeles is back for 2024 at the Santa Monica Airport. The four-day presentation of art features some of the most renowned galleries in the world, and also includes special activations and pop-ups from a few of L.A.’s most popular restaurants. Tickets start at $76 per adult. More info here.


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Things To Do

Things To Do This Week in Los Angeles [1-29-2024 to 2-2-2024]

January 29, 2024 by Brian Champlin
Phillipe The Original
Phillipe The Original / Photo by: Christina Champlin

The Pineapple Express is on the way, and we’re not talking about Seth Rogen here. But before an atmospheric river drenches SoCal, let’s see if we can’t squeeze in a to-do (or three) for the week to come.

From January 29 to February 2 in L.A., catch Astronomy on Tap in Pasadena, free chili day at Philippe The Original, Fred Armisen’s Playlist, Queer LA Live, First Fridays in Chinatown, a free tour series by Clockshop, and more. Hope you have a great week!


Things To Do This Week

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

Astronomy on TapM FA > Astronomy on Tap returns on Monday with a pair of scientific talks (helped along by trivia, live music, and beer) at Dog Haus Biergarten in Pasadena. For the January event, the topics for the two talks are “Planetary Paparazzi: Engineering Telescopes for Exoplanet Close-Ups” and “The Starry Tapestry: Myths and Legends of the Night Sky.” The event is free and open to all ages. Runs 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

DESIGN MUSEUM JAPAN – M FA > The newest exhibition at Japan House Los Angeles feature’s six of Japan’s top creators, each selected to research and exemplify “design treasures” native to specific regions of their home country. The result of these investigations is at the heart of the exhibition, offering various display cubes, documentary videos, and an interactive “workshop” that encourages visitors to contribute to the gallery. DESIGN MUSEUM JAPAN is free to visit daily. More info here.

Queer LA Live: Joyful MusicM FA > The latest edition of Queer LA Live returns to the Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena this Tuesday with a focus on on indie artists from L.A.’s LGBTQ music scene. Performers/panelists for the evening include Brittany Campbell and Candace Quarrels (aka Mermaid), Danielle Lande, and DJ Funky Caramelo. Free, pay-what-you-will seating is first-come, first-served. Reserved seats are available for $15. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Fred Armisen’s PlaylistTP > Once upon a time, Saturday Night Live and Portlandia star Fred Armisen was the drummer for Chicago punk band Trenchmouth This Wednesday, Armisen comes to Permanent Records Road in Cypress Park for an evening of punk covers including tunes from The Damned, The Stranglers, The Clash, Devo, Husker Du and others. Tickets are $5.67. Starts at 6 p.m. More info here.

Free Pinball Play at Gin Rummy -> Wednesday night is free pinball play at Gin Rummy bar in Venice. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the tiki inspired bar welcomes players in. Take advantage of their happy hour which runs daily from 4 to 6 p.m. More info here.

Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TVFA > This Thursday, The Hammer screens a documentary about the life and work of Nam June Paik, a Korean artist known as the father of video art who predicted that the future would include a world where “everybody will have his own TV channel.” The film is narrated by Oscar® nominee Steven Yeun. Starts at 7:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Sip & Paint Party @ Good Clean Fun -> Good Clean Fun’s Sip & Paint Party returns this Thursday for a crafty night with wine. For a fee of $30, participants will receive a wine glass to paint during the event (which they can take home) and a complimentary pour of the house wine. More info here.

DTLA Art NightFA > DTLA ArtNight runs every first Thursday of the month, activating 25+ galleries along Downtown’s Historic Core all free to attend. More info here.

Free First Fridays at Norton SimonFA TP > Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum offers free admission every first Friday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m. In addition to the museum’s permanent galleries, visitors can check two temporary exhibitions: Benevolent Beings: Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from South and Southeast Asia and Word as Image. More info here.

First Fridays in ChinatownM FA > L.A.’s Chinatown stays open late on Friday for an evening of exploring the unique small businesses and contemporary art and culture spaces that make up the historic neighborhood. West Plaza and Chungking Road will activate local pop-up vendors, DJ-spun music, and area galleries with extended hours. The December edition of First Fridays runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

Bixby Knolls First FridayFA > The February edition of First Fridays along Atlantic Ave in Long Beach doubles as a Black History Month celebration, with an evening of live music, extended hours at participating businesses, and special discounts. Runs 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

What Water WantsFA > A new collaboration between artist Rosten Woo and Clockshop puts L.A.’s waterways in focus, investigating issues of water treatment, water modeling, and habitat creation through a series of in-person tours and conversations with conversations with local watershed experts. The tour series kicks off this Friday with an event at the Sepulveda Basin ceneterd on “capture and quality.” Free and open to the public Runs 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. More info here.

