Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [8-11-2023 to 8-13-2023]

A crowd gathers for Dance DTLA at The Music Center. Photo by Brian Champlin.

Alright Angelenos. Shake off those thunderstorm vibes, cause this weekend shines bright with possibilities (including lots of free ones).

This August 11-13 in Los Angeles, check out a community bike ride at CAAM, the LA Art Book Fair, a Grease sing-along at Ovation, the Natsumatsuri Family Festival, KCRW Summer Nights in Santa Monica, a Concert in the Dome at Mt. Wilson, free screenings at Vidiots, Getty Garden Concerts for kids, and more. Check out all your options below!


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

Shuttle over to California African American Museum on Saturday for a leisurely 3-mile group bike ride, checking out the architecture and gardens of the surrounding area. Afterwards the group will return to peruse the museum’s latest exhibitions. Free to attend. Runs 10 a.m. to noon. Bikes and helmets to be provided by Metro Bike Share. 16+ only. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the E Line to Expo Park / USC station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

LA Art Book FairM > This Thursday through Sunday, connect with artists’ book publishers and browse new works at this four-day fair coming to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA over the second weekend of August. Expect conversations, workshops, performances, and other artist-led programs, including an opening night performance by Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra & Friends. Opening night tickets are $25, Friday and Saturday are $5 admission, and Sunday is free. More info here.

Shakespeare in The ParkFA TP > The second half of ISC’s Shakespeare in The Park season returns this week with a staging of A Midsummer Nights Dream in Griffith Park beginning August 9, and then running every Wednesday to Sunday through September 3. Registration to attend (free!) is not required, but highly encouraged, as are donations. Performances begin at 7 p.m. More info here.

Night Market at Ivy StationM FA > Culver City’s Ivy Station is throwing a flashback edition of their Friday night market, offering 25+ vendors, food trucks, drinks, games, and a playlist full of throwback jams. Free to attend. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. More info here.

Levitt Pavilion Los AngelesM FA > The Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles annual summer concert series features acclaimed and emerging talent from a broad range of musical genres, and the action continues with weekend: Friday features Vicky Tafoya and Nick Waterhouse; On Saturday, catch Flor Amargo, Los Jornaleros Del Norte, and Pacifico Dance Company; then on Sunday check out Mayan Music at the 6th Annual Mundo Maya Day.  All concerts free to attend. No reservation required. Get more info here.

Grease Sing-Along at Ovation HollywoodM FA > This Friday, Outfest and Ovation Hollywood team up for a Grease sing-along screening, to be staged at the shopping center’s central courtyard. The event is free with RSVP, and guests can join a raffle to win vouchers to the LA Phil and Hollywood Bowl, pre-screening lawn games (starting at 5 p.m.), a free Ovation Hollywood blanket to keep, complimentary popcorn, and discounted treats from the TCL Chinese Theatre Concessions Stand. Film begins at 6:30 p.m. More info here.

Imprinting in Time: Chinese Printmaking at the Beginning of a New EraM > This Friday, USC Pacific Asia Museum debuts their latest exhibit, Imprinting in Time: Chinese Printmaking at the Beginning of a New Era. On view through November 12, 2023, the collection of works on display survey printmaking by Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present organized into three sections: the Modern Woodcut Movement, the Post Mao Era, and Crisis and Hope Since the 1990s. GA admission is $10, and free for children 17 and under. 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 an evening of Disco with instruction by Andy Vaca. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Summer of SalsaM FA TP > LA Plaza’s summer concert series continues this Friday with Son Mirón Orchestra, a group made up of musicians from all over Latin America. Expect traditional romantic and modern salsa music to dance the night away to. Free admission. More info here.

Playhouse Village Park Moves in the ParkM FA > The Pasadena Playhouse and Playhouse Village Foundation team up to host a free screening La La Land on the lawn at Playhouse Village Park this Friday. Starts around 8 p.m. Blankets and picnicking encouraged. More info here.

Movies On The Roof -> My Valley Pass and Westfield Fashion Square are offering another season of outdoor film screenings featuring cozy bean bag seating, sweet views, and a lineup of new and classic films. Movies On The Roof runs every Friday and Saturday through the end of August, and tickets are $10, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit Hope Of The Valley. This weekend, catch My Big Fat Greek Wedding on Friday, then Mamma Mia! on Saturday. Get more info on the lineup here.

Natsumatsuri Family Festival at Japanese American National MuseumM FA TP > This Saturday’s free annual summer celebration in Little Tokyo features performances by TAIKOPROJECT and Yu-ki Project, craft stations, interactive story time and games. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info here.

