34 Awesome Things To Do In L.A. This Weekend You Need to Keep on Your Radar [8-21-15 to 8-23-15]

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 decided to curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).

This weekend includes FYF Fest, the LA Taco Festival, Chinatown Summer Nights, NHM’s Summer Garden Party, and LA Zoo’s Roaring Nights (plus a whole lot more!).


So grab some friends or go at it alone, but most importantly have fun and enjoy yourself!

[RELATED: The Best Way to Find Discount Events in Los Angeles]

FYF Fest 2012
FYF Fest 2012. Credit: Justin Wise via flickr

[REMINDER: In some cases We Like L.A. does receive revenue when visitors click on ticket links and make purchases, however we maintain complete editorial control over the events we suggest. Basically, it only makes it on to the website if we think it is cool!]

Friday August 21st, 2015

1. LA Zoo Roaring Nights Goes 80’s!

This Friday is your last chance this summer to visit the LA Zoo after hours and experience indie bands, DJs, full bars, and L.A.’s favorite food trucks. There are also a limited quantity of discount tickets (to save a buck or two) to Roaring Nights available via Goldstar.

2. Reggie Watts & The Dance Cartel Present: OnTheFloor

Driven by pumping bass, glitter and dance theory in near-equal parts, this 90-minute, energy-busting experience is unlike any other show in the world. Part dance, part video installation, part DJ set and part concert, OnTheFloor is much more than a ‘performance.’ The Huffington Post aptly dubs it “a crazy, communal, underground, energetic, messy, drunken, carnivalesque, silly, social, artistic, glittery, participatory, emotional, vibrant, bass pumping, choreographic EVENT.”

3. Summer Garden Party at The Natural History Museum

Great music, garden-inspired cocktails, hands-on garden and science projects, botanical tours, food trucks, and more at the NHM’s Summer Nights in the Garden. Guest can part take in building a bee hotel, embark on a botanical tour of the Nature Gardens led by NHM staff and even sample smoke flies with NHM Citizen Scientists! Bring a picnic or enjoy the food trucks, just make sure you RSVP for free admission.

4. FIGat7th Downtown Festival

The Plaza Level at FIGat7th in DTLA invites the public for a free night of music. This week’s theme is “Tropical Dance Party” with music courtesy of Boogallo Assassins, Buyepongo and a DJ set by Subsuelo. Explore the bars and restaurants at Fig during the Taste happy hour starting at 4:00pm! Doors open at 7:00pm for the Plaza Bar and the show starts at 8:00pm.

5. Odd Nights At The Autry

From the man who brought you Dodger Stadium Flea, Downtown Flea and Melrose Flea presents Odd Nights At The Autry. Curator Phillip Dane brings another community hot spot to life with a variety of over 200 vendors from 20 gourmet food trucks, beer garden, custom handmade treasures and live local bands. This vivid culture is perfect for all ages and families to bring a blanket, host an evening picnic while enjoying the great outdoors. This event AND parking is free!

6. Barnsdall Park’s Friday Night Wine Tasting

All summer long Barnsdall Art Park has a weekly fundraiser to benefit Barnsdall Art Park Foundation programs and projects. Perched on a hill with a gorgeous panoramic view of Hollywood, guests will enjoy fine wine and art in the gardens of Frank Lloyd Wright’s newly restored architectural gem, Hollyhock House. Silver Lake Wine will curate fine selections of boutique, small production, artisanal wines for park-goers as well as local gourmet cheese shop, Say Cheese.

7. Mad Max + The Road Warrior Screening

A double feature of Mad Max and The Road Warrior aka Mad Max 2 will play at the The New Beverly Cinema theatre two nights in a row (Friday to Saturday.)

8. Rising Tohoku Food Fair At Mitsuwa

The Rising Tohoku Food Fair hosted by Mitsuwa Marketplace presents four full days (started on Thursday) of food and cultural festivities to celebrate the charms of the Tohoku region in Northeast Japan. In addition to presenting diverse and flavorful food products originating from the six prefectures of Tohoku, there will be a variety of paper craft activities such as origami and writing wishes on tanzaku paper, plus photo opportunities with popular city-specific mascots.

9. Bring Your Own Dance Moves

Get your boogie on at this FREE weekly summer dance party hosted by the Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

10. The Pizzacato Effect

Through a combination of mini-lectures (by Brendan Hughes) and original comedy songs (by Jeffrey Dinsmore), the Pizzacato Effect creates a brand of comedy for smart people who love the absurd and the arcane. Oh, and it’s free. And there will be complimentary refreshments! And it’s at the Last Bookstore (which is a really cool venue). Starts at 8:00pm on Friday. RVSP via link above for the free tickets.

