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KPCC Is Going to Revive LAist… So What Does That Mean?

February 23, 2018 by Brian Champlin
DTLA Skyline daytime

Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

LAist is coming back, only this time under new management. In an open letter published on their website this morning, Southern California Public Radio Station KPCC announced that they have acquired LAist, the hyper-local Los Angeles news site that was shutdown this past November as part of the overall shuttering of Gothamist and DNAInfo properties by billionaire owner Joe Ricketts.

KPCC’s acquisition of LAist includes the site’s internet domain, story archive, and social media profiles. The move is part of a joint deal by multiple public radio stations to acquire Gothamist properties from Ricketts.

KPCC joins WNYC (New York), and WAMU (Washington, D.C.) to acquire Gothamist, DCist, and LAist. SFist and Chicagoist also appear to be part of the transaction, though neither are mentioned in the press release. If you go to any of the sites at this very moment you’ll see a notation on top alerting readers to the acquisition.

“It’s been a rough couple of months for media in L.A,” KPCC chief content officer Kristen Muller wrote in the open letter, “But the mission hasn’t changed. The health of our local media landscape matters. Public officials need to be held accountable for their actions. The future of our city depends on engaged residents to make informed choices.”

Agree, agree, and agree.

And as for how KPCC will match up with LAist’s historically irreverent tone? “It’s unknown,” Muller said, according to KPCC. “We have to figure it out internally how best to live up to the expectation of the audience that LAist has accumulated over years.”

On the one hand, LAist’s resurrection is an exciting development for a city starved for metro coverage. The people in our area deserve more. And whatever your thoughts about LAist’s snarky tone and content, their contributions really added something to the overall conversation within L.A. media. I know for me personally the events, arts and entertainment stories by LAist was a core inspiration for the birth of We Like L.A.

On the other hand, it’s unclear at this time who, if any, of the old LAist staff would be brought back on to run the site, or how closely it will resemble its prior version. According to Wired, the deal was led by Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung, with cash for the transaction coming from “two anonymous donors who have contributed an undisclosed sum to acquire the brands.” Dobkin and Chung will start publishing content for the “new” Gothamist starting this spring. As for other writers, sales people, or other former staff, nothing is said.

Another aspect that rubs me the wrong way is how Ricketts is portrayed in press release announcing the acquisition:

“The most important thing for me was to make sure the assets went to a news organization that would honor our commitment to neighborhood storytelling. I can’t think of a better home for these sites and their archives than WNYC and public radio stations KPCC and WAMU.”

Really? Awfully magnanimous for a guy who turned over dozens of people’s lives on a whim (and without notice) when he decided to terminate the sites.

When the Gothamist websites were closed this past November it sent a shockwave through hyper-local media. Ricketts, a vehement opponent of unions, pulled down the sites without notice to the staff only a week after the Gothamst and DNAinfo New York employees had voted to unionize. The swiftness and forcefulness of his decision was a warning bell for anyone who cares about local coverage, as former LAist editor-in-chief Julia Wick explained in an outstanding piece for City Lab published only days after Ricketts pulled the plug.

This is all to say that Los Angeles is in the midst of one of the most uncertain times of its journalistic history.  In the past few months the LA Weekly changed ownership and had its staff gutted. The L.A. Times has had its own recent newsroom dramas and was ultimately sold by Tronc to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Looking into the future, my inner-cynic wonders if LAist 2.0 can flourish as its earlier incarnation did. It’s unclear just how much funding and staffing KPCC is going to put behind the new venture. Will there be a new full-time team or will it simply become an amplification tool of existing KPCC content (not that this would be a bad thing). At this point, there’s no time frame for when publishing new stories would begin, but I imagine we’ll start seeing something by the spring.

For now, color me cautiously optimistic, but not quite ecstatic. LAist deserves a second chance. Los Angeles deserves more coverage. In those ways, it’s a good day to be a consumer of local news.

We’ll see how it all shakes out in the coming months.

