Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [8-18-2023 to 8-20-2023]

Tognva Park in Santa Monica. Photo via Spin PR.

Hold the phone. Did someone say hurricane in Los Angeles? Well not really, but with Hurricane Hilary moving up the west coast of Mexico, SoCal-ers should expect wet weather and potentially gusty conditions starting on the back half of Sunday. Something to keep in mind as your plot out your weekend.

That said, here’s what we’ve got going on in Los Angeles for August 18-20: The summer finale at Dance DTLA, a new free concert series in Santa Monica, an 818 Day celebration at the Westfield Topanga, a pair of KCRW Summer Nights events, CicLAvia in K-Town and Hollywood, Sunday Sessions at Grand Park, and more.


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

Nisei Week’s nine-day celebration of Japanese and Japanese American Culture caps off with two-day festival at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo, this Saturday and Sunday. Both days will include a beer garden and special cultural exhibits to check out inside the JACCC, and Sunday features a showcase of Taiko groups from around Southern California. Runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A or E Line to Little Tokyo station.

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

The Music Center’s Dance DTLAM FA TP > The Music Center’s Dance DTLA summer series comes to a close this Friday ay Jerry Moss Plaza with an evening of Bollywood led by the Blue13 Dance Company. Fun starts at 7 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Odd Nights at The Autry -> Odd Nights at the Autry return every third Friday of the month now through September. Expect an indie bazaar populated by funky vendors, food trucks, and live music. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 and parking 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.

Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks TP > This Friday and Saturday, the Hollywood Bowl’s annual fireworks extravaganza returns, with conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser leading the LA Phil in selections from Swan Lake to Romeo and Juliet, concluding with a spectacular finale featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Tickets start as low as $22. More info here.

818 Day CelebrationFA > This Friday to Sunday at Topanga Social, celebrate the culture of the San Fernando Valley with a weekend of retro video games, neon signs and artifacts from the Valley Relics Museum, an appearance by the Back to the Future DeLorean, caricature artists, celebrity DJs, and food specials from 25+ vendors. More info here.

Grand PerformancesM FA > Grand Performances continues its summer of free concerts at Cal Plaza with two days of shows this weekend. On Friday, Mexican-American artist DannyLux (recipient of Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood, 2023) celebrates the release of his new album with live performance. Then on Saturday, Mark de Clive-Lowe brings Jazz in the House. Both events kick off at 6 p.m. Free to attend. No RSVP required. 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. For this weekend: Friday features Latin Ska with Mr. Bernson, The Fault Lines, Vel Nine, and The Paranoias; on Saturday Asian-American eXchange Media Presents Synergy Girl Group, Mia Mahal, Steeps, Honore, Rising Stars, and Vibinus; then on Sunday  it’s Guatemalan rock and Mayan Dance with Sara Curruchich, DJ Boris, and Los Chapincitos Los Angeles. All concerts free to attend. No reservation required. Get 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.

Live at The Music CenterM FA TP > Grammy-winners Eliades Ochoa and La Marisoul headline Live at The Music Center, an annual free outdoor public concert on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center. Free. All-ages. No RSVP required. Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

La Bulla Lucha Libre -> This 8th annual celebration of Lucha Libre (Mexican masked wrestling) comes to Plaza De La Raza this Saturday with an evening of live Lucha matches, musical performances, and an immersive art show featuring 100+ artists and one-of-a-kind art pieces using Psychosis’s Luchador mask as the canvas, including submissions by actor David Arquette and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. Tickets start at $20 for GA. Event starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Endless Summer C.A.M.P in Santa MonicaM FA TP > A brand new public music and culture series tips off at Tongva Park in Santa Monica this Saturday, offering a chance to experience a variety of cultures and musical styles, from Hawaiian dance and Ballet Folklorico to Cuban tunes or orchestral and chamber music. Endless Summer C.A.M.P. (Community | Art | Music | Picnic) kicks off with a performance by the Elemental Music Chamber Music Institute string quartet, plus an instrument petting zoo, and succulent terrarium workshop with artist Eros Cortes. The event runs 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and is free to attend. Programming continues on Saturdays through September 9. More info here.

Marina del Rey Summer Concert SeriesFA > The Marina del Rey Free Summer Concert Series concludes its six-show run with a live performance by Grammy-award winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter at Burton Chace Park. Show starts at 7 p.m. and is free to attend. No RSVP required. More info here.

The Frogtown Flea Crawl FA > The Frogtown Flea Crawl is back in Elysian Valley this Saturday with an all-day block party spread over five location hubs, featuring live music, 100+ vendors, a tattoo station, and special guests. Runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

NoHo Summer Nights -> The Valley Cultural Foundation’s free summer programming at North Hollywood Recreation Center continues this Saturday with a screening of The Sandlot. Movie starts at sundown (around 7:30 p.m.) No RSVP required. 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.