11. To Live and Dine in L.A.

The latest exhibition to hit the Los Angeles Central Library: To Live and Dine in L.A. is one for the foodie nostalgic. Come celebrate the history of food in Los Angeles and view a massive collection of rare, first-edition menus from restaurants that have long since closed. The exhibit aims to promote the historical significance of LA’s food culture, and will feature over 50 food and menu related programs, including lectures, cooking demos and nutrition workshops. Check out more information, times and dates on their offical page.

12. Trina Turk Sample Sale

60% to 90% off on women’s dresses, shorts, tops, blouses, pants, tunics, swimwear, resort and more. Sale runs Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Location: 8008 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048

13. Hollyshorts

The Hollyshorts Film Festival is coming to a close this weekend with networking events, filmmaker Q&A’s and screenings of short films produced around the world. The festival will be held at the TCL Chinese 6 in Hollywood. An all-access badge will set you back $600 and includes access to the after party at OHM Nightclub, film screenings, panel conferences and awards ceremony. Get a day pass for $80. Check the website for a full schedule and trailers for the shorts. Ends Saturday.

14. Tease, If You Please Burlesque Show

This super sexy and seductive burlesque show aims to transport you back to the golden age of striptease and Gypsy Rose Lee. Staged at Bar Fedora inside downtown L.A.’s Au Lac, Tease, If You Please spotlights acts from some of the most creative dancers in the business. Miss Donna Hood, who performed alongside the one-and-only Dita Von Teese in Strip, Strip, Hooray!, produces this thoroughly modern, vintage-style show, hosted by stand-up comic and famed little person Selene Luna. Get more information and tickets via Goldstar (prices starting at $15).

Saturday August 22nd, 2015

15. Street Food Cinema: Weird Science

Good movies, amazing venues, up and coming local bands and tasty food trucks. What more could you ask for? This weekend Street Food Cinema screens Weird Science at Glendale Central Park. Event opens at 5:30pm and movie starts at 8:30pm. Get more information and discount tickets (while supplies last) via Goldstar.

16. LA Taco Festival

If stuffing your face with tacos can help end youth homelessness in our city I say thats a day well spent! The 5th Annual LA Taco Festival is FREE, open to the public and welcome all ages. Donations and proceeds go directly to Jovenes Inc. a non profit who started this festival to raise money for housing projects for homeless youths. Vendors include Kogi, Mexicali, Zingo and more. Even non-taco vendors are joining in like Jenis Splendid Ice Cream!

17. Picture This! At NerdMelt

LA’s only live animated comedy show is going down at the Nerdmelt Showroom! This FREE show (with FREE BEER) is brought to you by the good people at Cartoon Network. Comedians include Billy West, Duncan Trussell, Melinda Hill, Tipper Newton and more. Animation by Cartoon Network artists Cheyenne Curtis, Colin Heck, Ryan Kramer and more. This event is hosted by Brandie Posey and starts at 7:00pm. RSVP is strongly suggested there will also be stand by tickets available the day of.

18. FREE Public Star Party At The Observatory

See the Sun, Moon, Planets and constellations magnified for your pleasure with the powerful telescopes at the Griffith Observatory. Their popular (and free) monthly Public Star Party happens from 2:00 pm to 9:45 pm this Saturday outside on the lawn of the Observatory.

19. FYF Festival

The 12th-annual FYF Festival has a kick ass line-up with Frank Ocean, Morrissey, FKA twigs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and many more on the bill. Taking place Saturday and Sunday at L.A. Sports Arena and Exposition Park FYF is sure to be a mad house – but in a good way.

20. Taste of Brews

Taste of Brews returns to Lighthouse Park in Long Beach with a record 60-plus “authentic” local, regional and national craft breweries in participation. There will be live entertainment and snacks throughout the event. This is strictly a 21 and over event.


21. The Actors’ Gang Presents Free Shakespeare In The Park: Harry Potter Hamlet

Founded in 1981, The Actors’ Gang- under the leadership of Tim Robbins, Founder and Artistic Director- has received worldwide acclaim for presenting over 150 plays in Los Angeles and have toured over 41 US states and five continents.The Actors’ Gang is proud to present an annual free Shakespeare-In-The-Park series at Media Park. For August they will present Harry Potter Hamlet. Bring your family and friends, set up a picnic, and join the characters’ tale of friendship, family, justice and coming-of-age. Happening Saturday and Sunday the shows start at 11:00am!