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Happenings, Lifestyle

Cherry Blossom Festivals in L.A. Return Starting in March

February 21, 2018 by Brian Champlin

Spring is on our doorstep, and the corresponding flower blooms in Los Angeles County (such as they are) are right around the corner. While places like the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve are likely to have a  down year due to lack of winter rains, there are still spots in the greater L.A.-area where you can enjoy a bit of colorful and fragrant fun. Case in point: Cherry blossom festivals.

To that end, if you’d like to check out some of the cherry blossom related events/festivals/walks available in and around our city, I’ve compiled a handy list of locations, dates, times, and costs for you to peruse below. These include the South Coast Botanic Cherry Blossom Festival, The West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival, the Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival, and Cherry Blossom Festival in Monterey Park.

And of course if you need a little inspiration to plan a date, you can check out the video below showing off the cherry blossom bloom from last year (2017) at Descanso Gardens.

One quick note on Descanso for 2018: Instead of back-to-back weekends of cherry blossom festival events, this year they’re spreading out their talks/workshops/performances on various dates throughout March, while also offering ‘spring bloom walks’ every weekend in March and April.

Just something to bear in mind as you scan the list. In any case, enjoy!

2018 Cherry Blossom Festivals and Events in L.A.

South Coast Botanic Cherry Blossom Festival
Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
26300 Crenshaw Blvd.
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274
General Admission is $9, seniors and students are $6, and children are $4

2018 Cherry Blossom Festival in West Covina
Saturday, March 17, 2018, noon to 6 p.m.
112 Plaza Dr, West Covina, CA 91790
FREE

2018 Cherry Blossom Festival in Huntington Beach
Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
711 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA
FREE

Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 11 am.m. to 4 p.m.
Columbia Park, 4045 190th St, Torrance
FREE

2018 Cherry Blossom Festival in Monterey Park
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 22, 2018, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave., Monterey Park, CA
FREE

Cherry Blossom Month at Descanso Gardens
various dates throughout March and April 2018
1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
General $9. Seniors 65 and over/Students $6. Children (5 to 12 years) $4.
Keep in mind some special talks and workshops include additional costs.

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Cool Spots, Food, Happenings

Here’s a Look at the New Pinball, Beer & Wine Spot That Just Opened in Eagle Rock

February 19, 2018 by Brian Champlin
Walt's Bar Eagle Rock

Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

If you’re looking for pinball action, craft beer, and hot dogs served from a rotisserie, this new spot in Eagle Rock just might be your new jam. Walt’s opened its doors this past Friday at the storefront previously occupied by Connors Plumbing & Heating on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd and Westdale Avenue.

The laid back vibe inside Walt’s is exactly what you’d expect after a conversation with co-owner Jeff Johnsen, who started Walt’s along with brother Brad and friend Travis Echert. The inside is dimly lit, a bit noisy, and highlighted by the nine pinball machines lined up in the back right corner opposite the bar.

Walt's Bar Eagle Rock

Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

For Echert and the Johnsen brothers, this isn’t their first foray into the arcade-bar scene. The trio also owns Add-a-Ball in Seattle, which opened in 2011, and boasts some 60 vintage pinball machines. According to the The Occidental Weekly Jeff had been living in Los Angeles when the space at Connors became available this past November, and he jumped at the chance to lease it out.

In addition to pinball, visitors can expect a quality list of brews and a few light bites. The current beer selection includes 11 choices, among them Smog City’s Wow Pop! Pale Ale, Fremont Lush IPA, Mason Mexican Lager, Port Chronic Ale, Boulevard Imperial IP, and Mother Earth Honcho Hefe.

On the food front, visitors can snack on the aforementioned hot dogs ($3.50 for either a beef or veggie version), plus two kinds of soft pretzels, which in come in either a standard German style ($5) or something called ‘El Jefe’ ($7). If beer isn’t on your agenda, there are also five wines available on the menu.

