Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [9-8-2023 to 9-10-2023]

A crowd gathers at the Getty Villa Amphitheater for a performance of “The Gospel at Colonus.” Photo by Christina Champlin.

We’re heating up! Temps are expected to push into the 90s as we dip into the weekend, but maybe you can distract yourself from the mini heat wave with a few cool to-dos around the city. On that point, we’ve got you covered.

For September 8-10 in Los Angeles, you’ll find a Train Festival at Union Station, Metro’s Regional Connector Celebration in Little Tokyo, a new classical theater production at The Getty Villa, a Fireworks Finale at The Bowl, the return of Echo Park Rising, a Bergamot Station Open House, Day of the Dog in Santa Monica, a free day at LACMA, and more! Your weekend starts… now.


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

To begin, here’s a heads-up that there are a pair of awesome (and free!) public events happening at transit destinations in DTLA this weekend. Let’s take a look.

Union Station Train Festival – > This Saturday and Sunday, The Los Angeles Union Station’s Train Festival celebrates the past, present, and future of train travel with a free day-long events open to the public. Stop by to explore historic railroad equipment, check out model train displays, or go on an architectural tour. There will also be live music on the North Patio, giveaways and food carts. In partnership with Metro Los Angeles, Amtrak, and Metrolink, all ages are welcomed. Happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (both dates) at the Ticket Concourse, Waiting Room, Patios, and Railway Platforms. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

Regional Connector Community Celebration -> This Saturday, Metro is inviting the public to celebrate their new Regional Connector with an afternoon of live performances, tours and special workshops, all centered around Little Tokyo station. Programming runs from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. It’s all free to attend, though some workshops and tours will have limited availability. And remember if you attend the Train Festival (mentioned above), you can catch a quick ride on the A Line to get to Little Toyko. Get 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 Gospel at Colonus at The Getty VillaTP > The Getty Villa’s newest Outdoor Theater production, The Gospel at Colonus, reimagines’s Sophocles’s “Oedipus at Colonus” through the lens of Black spirituality, offering a redemptive and soul-stirring tale that turns the traditionally tragic tale on its head. Plus, there are enough show-stopping vocal performances to make the experience just plain fun. The Gospel at Colonus runs every Thursday to Saturday through September 30. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40-$55. More info here.

Fireworks Finale + Maxwell at The Bowl -> The Hollywood Bowl signs off a summer of eclectic programming with back-to-back-to-back evenings of fireworks and R&B, headlined by three-time Grammy-winner Maxwell. Tickets start at low as $15. Shows run this Friday to Sunday. Get more info here.

Movie Night at the Petersen Automotive MuseumFA > Join the Petersen Automotive Museum for a 40th Anniversary screening of Christine, Stephen King’s tale about a demonic car hell bent on murdering anyone who gets in between her and her new owner. The screening is free to attend, with snacks and drinks available for purchase. The evening will also include an appearance by the evil car herself. Doors open at 7 p.m. More info here.

Summer of SalsaM FA > LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’s monthly summer concert series concludes this Friday with a performance by salsa orchestra TROMBOR, plus a supporting DJ set from DJ ROBBY. Runs 6 to 10 p.m. and free to attend. More info here.

Under The Oaks at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum -> The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum celebrates their 50th anniversary season with a series of concerts every Friday this September, beginning this week with a celebration of the music of Leonard Cohen. GA tickets cost $25. Starts at 7:30 p.m. More info here.

Jazz at LACMAFA > Every Friday from April through November, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art showcases some of L.A.’s best jazz musician through an outdoor, evening concert series at Smidt Welcome Plaza. This weekend, catch a performance by percussionist/composer Munyungo Jackson. The event is free to attend and runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. More info here.

Bergamot Station Open House M FA TP > On Saturday, Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Arts Center hosts their Fall Open, offering public access to over 20 galleries and creative businesses. The family-friendly event showcases gallery exhibitions through artist talks, curator walk throughs, live performances, opening receptions and more. Free for all. No ticket necessary. More info here.

Echo Park Rising FA TP > One the city’s signature free festivals returns this Saturday after 4-year hiatus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Think of Echo Park Rising as part street fair, part performance showcase. The 2023 edition will be a one-day affair offering a slew of emerging and established artists, including DJs, musicians, and comedians. Performances take place at bars, restaurants, outdoor stages and local shops spread throughout the neighborhood. All are free to attend. Get more info and see the full schedule of locations/performers here.

Self Help Graphics & Art’s Biennial Printmaking Summit and the Eastside Print FairM FA > Visit the Vincent Price Art Museum this Saturday for Self Help Graphics & Art’s Biennial Printmaking Summit and Eastside Print Fair. The day brings together master printers and artists introducing the public to the art of printmaking. Enjoy print demos, workshops, and collect works by local artists. More info here.

Open Main Street Festival  – FA > This Saturday and Sunday, Main Street in Santa Monica continues its monthly Open Street series with a two-day community festival featuring al fresco dining, live music, local vendors, beer garden and kids’ activities from Strand Street to Pier Avenue. Activities run from noon to 7 p.m. on both days. Free to attend, More info here.

