Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [7-28-2023 to 7-30-2023]

Venice Beach
Venice Sign. Photo by Christina Champlin.

As we wrap up another July in SoCal let’s get you dialed in for the weekend. Options are aplenty.

This July 28-30 in Los Angeles, you’ll find the Midsummer Scream convention in Long Beach, Off the 405 at The Getty, Park After Dark Festival in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Venice Beach Games, Rock the Block in Crenshaw, Grand Performances in DTLA, and much more.


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

Pershing Square’s Divercity Multicultural Concert Series, produced in partnership with the LA County Department of Parks, has four more dates on the docket for the summer, including a pair this weekend. Saturday, Jul. 29, house music vibes ascend for the Powertools 30th Anniversary celebration, then on Sunday, Jul. 30 you can see a catch by 112, Sean Kingston, and J Holiday.  All events are free to attend.

Go Metro: Take the B or D Line to Pershing Square Station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft at JAPANHOUSEM FA > Now on view at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, culture collides with Japanese craftsmanship when POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft. Beloved characters like Pikachu and Charizard are ingeniously integrated into literal works of art large from ceramic to textiles and metal work. Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, with support from The Pokémon Company, the exhibition features over 70 works. Gotta see em all! Admission is free. Open seven days a week. More info here.

Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival FA > The Independent Shakespeare Co.’s production of Julius Caesar in Griffith Park wraps up with performances today through Sunday. The company takes a week off, then from August 9 to September 3, catch A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the same Wednesday to Sunday schedule. All shows begin at 7 p.m. Free to attend, but donations heartily encouraged. More info here.

The 15th Annual Sake on the RocksM-> This Friday, the Little Tokyo Service Center hosts their annual food and sake fundraiser Sake on the Rocks at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Tickets cost $175 and give you full access to premium sake and beer vendors, unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages. More info here.

Fourth Fridays in Long BeachFA > Retro Row in Long Beach comes alive on the fourth Friday of the month with special pop-ups, live performances, and extended store hours from shops on 4th St between Temple and Cherry. The event runs 6 to 9 p.m. Get more info here. More info here. More info here.

The Music Center’s Dance DTLAM FA > Free evening dance parties continue at The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza every Friday throughout the summer. Dance instructors will be on hand to teach guests easy-to-follow steps, allowing everyone to get into the groove right from the jump. This week, enjoy a Samba night with instruction from Fransini Giraldo and tunes from DJ Yukicito. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Grand PerformancesM FA TP -> The signature performance series at DTLA’s California Plaza has two shows on the schedule for this weekend. On Friday, the spoken word takes center stage with LA Stories hosted by Mike The PoeT. Then on Saturday, vocalist/songwriter Martha Redbone performs a unique fusion of gumbo of folk, blues, and gospel. Both events start with DJ sets at 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Midsummer ScreamM > If you can’t wait until October for a Halloween fix, this three-day convention puts SoCal’s haunt and horror community in focus with over 350 exhibitors, a dozen mini-haunts and attractions, panels, presentations, live performances, and more. Takes place this Friday to Sunday at the Long Beach Convention Center. Tickets start as low as $35 for a one-day pass. Get more info here.

Zoo Friday Nights -> This Friday, the L.A. Zoo continues their summer series of weekly after-hours events, offering access the zoo grounds at the sunset hour while experiencing carousel rides, food delicious bites for purchase, beverages, DJ’d music, and a family dance party. Tickets start at $25 per adult. Runs 6 to 9 p.m. More info here.

BE KIND, REWIND at Tiki NoFA > BE KIND, REWIND’s 90s/2000s pop-up comes to the Tiki No on alternating Fridays. This week, catch the usual assortment of era-appropriate tunes, throwback board games, and an N64 set up so you can test your Mario Kart skills. Fun starts at 9 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles ConcertsM FA > ** The Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles annual summer-long series of free concerts features acclaimed and emerging talent from a broad range of musical genres. On Friday, Desert Daze Presents Imarhan, Liberate Elemental Forces, and DJ set by Al Lover’s World Party; On Saturday catch Boombox in the Park featuring performances by Monalisa, Inka One, Ben Diggin, DJ Analog, Mantron, J. Rocc, and The Gaslamp Killer; On Sunday The Fowler Museum and The NEA Present
Weedie Braimah & the Hands of Time, and SK Kakraba. All concerts free to attend. All free to attend. No reservation required. Get more info here.

Off the 405 at The Getty FA > The Getty’s signature outdoor concert series pops up with another event this Saturday, headlined with a performance by Iranian-American multidisciplinary artist Rahill. The main show starts at 7:30 p.m., with a DJ set to precede at 6 p.m. Free tickets are required. More info here.

Tournament of Roses Association and POP Sunset Concert FA > This Saturday, theTournament of Roses Association and Pacific Opera Project present a free 90-minute family sunset concert on the lawn of the Tournament House in Pasadena. Guests are treated to operatic and musical theater hits from shows including Rigoletto, CarmenLa TraviataThe Barber of SevilleWest Side Story, and more. The public is invited to picnic starting at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. This event is completely free to the public, and guests can RSVP on POP’s website.

Venice Beach GamesFA TP > Exercise enthusiasts can head to Venice Beach this Saturday to join free competitions and classes organized by over 80 sports and fitness groups, all as part of the Venice Beach Games. Expect everything from skating and soccer to parkour to pickleball. There will be two group fitness stages, a martial arts zone, and a vendor village to explore. Events run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival -> This Saturday at Marine Stadium Long Beach, stop by for the largest dragon boat competitions in California. Guest can expect Chinese traditional art demonstrations, acrobats, dance, music and martial arts performances. Event runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More info here.