Walt's Bar in Eagle Rock

Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

When I visited this past Friday evening Jeff confirmed to me that the daily hours for Walt’s will be from 11 a.m to 2 a.m., although the outdoor patio area will have to close early to conform to neighborhood noise limits. Competitive pinball players will take note that the owners plan to host tournaments on Wednesday nights. Although nine pinball games are currently being offered, the plan is to rotate games in and out moving forward. I’d suggest following Walt’s Bar on Instagram to check for updates on specific times and/or changing of the current pinball lineup.

Although some speculated the new bar would be named Connors in reference to the current signage and plumbing biz, it turns out the name has a more familial connection.

According to Jeff, the father of the Johnsen boys taught them “everything they know about drinking and fixing stuff.” Those lessons have come in handy curating a craft beer menu and repairing old pinball machines. It’s fitting then that their newest venture would also bear the name of one of their biggest inspirations: their dad Walt.

Walt’s is located at 4680 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

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Things To Do

Here’s What New Disneyland Ticket Prices Look Like for 2018

February 12, 2018 by Brian Champlin

In a move that surprises literally no one, Disneyland is raising their theme park prices for 2018. The price hike comes as the Southern California park prepares for opening of Pixar Pier this summer followed by the debut of Star Wars Land in 2019.

As of yesterday the price of all tickets and annual passes has gone up, with two exceptions: The price of a value 1-day pass remains the same at $97, and the value 1-day park hopper will decrease from $157 to $147. The price of a regular, 1-day, 1-park pass has increased from $110 to $117.

Annual passholders will the most drastic increases, with most annual passes increasing by $100 (or more) per yearr. Purchasers of the Southern California Select pass, which is blocked out on weekends, will go up from $339 to $369.

Disneyland CA

Disneyland, CA. Photo by HarshLight via flickr cc

Here’s a price comparison of 2017 and 2018 Disneyland tickets based on type:

Value: 1-day, 1-park 2017: $97 | 2018: $97
Value: 1-day parkhopper 2017: $157 | 2018: $147
Regular: 1-day, 1-park 2017: $110 | 2018: $117
Regular: 1-day parkhopper 2017: $165 | 2018: $167
Peak: 1-day, 1 park 2017: $124 | 2018: $135
Peak 1-day parkhopper 2017: $174 | 2018: $185
Signature Plus Annual Passport 2017: $1049 | 2018: $1149
Signature Annual Passport 2017: $849 | 2018: $999
Deluxe Annual Passport 2017: $619 | 2018: $729
So Cal Annual Passport (on hiatus – only renewals) 2017: $469 | 2018: $549
Select Annual Passport: 2017: $339 | 2018: $369

Martin Lewison, a Disney price expert and assistant business professor at Farmingdale State College in New York, told the Los Angeles Daily News that the focus on raising prices for annual passholders is to be expected, as these customers are the least profitable segment of the park’s visitors.

“They’ve been trying to trim the number of annual passholders for some time,” Lewison explained. “The number of annual passholders is more than they have capacity for at the parks.”

Pixar Pier will open June 23, 2018 at the soon-to-be revamped California Adventure Park. Pixar Pier will be composed of four distinct “neighborhoods” with each inspired by a specific Pixar movie (or movies), including The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Inside Out. The centerpiece for the new Pixar Pier will be the Incredicoaster, a new Indcredibles-themed ride that replaces California Screamin’, which closed on January 8 in advance of the renovation.

There is still no firm date for Star Wars Land to open, other than sometime in 2019.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for February 8, 2018

February 8, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Thursday, February 8, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]

DTLA Theatre District

Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [12:30 p.m.] There’s a free mindful awareness meditation going on at the Hammer. Participants are welcome to stay for the entire 30-minute session or leave when they choose. FREE

2. [6 p.m.Downtown Art Walk brings art enthusiasts and locals together every second Thursday of each month to take part in gallery tours, shop the art mart and sample nearby food trucks, and experience the overall flavor of the downtown Los Angeles Historic Core.

3. [7 p.m.] Nerd Nite Los Angeles at Busby’s East.

