25 Fun Things to do This Weekend in L.A. [7-16-2021 to 7-18-2021

Image via Descanso Gardens

As Los Angeles finds its way out of the pandemic and restrictions gradually ease, we’re continuing our bi-weekly round-ups of fun to-dos, mixing in the occasional online/virtual event with an ever-growing listen of in-person experiences.

This weekend, from July 16 to July 18, features a DiscOasis, an HBO takeover of the Santa Monica Pier, a Kite Festival in Chinatown, Summer Music Strolls at Descanso Gardens, Ice Cream Alley at Smorgasburg, and more!


Friday / All Weekend

1. DiscOasis -> Lights, disco, live performances, and food trucks, all presented in a lush, late-afternoon garden setting. That’s the premise behind DiscoOasis, a new timed experience kicking off at the South Coast Botanic Garden this Friday, and continuing through Sep. 6. Tickets start at $39 per person. Get more info and buy tickets here.

2. HBO Max x Santa Monica Pier -> HBO Max takes over the Santa Monica Pier July 15-18 with content-themed experiences throughout the park and freebies all weekend long. The public can ride the “HBO Max Ferris Reel,” enjoy a movie-inspired gondola highlighting upcoming movies Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Dune and Reminiscence and much more. HBO Max will also partner with local businesses on the pier for complimentary Space Jam: A New Legacy food items via HBO Max Premiere Perks passes. The passes are distributed to attendees after they ride the Ferris Reel and can be used any time after 5 p.m. Free to attend.

3. The OC Fair -> After a 2020 cancellation due to the pandemic, this year’s OC Fair returns on July 16 and runs Wednesdays to Sundays through August 15. Tickets are $12 weekday general admission (Wednesday, Thursday) and $14 for weekend general admission. General parking is $10. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

4. Summer Fridays at ROW DTLA -> Every other Friday shopping destination ROW DTLA will offer after-hours retail hours, food trucks on-site, live music, and a rose and oyster bar from Chesapeake Bay’s Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Get more info on ROW’s summer programming here.

5. Tristan Eaton at LBMA -> L.A. native Tristan Eaton’s will have his first solo museum exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art starting July 16. The exhibition showcases a 25-year history of the artist’s work, from street art to murals to design projects for Fisher-Price and Kidrobot. A ticketed (cost $20) opening reception featuring DJ-spun music and food/cocktails by Claire’s takes place this Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. More info on the exhibition here.

6. NHM Extended Hours -> Every Friday now through Aug. 6, Natural History Museum will offer extended Friday hours (from 5 to 8 p.m.) that feature a live DJ in the Nature Gardens along with do-it-yourself family activities and food for purchase from the NHM grill. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children. More details here.

7. 626 Night Market -> The SGV’s signature outdoor market returns to Santa Anita Park this weekend (July 16-18) with bites and goods for purchase from hundreds of food, merch, and craft vendors, plus arts, games, music, and entertainment attractions for the whole family. Admission is $5. Parking is free. More info here.

8. Grand Performances -> Grand Performances summer schedule of concerts continues with a jazzy performance by 9-piece band and artist collective Katalyst. 7 to 9 p.m. Free. All ages. Outdoors. More info here.

9. Parks After Dark Screenings -> As part of the their Parks After Dark programming, The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting three outdoor movie screenings this weekend at parks around the county: Tom and Jerry (2021) screens at Roosevelt Park, Onward (2020) screens at East Rancho Domingo Park in Compton, and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) screens at Athens Park. Free to attend. No reservations required. More info here.

10. The Art of the Brick -> The latest exhibit at the California Science Center showcase the world’s largest display of LEGO® art. Timed-entry required for the museum. Special exhibit prices run $19.75 for adults and $12.75 for kids. More details here.

11. The Huntington -> Enjoy the gardens during twilight hours Fridays through Sundays when The Huntington hosts Summer Evening Strolls from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. June through August. Advance tickets ($20 per adult) are required.

12. Legacies of Exchange ->The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation. Featuring Ai Weiwei, Huang Yong Ping, Wang Guangyi, Xu Bing, and more, the exhibition brings together 20 works of Chinese contemporary art created by 15 artists in response to international trade, political conflict, and global artistic exchange. Runs through Feb. 13, 2022.

13. Marina Drive-In Movies -> The Marina Del Rey drive-in movie series continues this weekend with two nights of screenings. Trolls and The Goonies play Friday followed by The Wizard of Oz and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Saturday night. Tickers run $20 per car (includes all passengers), max 8 people per vehicle. See the full schedule for the season and reserve a spot here.