Location: 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City

22. Saturday’s Off The 405

Kick it outdoor with live music and evening views of the city courtesy of The Getty Centers Saturdays Off the 405. This weekend Hundred Waters will perform and DJ Shannon Cornett will spin tunes. The event is free to the public and will take place in the Getty Museum’s courtyard.

23. Nisei Week Japanese Festival

Nisei Week is the largest and longest-running ethnic festival in Southern California. Celebrating their 75th anniversary this weekends festival will take place at the JACCC and is free to the public. Highlights include plenty of live entertainment, taiko drums, Japanese dancers, martial arts, musical performances, children’s activities, cultural exhibits and of course food and drink vendors.

24. David Hockney At LA Louver

David Hockney’s work is being shown jointly by L.A. Louver and London’s Annely Juda Fine Art together they present “David Hockney: Painting and Photography,” an exhibition of brand-new works all made in the last two years by the prolific artist.

25. Chinatown Summer Nights

KCRW’s signature FREE summer series returns to Chinatown and will feature live cooking demonstrations, cultural activities, the Downtown Flea Craft and Vintage market, live bands, food trucks, authentic Chinese restaurants, and KCRW DJs rockin’ tunes till midnight

26. Eat|See|Hear Screening Of The Karate Kid

The Eat|See|Hear Summer Movie Series (winner of L.A. Magazines Best Outdoor Movie Series), is in full effect! This weekend they will be screening The Karate Kid at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills. Discounts on tickets are available via Goldstar while they last!

27. Shopaholic Sample Sales 6th Anniversary Sale

Discounts on your favorite brands like Keepsake, Cameo, La Made, Bobi, Romeo & Juliet Couture, Dolan, and more happening at Shopaholic’s 6th Anniversary Sale happening Saturday and Sunday. Items are set on three prices $38, $48 or $58. Vita coco will also be on hand to hydrate you as you shop.

28. FIDM Museum Hosting Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition 

The 9th Annual Exhibition: The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design will display about 100 costumes created by costume designers, supervisors, and this year’s Emmy Nominees® at the FIDM Museum in DTLA. Costumes include Gotham, Peter Pan Live! Wolf Hall and more. In addition you might want to view Helen Larson’s historic fashion collection with beautiful dresses and hats dating back to 1760! Both exhibits are free to the public and available Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm.

29. Free Outdoor Summer Movie Screening Of Guardians Of The Galaxy

The non profit International Film Festival North Hollywood is having a free screening of Guardians of the Galaxy at North Hollywood Park. The event starts and 8:00pm and comes with free popcorn! Guest are encouraged to bring a picnic and blankets but alcohol is prohibited.


30. Proud Picnic

Celebrate the freedom to love at Grand Park’s Proud Picnic. The LGBTQ community, families and friends are all invited to celebrate love with live music and food trucks. Guest can get competitive with a game of badminton and even a oversized chess game! In addition there is a pickling workshop?! sounds right on trend to me! The event launches Grand Park’s Proud series, a collaboration uniting and reflecting the diverse interests and experiences of the LGBTQ Angeleno community.

31. Evening Concerts at Santa Anita Race Track With Cal Phil

Set against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Anita Park is a great setting for an outdoor concert series. The California Philharmonic hosts a series of summer concerts here and this weekend’s theme is Post Cards From Abroad! Come early for pre-concert activities with the family or make it a date night. With a state-of-the-art stage, jumbo video screens and the masterful music of maestro Victor Vener and the Cal Phil, an evening at Santa Anita Park is a perfect way to spend your summer. Find more information and discount tickets via Goldstar.

Sunday, August 23rd 2015

32. SuperHero — Princess Academy: A Mini-Musical for Little Ones

Need to entertain the little guys and gals this weekend? Check out this one-hour mini-musical performed by the folks at the Creating Arts Company. The show includes singing, dancing, and plenty of audience interaction to keep the little ones engaged throughout. Get more information and discount tickets (while supplies last) via Goldstar.

33. Disney’s “Frozen” Sing-along At The El Capitan

Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre presents a special engagement of Disney’s “Frozen” Sing-along version from August 20th through September 16th. Each screening will be accompanied by Elsa, live on stage, snow inside the theatre, and after the movie, Olaf live on stage and a screening of Disney’s “Frozen Fever.” This Thursday is the opening night so expect special presentations to be happening throughout. Discount tickets are available for this weekend while they last via Goldstar.

34. GreenReads At Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

GreenReads was created as a development series for playwrights to give first time readings of their plays to an audience interested in new works for the stage. The program has supported over 100 new plays, at least 25 of which have gone on to be published, win awards and receive major productions across the country. Located in Topanga Canyon, Theatricum Botanicum will host Sarah Pitard’s play reading of Full Tilt. This is a free event open to the public. 

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