While we’ve already thoroughly covered how to enjoy a lazy Sunday in Los Angeles (you’ll definitely want to read that one), we figured it was high time we provided a guide on how to enjoy your other favorite day of the week: Saturday.
From archery classes and brewery tours to arcade warehouses and dance parties, there’s plenty of fun to be had in L.A. on Saturdays and we’ve compiled a handy list below to help get you started.
Oh, and the best part? It’s all FREE!
So have fun, save a few dollars, and enjoy another beautiful Saturday in in the city of angels.
Note: Some locations will having parking fees so make sure you do your research and plan ahead, including carpooling and/or taking public transit to save even more!
1. Royce’s Arcade Warehouse
The only thing that would make playing arcade games better is playing for free. Royce’s in Chatsworth hosts free-play on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a lineup of classics including Donkey Kong, NBA Jam, Ms. Pac-Man, Joust, Virtua Cop, and TMNT. And Centipede… lots of Centipede.
2. Star Parties at the Griffith Observatory
Once a month Griffith hosts Star Parties from 2 – 9:45 p.m. along with the assistance of astronomy pros who are light years smarter than the average person (at least when it comes to the moon and the stars). You can look at the moon and sun and on clear nights you might also be able to see a planet or two. The lines are cut off to make sure all viewing is completed before closing (10 p.m.) so arrive as early as possible to get a chance to look through the original Zeiss telescopes.
3. Artists & Fleas (Arts District & Venice)
The NY-based pop-up shop made its West Coast debut in 2014 and has since been hosting regular monthly events. If you’re a fan of the Melrose and Rose Bowl flea markets then you’ll love this one, which takes place along Abbot Kinney Blvd every first and fourth Saturday of the month.
4. Disney Concert Hall Tour
The Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry is only a little over a decade old but already an L.A. icon you can’t help but admire each time you pass by. If you haven’t been able to check out a show yet but have always wondered what it looks like inside fret not cause they’ve got you covered with complimentary hour-long tours twice a day on select days.
5. Visit Chung King Road/ Olvera Street
Olvera Street is a celebration of Mexican culture from the architecture to the food meanwhile Chung King Road in Chinatown comes alive at night. Olvera Street is home to a collection of specialty shops, cafes, and a roaming mariachi band plus you can schedule a free tour. Art lovers will find a multitude of art gallery openings on Saturdays.
6. Exhibits at LAPL
The Los Angeles Public Library has ongoing and special exhibits with previous exhibits focusing on music, Hollywood, and the Olympic Games all in relation to the City of Angels. Also note that the Central Library just opened a brand new gift shop that looks pretty fancy and is probably worth checking out.
7. Free Brewery Tours
Beer Aficionados and curious minds alike have probably wondered how beer goes from a grain to liquid. Eagle Rock Brewery and Golden Road Brewery offer free walking tour through their process. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and save some cash for a cold one.
8. Visit The Valley Relics Museum
The Valley Relics Museum is only open on Saturdays, but on that one glorious day each week you can head over to check out an amazing collection of historic (and very kitschy) memorabilia, including neon signs, classic cars, rare documents, photos, yearbooks, menus, art, clothing, vintage cars, and of course Bob’s Big Boy himself (pictured below). Admission is free and open to the public, but you can consider a small donation upon entrance. Hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday.
9. Dance Yourself Clean at The Satellite
That popular refrain tells you to dance like no one is watching and in no place is that probably more appropriate than at a fog-heavy dance party. This bare bones affair is all about the music with an ambience that relies on lasers, the aforementioned fog, and the energy of partygoers. Arrive before 10 p.m. for free admittance.
10. Independent Shakespeare Co. (summer)
All the world’s a stage and for ISC that stage is the Old Zoo at Griffith Park for free performances during the summer. The award-winning company also has shows throughout the year that offer free admission. They’re known for top-notch theatrical performances so be prepared for large crowds (donations encouraged).
11. Metro Art Tours (first Saturdays)
Taking the metro in L.A. is an adventure unto itself but in the rush of getting to your destination it’s likely you haven’t had a chance to admire the art work in each station. The tour is two hours long starting at the Hollywood/Highland Station and it’s round trip plus you get a free TAP card loaded with a day pass so the tour plus travel is free.
12. Zenshuji Soto Mission
The temple hosts free Zen meditation sessions Saturday mornings if you want to start off your weekend with some peace of mind (and there’s free parking). At least one Zen priest is present during the session and they’re also available to assist you beforehand.
13. The Strand trail along the coast/ Bonfire at Dockweiler
The Strand aka Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes along the shoreline starting at Will Rogers State Beach all the way to Redondo Beach. The path also goes through Dockweiler which is a popular spot for getting together with friends for a bonfire. Must haves include: wood, graham crackers, chocolate, s’mores, and a jacket cause it’s chilly but we’ll worth the fun and the views of the sunset.
14. Santa Monica Pier Historical Walking Tour
You’ve probably walked the pier countless times but do you know the rich history of one of the most iconic sites in L.A.? The tour features stories spanning more than a century involving the original Muscle Beach, celebs including Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, and some lesser known spots that show there’s more to the Pier than the Ferris wheel. If you’ve got time to spare you can also tour the Marion Davies guest house at the Annenberg Community Beach house and check out their art gallery.
15. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum
The FIDM museum works with the fashion school of the same name so you’ll see items by Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Christian Dior among other notable designers.
16. All Requests Live! UCB Theatre
There’s the improv that happens when you’re singing in your car and don’t know the lyrics then there’s the magic that happens when the pros do it. The Harmonic Vibe Experience is a rock folk band and they’ll perform a setlist made up entirely of requests from the audience with stories of their time on the road sprinkled throughout the show, which takes place every fourth Saturday of the month.
17. Archery intro classes (Woodley Park + Pasadena Roving Archers)
Calling all first-time archers here’s your chance to work those muscles and try something new. Pasadena Roving Archers hosts morning lessons for FREE for first-timers and they provide all equipment (just arrive by 7:15 a.m.). Likewise, Woodley Park Archers also offers morning classes with equipment, just make sure you get there by 8 for registration.
18. Check out a Program or Public Engagement Exhibit at the Hammer Museum
They’ve got workshops, in-gallery performances, readings, and exhibition tours revolving around poetry, arts, crafts, even perfume making. Meanwhile, their public engagement sector connects visitors with unique forms of social practice, providing both an interactive and educational experience.
19. Watch a Show at Sonos Studio
The venue/gallery is an intimate spaces that hosts shows and listening parties with some bold faced names in the indie music industry (Mikky Ekko, My Morning Jacket, Courtney Barnett) which often means long lines and no guarantee you’ll get in. But if you get there early enough you’ll enjoy being just a few feet away from a performer putting on a one-of-a-kind show that you didn’t even have to spend money on.
What are your favorite free things to do on a Saturday in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!