Nisei Week Japanese FestivalM FA > The 9-day celebration of Japanese and Japanese American heritage kicks off in Little Tokyo this weekend with a coronation of Nisei Week Queen at the Aratani Theater on Saturday, followed by a Grand Parade on Sunday. More info here.


Pluto TV x VidiotsFA TP > This Saturday and Sunday, Pluto TV teams up with L.A.-based non-profit video store and theater, Vidiots, for free screenings of six different films — plus complimentary Pluto TV swag and popcorn. The lineup includes Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Attack the Block, A View to a Kill, Freaky Friday, La Dolce Vita, and First Blood. Free tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. More info and complete schedule here.

Grand PerformancesM FA > This Saturday, Grand Performances continues its summer of free concerts at Cal Plaza with a celebration of 50 Years of Hip-Hop, featuring sets by DJ Battlecat and Thes One. 2092 Funk Radio Records opens the show with tunes at 6 p.m. Free to attend. No RSVP required. More info here.

Family Workshop: Block Printing on Tote Bags with Ernesto VazquezM FA > Self-Help Graphics’ monthly workshop at the East Los Angeles County Library is back this Saturday, offering a tutorial on block printing on tote bags. Runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

KCRW Summer Nights at KCRW HQM FA > This Saturday, KCRW Summer Nights heads to the station’s headquarters in Santa Monica for a party in the courtyard featuring live performances, DJ sets, food trucks, and drinks for purchase. Music for the evening includes a set by Pearl & The Oysters, plus music from KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Francesca Harding. Starts at 7p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Getty Garden Concerts For Kids FA > The Getty’s Garden Concerts for Kids bring free outdoor music to the museum’s central garden on select Saturdays and Sundays in August. This weekend, catch a pair of performances by Sonia De Los Santos. Starts at 4 p.m. More info here.

Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome -> On Sunday, Mount Wilson Observatory continues its 2023 season of classical concerts hosted inside the historic 100-inch telescope dome, where the acoustics are said to be some of the finest in the world. This month the program features the Zelter String Quartet. There will be two performances, one at 3 p.m. and the other at 5 p.m. Tickets are $55. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)


Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich from Pa’s Biscuitisserie. Photo courtesy of Pa’s Biscuitisserie.

Pa’s Biscuitisserie Pop Up -> New pop-up biscuit concept Pa’s Biscuitisserie pays tribute to chef Nick Westbrook’s Southern roots and the biscuit eateries he grew up visiting. Pa’s Georgia-style “drop biscuit” recipe, made with specially sourced soft winter wheat, captures the essence of homemade goodness from his childhood, when he crafted biscuits with his grandfather (“Pa”). Catch Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Coucou in Venice August 13-14 and 20-21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For the pop up, Westbrook’s menu is divided into three styles—sandwich, gravy, and sweet. Highlights included a Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich,  Spicy Lamb Sausage & Gravy in a goat milk bechamel, and a classic Jam & Honey Butter Biscuit. More info here.

Maple Block Meat Co. Grand Central Market Grand Opening -> Maple Block Meat Co. is opening its second location at Grand Central Market on Thursday, August 10, offering delicious carved-to-order barbecue in Downtown Los Angeles. The menu will include favorites from their Culver City flagship, such as Hot-Honey Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Chopped Pork Sandwich, Smoked Wings, slow-smoked Tri-Tip, and protein-based salads. Notably, Maple Block’s famous brisket, smoked over peach wood for 12-14 hours, will be available exclusively on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, until it runs out. Adding to the variety, Maple Block Meat Co. is introducing dishes from their pop-up concept, Maple Block Chicken, at the new location. For those before-game bites, Pit Master Rudy Suazo has created a special bar snack menu with loaded brisket fries, hotdogs, soft pretzels, and more for hungry Dodger fans. Beyond the food offerings, the Grand Central Market location will also feature a Beer & Wine Garden. Operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with extended hours on Saturday and Sunday, opening at 10 a.m. 

Smorgasbar -> Smorgasburg is set to open Smorgasbar on Thursday, August 10 (that’s today!) at ROW DTLA. The outdoor bar run by Fernando Lopez (I Love Micheladas, Guelaguetza), will serve local craft beers like Ogopogo, Common Space, and Brouwerij West as well as micheladas, tap cocktails curated by Bricia Lopez, and wines from Flask & Field. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m. the bar will also host weekly pop-up food vendors from Smorgasburg’s diverse food lineup. For the grand opening, Evil Cooks and Cali Dumplings will be offering signature dishes and DJ Natalie La Rose will set the scene with some curated music. More info here

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