Pickleball and a Booze-Free Party -> Venice’s non-alcoholic bar and bottle shop The New Bar will host a pickleball tournament on Saturday in partnership with pro player and coach Matt Manase. The ticketed event is also a celebration of the bar’s first birthday and folks are invited in for music, bites, an open bar and pickleball. Tickets cost $35 for tournament all inclusive and $25 for GA, free play, bites and drinks. More info here

JADE Pool Party at Broken Shaker -> Broken Shaker at Freehand Los Angeles, in Downtown LA will host a rooftop pool party with JADE this Saturday from 2-6 p.m. for the Queer, Trans and BIPOC community. Attendees will enjoy a DJ set by Bianca Maieli and Nico Craig. Guests are encouraged to show up in their most luxurious silk robe or most risque pool look. Tickets for the event cost $25 pre-sale and $30 at the door. More info here

Free Yoga at Belles Beach House FA > Hawaiian-inspired Venice restaurant Belles Beach House is hosting a complimentary yoga class with 728 Yoga this Saturday on their beachside patio. Guests also receive a 15% discount on brunch service. RSVP here


Park After Dark Festival FA TP > National Park Service rangers from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area are hosting a family-friendly, nighttime festival at Peter Strauss Ranch this Saturday. There will telescopes on hand for stargazing, a one-mile evening hike, and educational booths featuring nocturnal animals and insects. Plus, Chumash Elder Dennis Garcia will tell “campfire” stories in the outdoor auditorium. Programming runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Free to attend, and free parking too. More info here.

NoHo Summer Nights: Elvis M FA > NoHo Summer Nights brings film screenings and/or live performances to North Hollywood Recreation Center every Saturday through September 2. This weekend, catch a screening of Elvis (2022). Free to attend, and no RSVP required. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Family Time: Arrullos MexicanosM > This Saturday, the GRAMMY Museum hosts an afternoon of fun featuring live music from Platoon’s modern lullabies collection: Arrullos Mexicanos. Hosted on the Museum’s Rooftop Terrace, the event will feature fun activities like family yoga, kids face-painting, a DJ set by Mexican Institute of Sound and an interactive performance by Tia Leah’s Neighborhood. Adult tickets are $10, kids are $8. Runs noon to 4 p.m. More info here.

Rock the BlockFA TP > This Sunday, Rock the Block takes over the Crenshaw District with an afternoon of live entertainment, live mural making, Mariachi, a kids zone, and more. The main stage pops up in front of White Hall Arts Academy at the intersection of 6th & 54th Ave. Events run noon to 5 p.m. Free to attend. More and full lineup here.

2023 Summer Sounds in WeHoFA > The City of West Hollywood’s Summer Sounds concert series continues this Sunday at Plummer Park with an afternoon of country, Americana, and folk tunes from Hannah Blaylock and Honey Whiskey Trio. Runs 4 to 6:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Jazz in the Park in PasadenaM FA > Pasadena’s Playhouse Village Park continues its string of summer jazz concerts this Sunday with a performance by the Javier Vergara Quartet. Event runs 5 to 7 p.m. Free attend. More info here.

Polliwog Concerts in the ParkFA > This Sunday, Manhattan Beach’s Polliwog Park Amphitheater hosts Concerts in the Park with a performance by Kenny Metcalf as Elton John. Free to attend. Starts at 5 p.m. More info here.

Killer RidesFA > Once a month, Killer Shrimp Restaurant & Bar in Marina del Rey opens its parking lot to hot rod, classic car, and motorcycle displays. Runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday. Free to attend. More info here.


Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)

Schiacciate sandwiches at Sogno Toscano. Photo courtesy of Sogno Toscano.

Sogno Toscano -> East Coast Italian specialty foods distributor, Sogno Toscano, has opened its first West Coast cafe and marketplace in Santa Monica (1512 Montana Avenue). The new location is both a cafe and marketplace with counter-service, indoor seating and an open-air dining patio. Guests will have access to Italian products in the market place normally only available to top restaurants in the U.S. As for the cafe, the menu is made up of Schiacciate sandwiches, Pinsa Romana, salads and meat and cheese boards dressed in top tier items usually reserved for Michelin star restaurants. 

KinKan at Cafe Caravan -> On Sunday, KinKan pops up at Cafe Caravan in Los Feliz to hosts “Moo Hong,” a Kushiyaki Night, giving guests a chance to experience a more casual side of KinKan’s Thai/Japanese cooking. Chef Nan Yimcharoen’s menu will be entirely made up of skewers grilled over a binchotan. Fun starts at 6 p.m. and Cafe Caravan will be pouring wine and beers throughout the evening.  

ZEF BBQ at Benny Boy Brewing -> This Sunday, stop by Benny Boy Brewing for an evening with ZEF BBQ. They’ll be serving up some of their favorite dishes featured on Netflix’s “Barbecue Showdown”. The menu includes Chef Logan’s “wannabe BBQ” Glazed Beef Cheek, Money Michelle’s Pit Smoked Ribs with Dad’s Sawce, Cali Boy Ed’s Famous Tri Tip and Chimichurri, Pit Roasted Chicken Drummy, and a variety of barbeque sides. Tickets cost $60 (food and beer), $75 (food, beer plus a meet and greet). More info here.

The Return of Sour Cherry, a Transylvania pop-up -> On Saturday, Lemon Poppy Kitchen will host an encore of their Transylvanian pop-up Sour Cherry. The concept is the brainchild of Lemon Poppy Kitchen Chef and Co-owner, Anca Caliman and Chef Eden Batki (formerly of Elf Cafe and Dune Kitchen). Inspired by their culinary exploration of Transylvania, the duo will showcase a three course menu ($45) centered around Transylvanian grilling. Reservations can be made on OpenTable under Experiences. 

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