4. [7 p.m.] L.A. native Lesley Telléz will head to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes to share her insights and dishes from her cookbook, Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets and Fondas this Thursday.

5. [7:30 p.m.] Laemmle NoHo 7 and Eat|See|Hear return with Throwback Thursdays. This week they’ll screen The Big Lebowski(DISCOUNTED) via Goldstar

6. [7:30 p.m.] Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization will join forces with the LA Opera for Night OUT at the Opera. Guests will be treated to a production of Leonard Bernstein’s CANDIDE, followed by a post-performance party with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres and special performances. Get 20% off your ticket and receive admission to the post-show party with promo code: EQCA

7. [8 p.m.]  There’s a one-man, family-friendly adaptation of Charles Dickens Great Expectations at The Wallisin Beverly Hills. Performances will run February 8-11.

8. [9 p.m.Tha ‘Licious Party at The Virgil. FREE (before 10 p.m.)

9. [various] The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) returns to Los Angeles February 8-19. Now in its 26th year, the 12-day festival will showcase over 100 new films and the talented artists who created them.

10. [variousFree admission at: Japanese American National Museum (from 5 to 8 p.m.), MOCA Grand & MOCA Geffen (from 5 to 8 p.m.), Skirball Cultural Center (noon to 5 p.m.) and Long Beach Museum of Art (3 to 8 p.m.)

DEAL OF THE DAY: Get a FREE distillery tour and tasting at Greenbar Distillery with the promo code LAHEART.

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for January 20, 2018

January 20, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Saturday, January 20, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]

Paramount Ranch at Night

Photo via National Park Service / Public Domain


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [9 a.m.Women’s March Los Angeles 2018 taking place in Pershing Square.

2. [9 a.m.]  Enjoy a snow day in Diamond Bar at the annual Winter Snow Fest. Over 100 tons of snow will provide hours of sledding on four hills and other wintery fun.

3. [9 a.m.]  The 4th Annual SoCal Retro Gaming Expo happening January 20-21 in City of Industry is an all-ages event featuring retro games, toys, merchandise, and much more.

4. [10 a.m.] Forest Lawn Museum’s latest exhibition Pigskin Peanuts is an homage to the late great Charles M. Schulz. Featuring 50 Sunday and daily football-themed comic strips and other Peanuts related objects, the family friendley exhibit will be on display from January 18 through March 15, 2018. Admission to the museum and parking is always free. FREE

5. [noon.]  Iron Triangle turns two this Saturday with an epic BBQ Showdown where you decide the winner. $20 gets you a three item plate from competitors Moo’s Craft Barbecue and Peaches’ Smokehouse & Southern Kitchen, feast and then vote for your favorite. The BBQ starts at 1 p.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. or until the food runs out. Iron Triangle will also have new beers on tap including Sluice Gate IPA, Blasting Cap Vienna Lager, Stock and Trade: English Pub Ale on Nitro and Barrel Aged Jawbone Stout.

6. [6 p.m.] The National Park Service will host Mysteries of the Night Sky a Winter Star Party at Paramount Ranch. Guests will have a chance to see star clusters, nebulae and more through high-powered telescopes with astronomers and children can become an official Night Sky Junior Ranger. FREE

7. [6 p.m.Gateway to the Moon 3.0 is a new immersive installation from artist Gazoo opening at de Plume gallery in East Hollywood this Saturday. The large-scale installation, is designed to transport visitors into a 360° retro-future dimension created from tape, lighting, and sound. FREE

8. [6 p.m.]  There’s an extra cute and powerful art show titled I Am Extraordinary curated by Bored Inc.happening at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Eagle Rock. The group show will feature 28 female artists and a portion of the sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and She Should Run. FREE

9. [7 p.m.]  ‘Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999 – 2011,’ will close this weekend at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. To celebrate, the gallery will host free musical performances inspired by Kelly from anti-rock noise bands Extended Organ, Lonely Street, and telecaves. FREE

10. [various] dineL.A. the city’s restaurant week (January 12-26) continues with exclusive lunch and dinner menus (and deals!) at a laundry list of the city’s finest eateries. Want to know where to eat among the huge list of choices? Start here, with our picks for 20 can’t-miss menus.

DEAL OF THE DAY: $4.75 tix to the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show (via Goldstar)

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [11 a.m.Ben & Jerry’s is throwing a pop-up carnival to announce their newest ice cream flavors. Happening at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street, ice cream lovers will have a chance to partake in carnival games, rides and sample the Pint Slice flavors totally free. FREE

2. [11 a.m.] Get a free Margherita pizza during the grand opening of MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company in Century City. Happening Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Limit one per guest. FREE

3. [7 p.m.] Down some tacos, drink some locally brewed beers and test your trivia skills this Tuesday during Tacos & Trivia night at Angel City Brewery in DTLA.

4. [7 p.m.Fatman on Batman (a live Kevin Smith podcast) at Scum and Villainy Cantina.

5. [7 p.m.] The Moth storytelling competition at Los Globos. Tonight’s theme: Guests.

6. [7:30 p.m.] Enjoy a free screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 2016 film Endless Poetry at The Hammer. FREE

7. [8 p.m.Put Your Hands Together with Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher at the UCB Franklin.

8. [various]  Free admission at: Los Angeles County ArboretumSouth Coast Botanic Garden and Descanso Gardens. FREE

9. [various]  Redondo Beach Restaurant Week is back from January 12 to 26. Dozen of eateries from the beach city’s growing food scene will be participating by offering either specially priced prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners, or other Restaurant Week-only special offers

10. [various] dineL.A. the city’s restaurant week (January 12-26) continues with exclusive lunch and dinner menus (and deals!) at a laundry list of the city’s finest eateries. Want to know where to eat among the huge list of choices? Start here, with our picks for 20 can’t-miss menus.

DEAL OF THE DAY: $4.75 tix for the StARTup Art Fair (via Goldstar)

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Monday, January 15, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]

Wilshire Blvd outside LACMA

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [11 a.m.Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at The California African American Museum will feature a marathon reading of Dr. King’s speeches, crafts like making quote-filled dream catchers and more. FREE

2. [11 a.m.Free admission at: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (free for MLK Day)

3. [11 a.m.] The 32nd Annual Kingdom Day Parade will travel from Western and Martin Luther King to Leimert Park where KingFest 2.0 (presented by 102.3 Radio Free KJLH) a community festival with music and food will take place.

4. [2 p.m.] California Sol with Motown Monday at the Ace Hotel Rooftop Bar.

5. [7 p.m.] Join Boomtown Brewery for Monday Movie Nights, a new monthly movie screening in their private event space set up with comfy couches, craft beers, popcorn and an option to order from Purgatory Pizza. This week they will screen Remember The TitansFREE

6. [7 p.m.] Marilyn Manson at the Hollywood Palladium.

7. [7:30 p.m.Astronomy on Tap at Der Wolfskopf in Pasadena brings professional astronomers to bars to give informal talks on a variety of scientific topics followed by lots of discussion with guests. And beer!

8. [9 p.m.The Business LA is a free comedy show at Little Joy featuring some of the best local comics in town. FREE

9. [various]  Redondo Beach Restaurant Week is back from January 12 to 26. Dozen of eateries from the beach city’s growing food scene will be participating by offering either specially priced prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners, or other Restaurant Week-only special offers

10. [various] dineL.A. the city’s restaurant week (January 12-26) continues with exclusive lunch and dinner menus (and deals!) at a laundry list of the city’s finest eateries. Want to know where to eat among the huge list of choices? Start here, with our picks for 20 can’t-miss menus.