14. Kite Festival -> This Saturday, Clockshop and California State Parks are hosting the First Annual Community & Unity Kite Festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park. The free event features flying demonstrations with kite masters, family art and printmaking workshops, and live musical performances. Runs from 2 to 6 p.m. More info here.

15. Jackalope -> This Saturday and Sunday, Jackalope brings its artisan market back to Central Park in Old Pasadena for a two-day event showcasing over 100 local vendors selling indie goods, clothing, jewelry, home decor, housewares, art, photography, and food. Outdoors. All-ages. Free to attend. Get more info here.


16. Summer Music Strolls -> This Saturday and Sunday, Descanso Gardens invites guests to enjoy the sounds of live music as they stroll through different botanical areas of the gardens. Enjoy classical music from the Sakura Cello Quintet, the sounds of sitar from the Paul Livingston Ensemble and mystical music from the Middle East performed by the Yuval Ron Ensemble. Tickets are $25 for non-members. Get more info here.

17. Zine Workshop -> This Saturday, the California African American Museum hosts Alyssa Olepau, a teaching artist from Able ARTS Work, as she guides guests in creating a zine that helps tell their individual story. Free with reservation. All-ages. Mask required. Get more info here.

18. Patches and Pins Expo -> If kitschy collectibles are your bag, head to Grand Central Market this weekend for a two-day event featuring dozens of vendors selling pins, patches, art, toys, vintage fashion, pop culture collectibles, retro nostalgia, sneakers and more. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Free to attend. More info and tickets here.


19. Dance Baby Dance -> This Sunday Grand Performances is hosting on a special afternoon dance party featuring live music, arts and crafts activities, and DJ-spun retro tunes. 1 to 5 p.m. at California Plaza. Free admission. Outdoors. All-ages. More info here.

20. Ice Cream Alley -> This Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and to celebrate Smorgasburg LA is bringing back Ice Cream Alley, a collection of close to a dozen local ice cream vendors popping up at this week’s market, including Afters Ice Cream, Atomic Creamery, Wanderlust Creamery, and more. Free admission. More info here.

21. KCRW World Festival -> Saxophone virtuoso Kamasi Washington brings his talents to the Hollywood Bowl this Sunday as part of 2021 World Festival series. Tickets are still available starting as low as $25. More info here.


22. Girl & The Goat -> Chicago’s widely popular Girl & The Goat opens it’s West Coast counterpart in Downtown’s Arts District this Thursday. James Beard award-wining Chef and Owner Stephanie Izard leads the restaurant’s expansion with a globally inspired menu that combines both signature dishes from the Chicago location such as goat empanadas and new, seasonal dishes highlighting California produce and local ingredients. On the beverage end expect a curated global wine list, craft cocktails and a rotating selection of craft beers. We suggest making reservations on Open Table as soon as possible, the restaurant is currently fully booked through August.


23. Genever -> Filipina women owned gin bar Genever in Westlake will fully open for service this Saturday. Genever’s original opening Bar Director Kelso Jean returns to spearhead the bar with a brand new summer cocktail menu fusing Filipino ingredients into inventive drinks. Order the Southeast Asian version of a White Russian “The Dude in HiFi”, it’s made with Lambanog, Bimini Coconut Gin, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, Horchata-infused coconut milk and house-made coconut bitters. Genever’s current hours are Thursday 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

24. Tacos Tu Madre x UNCOOL Pop-up -> Fusion taco makers Tacos Tu Madre and Larchmont’s UNCOOL Burgers has teamed up to create the Quesabirria Burger a classic smashburger, layered with griddled costra-style cheese filled with housemade short rib birria, topped with a spicy Jalisco salsa and jalapenos. The Quesabirria Burger is available for a limited time at UNCOOL, from July 17 – July 31. Follow @we.are.uncool on Instagram to redeem the burger for just $1 (in-store) this Saturday and Sunday. 

25. Employee’s Only -> West Hollywood’s award winning cocktail bar and restaurant Employees Only has reopened for indoor service. A new dinner menu designed by Chef Josh Buckwald (Rossoblu, Orso Pasta) features elevated bar bites, American classics, and Italian dishes with a Californian flare. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made through Resy. Employees Only is open Tuesday through Sunday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

Any notes or corrections? Want to suggest an event we should add to an upcoming list? Hit us up at [email protected].


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *