Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome. Since time is precious in this fast paced city we curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles for every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).
This weekend in L.A. from Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 18 features Echo Park Rising, Roaring Nights at the LA Zoo, Summer Nights at the Tar Pits, LA Taco Festival, Hermosa Beach Summer Series, CicLAvia and MUCH more.
Remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.
Hope you find the rundown useful and, as always, enjoy your weekend!
Keep in mind that while we retain complete editorial control of our content, for some of the ticketing options provided we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links.
Friday August 16th, 2019
1. Echo Park Rising returns for its ninth year to celebrate music, creativity, diversity, and small businesses of Echo Park. The music festival will feature multiple live music stages and activities such as free tours of the historic Jensens Rec Center, a Echo Park Lake history & nature walk, a free screening of A Hard Day’s Night at the Echo Park Lake, special happy hour menus at surrounding restaurants, discounts at local storefronts and much more. Happening all weekend. FREE
2. Ensemble Shakespeare Theater returns to Descanso Gardens Friday and Saturday for an immersive theater production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that will have guests weaving through the Gardens to follow the magical and adventure filled production.
3. Pennywise returns to Hollywood with a second terrifying, immersive event. The Derry Canal Days Festival will open to the public on August 15 at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, drawing from the forthcoming IT Chapter Two, which hits theaters on September 6. There will be 10 different interactive spaces over the course of a whole 40 minutes for each guests to enjoy. The event runs August 15 through September 8 with daily hours from 2 to 11 p.m. Reservations are free and can be made online. You may join the standby line outside the attraction as well. The event is open to those 18+ or 17-year-olds who are accompanied by an adult. FREE
4. The Los Angeles Zoo’s annual after-hours music series, Roaring Nights, is back for summer 2019. Come experience a party atmosphere featuring DJs, bands, a Silent Disco combined with animal talks and feedings plus a number of food trucks. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
5. Summer Nights at the Tar Pits returns for an evening party featuring DJs, cocktails, museum exploration, discussions and more. FREE
6. OUE SkySpace LA hosts a summer night party two nights in a row this weekend with guest DJs starting at 9 p.m. with the city lights sparkling nearly 1000 feet above DTLA. The first drink is on the house too.
7. The Wiltern will host a screening of Oliver Stone’s 1991 film The Doors: Final Cut in 4K restoration this Friday. The party will include a tribute performance by Strange Days. Themed cocktails, and photo opps will also be available. Dressing the part is is highly encouraged.
8. The Hollywood Bowl will host Jurassic Park in Concert live to picture this Friday and Saturday.
9. The world’s largest Korean culture convention KCON stops in Los Angeles from August 15-18 for a celebration of music, workshops, meet-and-greets, and more, plus two nights of concerts at Staples Center.
10. Catch Kevin Shea at Pasadena’s Ice House Comedy Club. A frequent comedian on Comedy Central, The Tonight Show and other late night shows, Shea is also known for being one of The Kims of Comedy with Bobby Lee, Steve Byrne, and Ken Jeong. (DISCOUNTED) via Goldstar
11. On Friday, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater will debut a grand organ installation. Following the organ show, guests will enjoy the theater’s first show to run in their new home at the historic York Theater in Highland Park.
12. The Music Center’s Dance DTLA features live music and/or DJs paired with expert dance instructors providing beginner group dance lessons for attendees. Each night has a different dance theme. The series continues with Motown/Funk at The Music Center Plaza. Dance DTLA continues on select Fridays through August 30. FREE
13. Head to the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Los Angeles LGBT Centers OUT UNDER THE STARS series this Friday. Labyrinth will be screened and guests can enjoy food and drink from local vendors, music by a DJ, celebrity guest appearances, free swag and more.
14. Shakespeare By The Sea will once again offer a ten-week program of admission-free performances with two featured productions: The Comedy of Errors and Henry V at a variety of venues across Los Angeles on Wednesday through Saturday. FREE
15. The Labyrinth Masquerade Ball happening August 16-17 at the Millennium Biltmore in DLTA is a unique experience featuring extravagant costumes, performances, multiple ballrooms with dancing, mythological acts, special effects and more.
16. Spend the season sipping wine during sunset hour at Barnsdall Art Park’s Friday Night Wine Party Series. Happening on the lawn of architectural gem the Hollyhock House, the evening features a fine selection of wines curated by Silverlake Wine, a live DJ and tours of the house. The series happens every Friday evening till September 6.
17. Back for the 16th year in a row, The Independent Shakespeare Co. presents Shakespeare in the Park at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park with free performances of either Pericles or Twelfth Night Wednesday through Sunday. FREE
18. Summer Friday Night Drive-In at the Roadium returns every Friday evening from June 7 to August 30 to revive your favorite films in a classic 1950’s drive-in setting. The series continues with a screening of Monsters Inc.
19. As part of Beverly Hills third annual BOLD Summer the city will host several happenings on a weekly basis every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday throughout the month. This week there will be architectural tours, temporary large art installations and the Beverly Hills Art Walk & Trolley. FREE
20. Odd Nights At The Autry feature a collection of over 200 vendors, 20 gourmet food trucks, a beer garden, custom handmade treasures and live local bands.
21. “The Assassination of Edgar Allan Poe,” weaves in and out of the many Victorian mansions at Highland Park’s Heritage Square Museum. The show follows the strange life and mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe through multiple storylines. Audience members decide which storyline to follow (literally) in this immersive theatrical event and draw their own conclusion on how the famous writer died. The show runs Friday through Sunday.
22. The 15th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival will screen over 400 films from 30 different countries during the festival’s 10-day run from August 8-17 at TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood.
Saturday August 17th, 2019
23. The LA Taco Festival aims to bring the city together to eat tacos and support a good cause – helping homeless youth succeed. Jovenes, a nonprofit working to help homeless youth ages 18 to 25, created the festival in 2009 as a way to bring people together, support youth, and enjoy tacos. Admission is free for all ages, with tacos available for purchase.
24. Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey hosts Rocket Fever, the only annual urban rocket event in Los Angeles where kids of all ages can build and launch their own solid fuel model rockets all day long. Water rockets, stomp rockets, and straw rockets are free to build. A specialized rocket building class cost $7. All other activities will be free of charge.
25. Pod Save America, a podcast hosted by former Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, and Dan Pfeiffer, is going on tour for a live conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency. The tour will feature guest co-host Jemele Hill and performances by Maggie Rogers, Amanda Seale, Best Coast and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
26. Hermosa Beach Summer Series, presented by KROQ is a two-weekend long free community event August 17-18 and 24-25 each offering a lineup of music, comedy, movies on the beach, wellness activities and family-friendly experiences. FREE
27. KCRW Summer Nights will take place at KCRW HQ this Saturday with a performance by Andrew Bird with KCRW DJs Chris Douridas and Novena Carmel. Events are free and open to all-ages. FREE
28. The Hammer museums series Catch a Thrill! Celebrating 10 Years of the American Genre Film Archive will screen punk rock film Rock’N’Roll High School.
29. A colorful, winding installation called The Second Home Serpentine Pavilion is now open at the La Brea Tar Pits for the summer and its 100% free for the public to roam and explore. The pavilion is open daily and will run through November 24. FREE
30. The Nisei Week Japanese Festival continues August 17-18 with unique cultural celebrations in historic Little Tokyo. Highlights include a Gyoza Eating Championship, live entertainment, cultural exhibits, food and more.
31. The first-ever Museum of Weed is now open in Los Angeles. This 30,000 square foot space of ‘higher learning’ presented by WeedMaps aims to provide insight and history into marijuana through interactive exhibits, Instagram-friendly art installations and a bevy of historical artifacts. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission starts at $35.
32. Cinespia is back for its 18th summer season, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for screenings of films modern, cult, and classic. This Saturday they will host a slumber party night triple feature of Never Been Kissed, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Jawbreaker!
33. L.A.’s only live animated comedy show Picture This! is back with a show on Saturday at The Virgil with over a dozen well known comedians and animators.
34. Playful Los Angeles lifestyle brand ban.do will host a huge warehouse sale on Saturday and Sunday with up to 90% off accessories, shoes, stationery, jewelry, clothing and tons more. Attendees will get free Chameleon Cold-Brew and the first 100 people get a free notebook.
35. 88rising presents Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival featuring contemporary artists in hip-hop, R&B and alternative music, including Joji, NIKI, Manila Killa and more performing at Los Angeles State Historic Park.
37. ROW DTLA is throwing a Back to School Block Party in partnership with school supply retailer Yoobi and Winston House. This is the largest school supply donation in the history of Los Angeles Unified School District. For every block party attendee, Yoobi will donate one year’s worth of school supplies to LAUSD students in need. The free, family-friendly event will include live music, a vintage vendor marketplace, beer garden, food trucks, dancing, and more. FREE
38. Sierra Madre Shakespeare Festival 2019 returns on August 17-18 for its fifth year with the comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” at Sierra Madre Memorial Park. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics as they enjoy the show. FREE
39. Risk! LA, the show where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share, is back at The Bootleg Theater with jaw-dropping and hilarious stories.
40. New York City’s Kids Food Festival comes to Los Angeles at Kidspace for two days of interactive fun that includes cooking classes, yoga, live performances and more all to promote healthful living. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
42. Pershing Square Downtown Stage presents Blues Traveler and special guest Los Colognes. FREE
43. The 2019 Jollof Festival presented by Demand Africa is a day-long celebration of the many variations of the West African dish. Jollof rice is a one-pot rice dish native to many countries in West Africa. At the festival guests will enjoy Jollof dishes and vote for a winner.
44. The Valley Cultural Foundation presents Movies on the Green at Warner Ranch Park. This weekend they will screen Mary Poppins Returns. FREE
Sunday August 18th, 2019
45. YOLA DÍA is a female-focused festival highlighting women in all industries. Music performances include Lykke Li and Cat Power. The marketplace will feature food and goods from women-owned businesses. The festival takes place at LA Historic Park. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
46. Poolside is a new immersive abstract painting show at Rhythm Visuals gallery in Downtown L.A. The exhibition features multiple rooms and visual experiences, including one where guests throw water balloons at a white wall to reveal a hidden painting. The exhibit is open Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. through September 5. FREE
47. CicLAvia presents Meet the Hollywoods, an event where West Hollywood, Hollywood, and East Hollywood will be turned into a public recreational space for the day. Attendees can walk, bike, roll, or stroll though some of LA’s most iconic streets from the Hollywood Walk to Fame to West Hollywood’s rainbow crosswalk. FREE
48. 6AM spins tunes at Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions, a free outdoor dance party on the park’s Performance Lawn. FREE
49. [email protected]: Little Chicken Explorers: A Picture Book Workshop. The program is recommended for ages 7 to 14. FREE
50. Instantaneous Pet Service and Pan Pacific Park will host a summer Sunday Doggie Yoga Series highlighting pet fitness. Grab your fur baby, a mat, and water for a one hour yoga session. Coffee and snacks will be provided by Le Pain Quotidien. This is a donation based event.
51. Escape the summer heat during Jazz on the Lawn, a series of free summer concerts at Santa Monica’s Gandara Park every Sunday in August. In addition to live music there will be free dance lessons, food trucks and picnic games. FREE
52. Head down to Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge in Long Beach for a Tiki Swapmeet and social featuring live music, food, rare rums, tiki cocktails and tiki vendors from across SoCal.
53. Smorgasburg LA’s 3rd Annual Ice Cream Alley returns bigger and better than ever with awesome scoop vendors, one-of-a-kind collaborations, plus its own dedicated beer garden with extended hours until 6 p.m. Happening every Sunday through September 1.
54. Wags and Walks is having an end of summer adoption party with lots of fun activities meant for every family member, including the dogs. Highlights include sweet treats, doggie ice cream, complimentary consultation with a dog trainer and face painting. FREE
55. Metro Art Presents Capoeira Exchange from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Union Station’s historic Ticketing Hall. The event will feature an introductory class of Capoeira a hypnotic Brazilian movement that combines martial art, dance, acrobatics, music and oral history. FREE
Food Pick for the Week
This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.
There are some new happy hours happening in Los Angeles this week that need to be on your radar: One involves free food, the other is everyone’s favorite type of promo, $1 oysters:
- Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum Drago recently rolled out a slate of complimentary food specials. On Mondays they’ll offer slices of pizza, Wednesdays risotto and on Fridays a pasta bar station will be set up. The free appetizers along with the happy hour menu is served on the patio and at the bar Monday through Friday from 5-8 p.m. Live jazz, blues, and bossanova also take place on Fridays from 6-9 p.m. –> More information
- Head to ETA in Highland Park for $1 Oyster Happy Hour seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 5-7 p.m., Friday from 4-7 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday from 3-7 p.m. Guests can also enjoy $2.50 oysters from 7-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7-8 p.m. on Sunday. $2 colossal shrimp cocktail is also available along with a collection of happy hour-priced libations like a Penicillin with Scottish Glory Blend Scotch, Lavender Collins with Svedka Vodka and even a selection of sake. –> More information