DEAL OF THE DAY: $20 tix to Foodie Con 2018 at The Reef in DTLA (via Goldstar)

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for January 10, 2018

January 10, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [4:30 p.m.Burrito Project L.A., a meet-up to prep burritos and other essential supplies for folks in need. FREE

2. [6 p.m.David Bowie Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star Meetup (Memorial). FREE

3. [6:30 p.m.Day Hiking Los Angeles Presentation & Book Signing with Modern Hiker’s Casey Schreiner at Adventure 16. FREE

4. [6:45 p.m.Marijuana Madness is an innovative burlesque and live music show coming to The Three Clubs in Hollywood this Wednesday. Travel back in time to 1937, when National Marijuana Prohibition became American law. Learn the truth behind the mass propaganda that insisted that cannabis led to moral decay and debauchery, resulting in persecution of marijuana users.

5. [7 p.m.The LA Art Show comes to Los Angeles Convention Center January 10 – 14 for the West Coast’s most comprehensive art experience of the year. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

6. [7:30 p.m.] Former Vice President Joe Biden will be at The Orpheum in DTLA for Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange. Listen to Biden share the biggest political moments of his career, his most challenging life choices and what has helped him persevere through life’s challenges.

7. [7:30 p.m.] See the duo behind fashion line BLESS during An Evening with BLESS, a discussion at The Hammer happening this Wednesday. FREE

8. [8 p.m.] Free performances of Freud’s Last Session at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. Simply use promo code WELIKELA online or call them to reserve tickets. FREE

9. [8 p.m.] Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is playing nationwide for one-night only, including at three locations in Los Angeles.

10. [9:30 p.m. ] The Underground Jazz Sessions at the Continental Club

DEAL OF THE DAY: $30 tix to the 2018 Freestyle Festival at the Queen Mary (via Goldstar)

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Things To Do

10 Fun Things To Do TODAY in L.A. for January 3, 2018

January 3, 2018 by Brian Champlin

You know what’s handy?

Waking up in the morning, firing up your phone/computer and being able to scan a super quick (but curated) rundown of the best of what lies ahead. So here it is, our list of fun things to do in Los Angeles for Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

May it lead you to adventure!

[IMPORTANT: Want our latest ‘things to do’ rundowns sent straight to your email inbox? Sign-up for our newsletter program]

Dockweiler Bonfire

Bonfire at Dockweiler. Credit: Kat Sniffen via flickr cc


Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links (affiliates noted in parenthesis).

1. [10 a.m.] Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 1, 2017 through January 5, 2018.

2. [2 p.m.Winter Fest Returns to OC Fairgrounds (Dec. 21 to Jan. 7) will offer an all-new festival of lights, snow summit, winter bounce houses, outdoor ice skating, ice tubing, snowfall and the man of the season, Santa Claus. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar) 

3. [4:30 p.m.]  CHILL Adventure Park returns to the Queen Mary in Long Beach from December 13 through January 7. Come experience ice bumper cars, ice skating, an Alpine Zip Line and more chill themed activities. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED 

4. [5 p.m.Full Lunacy Drum Circle at Dockweiler State Beach. FREE

5. [6 p.m. LA Zoo Lights.

6. [6 p.m.] Come to the Frogtown Brewery this Wednesday for Beer, Bingo, & Trivia Night.

7. [7 p.m.] Every first and third Wednesday of the month, BEAR CITY brings free comedy and free pizza to Que Sera in Long Beach. FREE

8. [7 p.m.Geeks Who Drink is a drinking quiz game at Bareburger in Santa Monica that covers everything from troubled celebrities, wordplay to bad television.

9. [8 p.m.] Comedy Pop-Up at the Lyric Hyperion. FREE

10. [various] Discover the best in foreign-language cinema during the Golden Globe Nominees Series, a week of special screenings from January 1–6 at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres. In addition there will be free panel discussion with the filmmakers, at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday.

DEAL OF THE DAY: $18 tix to the 2018 LA Art Show (via Goldstar)

Want more ideas for upcoming things to do in L.A.? Check out our Los Angeles events calendar.

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Free Museums, Happenings

SoCal’s Massive Museum Free-For-All Day is Back in January

December 27, 2017 by Brian Champlin

Another January, another museum-free-for-all day!

