In last week’s Metro x We Like L.A. collab, we stitched together a rundown of upcoming holiday markets that are a) chock full of local, indie sellers and b) accessible by public transit. Of course, the thing about shopping is that shopping means spending. And spending, especially in this inflationary era, is bound to put a thumping on your wallet.
But you know what’s nice? Having a handy list of free things to do around the city in your back pocket so you can offset a few costs by trimming your entertainment budget. Hence, our fresh rundown of 40 days of freebies is right on time.
In view over the next month-plus, you can explore seasonal celebrations, holiday lights festivals, stand-up comedy shows, live talks, art activations, annual parades, workshops and lots more. All free, and (almost) all accessible by Metro bus or rail.
Let’s get you started below.
Free Things To Do
M = Metro Accessible
M Night Games brings back-to-back evenings of family-friendly, immersive gameplay to Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center. Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Grand Park / Civic Center station OR take the A or E Lines to Grand Ave Arts / Bunker Hill Station.
M Hauser & Wirth hosts a performance by Puerto-Rican collective Poncili Creación as part of an exhibition programming series for Nonmemory. Go Metro: Take the A or E Line to Little Tokyo Station.
M The Ivy Station Night Market returns to help you holiday shopping at this autumnal edition of our monthly night market on the Ivy Station lawn in Culver City. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Culver City station.
M The annual Inglewood Open Studios art walk offers a mix of tours and talks at galleries and artists studios in the city of Inglewood. Go Metro: Take the K Line to Downtown Inglewood Station.
November 12: Check out the SoCal Zine Fest at Brewport Tap House in El Segundo.
M Self Help Graphics Wellness Wednesdays are back at Latinx Plants in Boyle Heights, featuring an ancestor portrait workshop led by artist Dalila Paola Méndez. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Soto station.
November 15: 2023 Pier Lighting and Holiday Open House in Manhattan Beach Pier kicks off the holiday season in the South Bay.
M The November edition of All Space Considered brings Griffith Observatory curatorial staff as together for a discussion/presentation on the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science. Go Metro: Take the B Line to Vermont/Sunset station then ride the DASH Observatory Shuttle (free to ride) to Griffith Observatory.
M The City of Santa Monica hosts their Official Holiday Tree Lighting Party, featuring live musical entertainment and a visit from Santa. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Downtown Santa Monica station.
M The 2023 edition of the holiday lights installation SPARKLE DTLA at The Bloc debuts with a special live performance, ugly sweater competition, and holiday treats. Go Metro: Take the A, B, D, or E Line to 7th St / Metro Center.
M The Great Los Angeles Walk returns for its 18th installment, beginning and ending the route at the Griffith Park bear statue on Los Feliz Blvd. Go Metro: Take Line 207 to Western/Franklin.
M The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission hosts a Fall Festival at Johnny Carson Park (rescheduled from September 30) featuring food trucks, live performances, art vendors, and an outdoor screening of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Go Metro: Take Line 155 to Alameda & Bob Hope EB.
M The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade returns for its 44th edition, featuring an irreverent and oddball cast of characters marching down Colorado Blvd in Old Pasadena. Go Metro: Take the A Line to Memorial Park station.
M El Segundo’s outdoor mall The Point celebrates Small Business Saturday with a Sun & Sea Collective Pop Up Market. Go Metro: Take Line 125 to Rosecrans / Sepulveda OR Line 232 to Sepulveda / Rosecrans.
M The Bob Baker Marionette Theater and 826LA celebrate the opening of the Resizing Reality exhibit at the Time Travel Mart in Echo Park. Go Metro: Take Line 4 to Sunset / Echo Park.
M L.A. County hosts a tree lighting ceremony with special holiday festivities at The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza. Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Grand Park / Civic Center station OR take the A or E Lines to Grand Ave Arts / Bunker Hill Station.
M The Uptown Village Holiday Market comes to the Expo Arts Center in Long Beach in conjunction with the Bixby Knolls First Fridays Art Walk. Go Metro: Take Line 60 to Long Beach / San Antonio.
M The Holidayfest on South Lake Ave in Pasadena offers a day of family activities, shopping deals, holiday music, and a Santa’s Village. Go Metro: Take Lines 177/267/662 to Del Mar / Lake.
M Conscious Market brings local, curated vendors to Santa Monica’s Third Street Market Promenade every first Saturday of the month, and come December they’ll be hosting a special holiday edition of the pop-up. Go Metro: Take the E Line to Downtown Santa Monica station.
M CicLAvia comes to South L.A. up with a 6-mile, car-free course along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd from Crenshaw to Central Av. Go Metro: Access the route by stops along three different Metro lines, including the A, E, and K Lines.
December 3: Art at the Airport is a gallery open house event featuring the works of 20+ artists on display at an airplane hangar the Santa Monica Airport.
M DTLA ArtNight runs every first Thursday of the month, activating 25+ galleries along Downtown’s Historic Core. Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Pershing Square station OR take the A or E or Lines to Historic Broadway Station.
M The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade returns for the 61st edition, offering musical entertainment, food trucks, and a pre-parade fireworks display. Go Metro: Take Line 108 to Mindanao / Lincoln.
M The Getty celebrates the exhibition Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela (1928–1978) with a free jazz performance, discussion event, and complimentary bites. Go Metro: Take Line 761 to Getty Center Dr / Sepulveda Blvd.
M Jackalope Indie Craft Market brings 175 vendors to Downtown Burbank over a two-day event. Go Metro: Take Line 92 to Magnolia / San Fernando OR Take Lines 154/165/294 to 1st / Magnolia.
December 10: The El Segundo Holiday Parade returns with guests as the Grand Marshals… the 2023 El Segundo Little League World Series Championship Team!
How Do We Hear America? is a special evening of music at Zócalo Public Square featuring compositions from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, artist, and 2023 MacArthur fellow Raven Chacon. Go Metro: Take the A or E line to Pico station OR take Lines 35/38 along Broadway.
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