CicLAvia – Koreatown meets HollywoodM FA TP > CicLAvia pops up with a brand new opens streets session this Sunday, offering a five-mile, car-free course that will connect K-Town and Hollywood via portions of Wilshire Blvd, Western Ave, Melrose Ave, and Vine St. There will be multiple activation hubs along the route, tons of local gems to explore, and plenty of room to walk, bike, skate to your heart’s content. Runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Always free to attend. Rain or shine. More info here.

KCRW Summer Nights at LA PlazaM FA > KCRW Summer Nights heads to LA Plaza this Sunday, highlighted by sets from Jungle Fire and KCRW DJ José Galvan plus food vendors, a beer garden, and silk-screen printing, plus after-hours museum access of LA Plaza’s newest exhibition 18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium. Kicks off at 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here. UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to the rain forecast. To be rescheduled to a later date.

August Movie Matinees at Ace Hotel DTLA -> Every Sunday in August, Ace Hotel DTLA host 80’s movie matinees all month long in their restored 1920s movie theatre. This week, the film is The Karate Kid. Taking place on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., ticket holders are invited to have brunch at LOAM before the show where they’ll receive 20% off the bill along with themed cocktails and specials for the movie by showing their movie ticket. The restaurant will send guests off with free popcorn for the show. The screenings cost $25 per adult and $15 per child. More info here.

Sunday SessionsM FA > Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions are back for the second installment of the 2023, just in time to close out summer. This Sunday’s event puts soul music and culture in focus with a 20th anniversary celebration of Fusicology, featuring performances by Rich Medina, DJ Roxcizzle, Lacey IQ, KG Superstar, and DJ Adé. The music goes from 3 to 8 p.m., and the event is free and open to all ages. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)

Abernethy’s Lunches Dog Menu with a Pawty -> This Sunday, Abernethy’s in DTLA hosts a complimentary yoga session from 3 to 4 p.m., followed by playtime with adoptable puppies and a special human happy hour. Attendees can bring their dogs to celebrate the launch of “Toni’s Menu,” Abernethy’s new dog-friendly menu crafted by Executive Chef Brad Willits. Humans can order items such as Egg Souffle and Biscuits for their dogs while enjoying their own happy hour with options like Chilled Mussels, Tempura Fried Squash Blossoms, and Basque Cheesecake. During this time, beverages such as Ashland Hard Seltzers, Modelo, and Sangria will be priced at $9-$10. Reservations are not required, but bringing your own yoga mat is recommended. All are welcomed, no need to own a dog. Toni’s Menu will be available for both dine-in and to-go orders during all operating hours at Abernethy’s. More info here


The Return of the Original Ramen Burger -> This weekend (August 19-20), the original Ramen Burger is making a limited-time comeback to celebrate the Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo. Keizo Shimamoto, the newly appointed director of culinary events at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, will be personally serving his renowned Ramen Burger for $10. This event also marks the 10th anniversary of Keizo’s creation of the viral sensation. The burger features seared ramen noodle “buns,” a beef patty, arugula, scallions, and shoyu sauce. Exclusively sold at the JACCC. More info here

Pepsi Dig In Day Supporting Black Restaurants with Free Food -> Pepsi Dig In Day returns in August for National Black Business Month, backing Black-owned restaurants with $100,000 in meals across 25 spots nationwide. On August 19, Los Angeles residents will enjoy free signature meals at Stevie’s Creole Cafe, Wah Gwaan Jamaican Kitchen, Mr. Fries Man, and Fyrebird in Gardena (while supplies last). Diners can also have the chance to win $5,000 by posting their meal to social media and tagging their favorite Black-owned restaurant to unlock a $5,000 donation for the restaurant. 

Benny Boy Brewing Txotx Cider Party -> This Saturday, Benny Boy Brewing is set to host its second annual Txotx Cider Party. The event continues to honor the northern Spanish tradition of tapping barrels to release a continuous stream of cider, allowing guests in line to relish the experience. Securing a spot in line requires a $8 reservation for one pour of Benny Boy’s Spanish-inspired Sidra. Alongside this celebration of cider, attendees can grab food from pop-up vendors Baserriko Peppers, Bashi Bakes, and Quarantine Pizza Co. More info here.

Summer Movie Matinee Series at The Milky Way Restaurant -> The Milky Way restaurant (owned by the Spielberg family since 1977) hosts a monthly, family-friendly Summer Movie Matinee series paired with a multi-course menu. The series continues Sunday, August 20 at 4 p.m. with Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark. Adult tickets cost $52 and include a special three course menu, beverage and popcorn. Kids tickets cost $22  and include a two course, beverage and popcorn meal. More info and reservations here.

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