Day of the Dog  – FA TP > In partnership with Open Main Street (see above), this Saturday’s “Day of the Dog” in Santa Monica brings a slew of pup-friendly activations to the neighborhood. Enjoy yoga sessions with adoptable dogs, an 80-foot pool party with a DJ and cabanas, brunch, doggie races, pet blessings, and even a foam party all designed exclusively for dogs. Free to attend. More info here.

Broxton NightsFA > On the second Saturday of every month, Westwood Village hosts an evening pop-up market featuring special vendors, offers and activations. This month, catch roller disco and free skate lessons/rentals from the LA Skate Hunnies. Runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Free to attend. Get more info here.


LA Tequila Festival -> The 5th annual LA Tequila Festival pops up at LA Center Studios this Saturday, transforming the space into a tequila and mezcal paradise with a selection of over 75 brands to sample. General admission tickets cost $95 and include unlimited tastings. Elevate your experience with VIP admission at $165, which includes early entry and complimentary food. Proceeds from this event benefit the Andrés y María Cárdenas Family Foundation, dedicated to providing scholarships to at-risk students in the Sylmar area. More info here.

Pinball Tourney at Revenge Of -> On Saturday, Eagle Rock’s Revenge Of teams up with creative collective Brain Dead for a public pinball tournament featuring 26 machines, 6 rounds of play, and a cash prize split between the final four participants. $10 buy-in to enter. Sign-in starts at 11:30 a.m. RSVP and get more info here.

POP in WeHo FA > Pacific Opera Project brings free performance of Hansel & Gretel to Kings Road Park in West Hollywood on three separate weekends this month, including this Saturday and Sunday. All shows are free to attend and all begin at 4 p.m. Picnics encouraged! More info here.

Americana at the Park M FA > Santa Monica’s Americana in the Park series is back for the whole month of September, offering free concerts on Sundays at Gandara Park. This week, Dr. Soundgood and Doug Lacy headline the event with some New Orleans-style soul. There will be food trucks on hand, and McCabe’s Guitar Shop will host a special pop-up too! Each date runs 4 to 7 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

East LA Mexican Independence Day ParadeM FA > The annual East LA Mexican Independence Parade opens off with a parade down Cesar Chavez Ave (starting at 10 a.m.) followed by a public festival near the intersection of 1st St and S Mednik Ave (noon to 5 p.m.) Expect plenty of food, live music, traditional performance, and family-friendly activities. Free to attend. More info here.

LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental PerspectivesM FA TP > On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art teams up with Snapchat for a special open house event featuring 13 augmented reality monuments, all-ages art workshops, and live DJ sets. PLUS: The event offers free admission to the museum with advance RSVP. Events run 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. More info here.

Free Second Sundays at UPAMM FA > USC Pacific Asia Museum offers free admission every second Sunday of the month, and for September they’ll be activating the day with special programming celebrating the arts and culture of Hawai’i, including Hula performances and live storytelling. Events run from 11 a.m. to 3:30. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)


A TV dinner spread from Lazy Dog Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Lazy Dog Restaurant.

Lazy Dog TV Dinners -> Lazy Dog Restaurant is making National TV Dinner Day (Sep 10) a month-long celebration with their homemade frozen TV Dinners. Options include BBQ Meatloaf, Chicken Parmesan, and Cheese Enchiladas, all crafted in-house, frozen in retro-style trays, and ready to bake. When customers purchase five, they receive one for free. Additionally, during September, they’ll receive a complimentary cooler bag for every purchase of 6 or more TV Dinners. These TV Dinners are available for just $10 each, both at all restaurant locations  and online. More info here.

Natties & Patties Party at Vintage Wine + Eats -> Sommelier founded wine bar Vintage Wine + Eats in Studio City is hosting a nostalgic end-of-summer Natties + Patties event. Taking place this Saturday in their parking lot the day features sizzling burgers on the grill, refreshing frosé, and natural wine flights. Tickets for this gathering are priced at $54, which includes all the mentioned treats. Founder Rebecca Phillips spot stands out as the sole female-owned and operated wine bar in the valley. Since its inception in 2018, it has become a beloved neighborhood hang known for their curated weekly rotation of wine specials, food pairings, and fun pop-up collaborations.

Tea Service at Valerie Confections ->  Valerie Confections in Glendale now hosts a weekly Saturday Afternoon Tea on their patio, offering a contemporary take on the British tradition, driven by Valerie’s passion for tea. For $65 per person, you’ll select from an array of teas that perfectly complement an array of bite-sized treats like creme fraiche scones, seasonal tea sandwiches, Petit Fours and Mignardise. The cafe provides two seating options at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made online. 

Abernethy’s Launches Dog Menu with a Pawty -> This Sunday, Abernethy’s in DTLA hosts a complimentary yoga session from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by a special human happy hour and chef created doggy treats. Attendees are welcomed to 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. Reservations are not required, but bringing your own yoga mat is recommended. Toni’s Menu will be available for both dine-in and to-go orders during all operating hours at Abernethy’s. More info here

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