Each year a group of marketing and communications professionals from museums throughout Southern California collaborate to organize a special day you won’t want to miss. On Sunday, January 28, 2018 more than 30 SoCal museums will offer free admission as part of the 13th Annual Museums Free-for-All.

As in years past, the 2018 free-for-all includes both museums that normally charge admission such as Natural History Museum, LACMA, MOCA, and Descanso Gardens, along with museums that regularly offer free admission such as both Getty campuses and The Broad. A quick glance at the list of participants also reveals two museums that rarely offer free admission: The Petersen Automotive Museum and the GRAMMY Museum (something to consider when deciding which locations you might want to visit)

For those unable to take advantage of this promotional day keep in mind there are plenty of L.A. museums that are always free or offer monthly free admission days.

You can check the full list of participating museums for the free-for-all after the jump. And be sure to read the end of the post for a list of considerations and additional details for planning your day.

Urban Light at LACMA

Urban Light at LACMA. Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Free Museum Participants

Annenberg Space for Photography

Autry Museum of the American West

The Broad

California African American Museum

California Science Center (General admission only. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endevour.)

Columbia Memorial Space Center

Craft & Folk Art Museum

Descanso Gardens 

Forest Lawn Museum

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Getty Center

Getty Villa (Free, timed tickets are required. Visit www.getty.edu)

GRAMMY Museum

Hammer Museum

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Japanese American National Museum (Free tickets available at janm.org/freeforall.)

Kidspace Children’s Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (General admission only; free tickets available at tarpits.org/freeforall)

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Los Angeles County Museum of Art<di

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Museum of Latin American Art

Museum of Tolerance 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (Free tickets available at nhm.org/freeforall)

Orange County Museum of Art

The Paley Center for Media

Palm Springs Art Museum

Pasadena Museum of California Art

Petersen Automotive Museum

Pomona College Museum of Art

Riverside Art Museum

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Skirball Cultural Center (Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served)

Sunnylands Center & Gardens(Excludes tours of the historic house and grounds)

University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach (includes the opening reception of Robert Irwin: Site Determined)

USC Fisher Museum (Offering free admission on Saturday, January 27, instead of Sunday, January 28)

USC Pacific Asia Museum

Zimmer Children’s Museum


What: SoCal Museum Free-For-All Day (official site of free-for-all-organizers)

When: Sunday, January 28, 2018

Where: Various locations throughout Los Angeles and Southern California

Remember that the free admission offer is for general museum admission only at participating museums and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply.

Because the free-for-all day is one of the most popular times to visit for the entire year, it is advised that you plan your visit(s) as early in the day in possible. In other words, expect a crowd!

For transit options, keep in mind Museums Free-for-All has partnered with Metro, encouraging visitors to Go Metro to explore the participating museums, many of which are a short walk away from Metro bus or rail. For fair discounts visit metro.net/discounts.

Check individual museum websites for hours, directions, and other visitor information.

And most of all, have fun!

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Cool Spots, sightseeing

Here’s a Preview of What You Can Expect at Enchanted: Forest of Light for 2017-2018

November 20, 2017 by Brian Champlin

Enchanted: Forest of Light is back at Descanso Gardens from November 19 through January 7, and they’re stepping up their game this year with a couple of new attractions, including a Starlight Garden and Aqueous, an interactive pathway of lights.

We were able to attend the preview night this past Saturday, and we’ve put together a quick video offering highlights of what you can expect. Give it a watch below!

For sake of clarification, my understanding is that some of the live performers that made cameos in the video above (the costumed dancers, the choir, etc…) were only their for the preview evening, so don’t expect that to be part of the experience if you decide to go.

Tickets for Enchanted: Forest of Light are on sale now starting at $28 for non-members of the botanical garden. Remember that tickets must be purchased in advance if you want to attend.

Additionally, if you enjoyed the above video, we urge you to subscribe to We Like L.A. on YouTube to get more of the same, and to get help finding new places to explore in Los Angeles.

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