A Century of Film MusicM TP > As part of the John Williams Spotlight series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, this Friday to Sunday you can catch A Century of Film Music. The concert takes guests through some of the greatest musical moments in cinematic history, including selections from The Godfather, Batman, Back to the Future, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, all performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by David Newman. At the time of this post, available tickets start as low as $94. Get more info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)
Mikiya-shabu
The AYCE spread at Mikiya. Photo courtesy of Mikiya.

All-You-Can-Eat Wagyu Shabu Experience at Mikiya -> Chubby Group, the organization that owns Niku X and Wagyu House, is also the proprietor of the upscale all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant, Mikiya. This establishment offers a diverse selection featuring seven varieties of sliced Wagyu, platters of premium seafood, and upscale appetizers such as foie gras toast, Wagyu nigiri, and bone marrow. The menu is structured with a four-tiered pricing model, offering options at $45, $55, $78, and $98. These options encompass a wide range of offerings, from Jidori Chicken, Karobuta Pork to domestically nurtured Wagyu and Australian Wagyu to the highly sought-after Japanese A5 Wagyu. Mikiya operates multiple locations in California, including the recently opened Cerritos branch. More info here.

Lunetta Tapas Tuesday -> Lunetta in Santa Monica offers a tapas menu every Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., available at both the all-day dining room and the bar. The offerings include Spanish wines and cocktails like the Espritzer, crafted with chilled wine, sparkling lemon-lime, and vermouth. The concise food menu features delights such as Pan con Tomate + Jamon, Ceviche, and Rosemary Citrus Olives. More info here.

The Return of Free Chili Day at Philippe The Original -> After a four year hiatus, Philippe’s brings back Free Chili Day this week on Tuesday, January 30. Starting at 10:30 a.m. the first 500 people will be treated to a complimentary cup of Dolores Chili. Expect a line! More info here.

Looking Ahead

Ayara Thai Dessert Tasting Menu -> Westside favorite Ayara Thai introduces a dessert-centric dining experience starting this weekend, with Chef Cathy Asapahu crafting a prix fixe menu spotlighting sweets as the main course. Her expertise, honed at Michelin-starred restaurants like The Musket Room and Providence, shines through with each bite defying expectations. Priced at $92 per person, the experience includes a savory dessert, palate cleanser, chocolate dessert, and Petit Fours. Seating begins at 8 p.m., with the option to add an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink pairing for $33. Reservations and more info here.


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Things To Do

10 Things To Do For This Sunday in L.A. [1-28-2024]

January 28, 2024 by Brian Champlin
Entrance to the Annenberg Communnity Beach House. Jan. 28, 2022. Photo by Brian Champlin

Before things get a little gray and rainy next week, let’s take advantage of what promises to be an absolutely gorgeous day in the Southland. You up for it?

This Sunday in L.A. check out Happy Birthday Marion! at the Annenberg Beach House, a new exhibition at Armory Center for the Arts, a free family flick at The Hammer, Family Day at the Wende Museum, a Festival of Abilities at AoP, Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, and more.

Three Top Picks To Do This Sunday

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

Happy Birthday Marion!FA > On Sunday, the Santa Monica Conservancy celebrates the life of silent film actress and socialite Marion Davies with a free day of festivities on the Garden Terrace at the Annenberg Community Beach House. The event runs 1 to 3 p.m. Get more information and register to attend here.

Terry Chatkupt: A YearM FA > Beginning this Sunday, the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena welcomes their first exhibition of 2024. Terry Chatkupt: A Year showcases works from the Pasadena-based artist who uses the locus of the San Gabriel Mountains to explore the relationships between natural and man-made environments. Sunday’s opening is at 1 p.m. The exhibition continues through March 31. More info here.

Hammer Family FlicksFA > The Hammer’s Family Flicks series continues this Sunday with a screening of Paddington 2. The movie starts at 11 a.m. and is free to attend. Seating will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. More info here.

Seven More Things To Do in L.A. Today

  • Family Day at the Wende Museum includes a Scavenger Hunt & Family Guide for the latest exhibitions. FA
  • On Sunday, the finalists from the annual Venice Shorts of Los Angeles film festival will screen at the Fine Arts Theatre of Beverly Hills. FA
  • This Saturday and Sunday, the city of Monterey Park welcomes the year of the dragon with a two day Lunar New Year celebration. FA
  • This Thursday to Sunday, the Dance Camera West Festival celebrate the art form of dance at this annual film festival at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre.
  • The Aquarium of the Pacific’s annual Festival of Abilities is a two-day celebration (Saturday and Sunday) of the creative talents and abilities of people with disabilities.
  • The Torrance Antique Street Faire pops up in Downtown Torrance from 8 to 3 p.m. FA
  • The third annual Shochu Month in Los Angeles celebrates the Japanese spirit with a series of speciality cocktails and live programming at nine of L.A.’s top bars, including Accomplice Bar, Death&Co LA, Employees Only LA, Gold Line, Redbird, Steep LA, The Lincoln, The Semi-Tropic, and Thunderbolt.

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