The 50 best things to do in L.A. this weekend (2024)

The 50 best things to do in L.A. this weekend (1)

We pick out the best things to do in L.A. this weekend, including our favorite concerts, culture and cuisine

Edited by

Michael Juliano

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We don’t know about you, but our mind is always focused on the weekend. It can never come soon enough—which is why we’re already thinking about whatnew restaurantswe want to try or where we can drive for the day. Whether you’re looking to scope out the latestmuseumexhibitions or watch a movie outdoors,you’ll find plenty of things to do in L.A. this weekend.

We curate an L.A. weekend itinerary of the city’s best concerts, culture and cuisine, every week, just for you.

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The best things to do in L.A. this weekend

Poolside Cinema at the Fairmont Miramar
  • Movies
  • Animation
  • Santa Monica

Every Sundayduring the summer at sunset,both hotel guests and vistors attheFairmont Miramarcan slip into something waterproof and enjoy a family-friendly flick around the Santa Monica hotel’s luxurious pool.You’ll find a mix of nostalgic favorites and more recent releases on the Hulu-curated schedule.Eats and libations will be available for purchase fromthe FIG Restaurant menu menu, and though seatingisfree for hotel guests, visitors will have to secure a $45 reservation (that price includes popcorn and a themed three-course meal).

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Photo by Marc J. Franklin, 2022
A Strange Loop
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Downtown

Musical-theater auteur Michael R. Jackson turns himself inside out in this thrilling show. Check out our five-star review from its New York run.

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Photograph: Patricia Kelly Yeo for Time Out
Friday Night Wine Tastings
  • Bars
  • Los Feliz

Now one of L.A.’s most treasured summer traditions, Barnsdall Park’s wine tastings are back after a five-year hiatus. Perched atop Olive Hill on the west lawn of the historic Hollyhock House (which you can tour during the evening for an additional $25), the Barnsdall Friday fund raisers include fine selections of boutique wines provided by Silverlake Wine with a spectacular sunset and 360-degree views of the city.

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Photograph: Courtesy L.A. Conservancy/Mike Hume
Last Remaining Seats
  • Movies
  • Drama
  • Downtown Historic Core

The L.A. Conservancy offers a delightful summer time machine in the form of classic films, screened inside Downtown’s grand old movie palaces throughout the month of June. This year’s lineupincludesBullittandGaslight at the Los Angeles Theatre on June 8, andFrom Russia with Love andMi Vida Loca at the Palace Theatre on June 15.

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Photograph: Courtesy Grand Performances/Farah Sosa
Grand Performances
  • Music
  • Downtown

This epic (and free) outdoor concert seriesfeatures live performances by artists from around the world at thetotally overhauledCalifornia Plazastage in DTLA, where the shallow water separating the stage from the audience has been replaced by a proper event lawn.Don’t miss a diverse and highly intriguing mix ofbands, DJ sets and dance parties.

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Photograph: Courtesy Brian Feinzimer
KCRW Summer Nights
  • Music
  • Chinatown

Everyone’s favorite NPR member station has a hand in aslew of summer concert slates atpublic plazas and beloved museums, and this summer’s schedule is particularly packed. Familiar KCRW DJs and local buzz bands will be providing free, open-air tunes on select nights through September at Union Station,CAAM,Descanso Gardens, Bowers Museum, Century Park, the Autry, KCRW’s Santa Monica headquartersand—our favorite—the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza.

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OperaFest L.A.
  • Music
  • Classical and opera

See performances from the LA Opera, Long Beach Opera, Pacific Opera Project, Synchromy, Overtone Industries, Mission Operaand Beth Morrison Projects during this weeklong opera celebration across L.A.

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Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Ruben Gutierrez
Jazz at LACMA
  • Music
  • Jazz
  • Miracle Mile

One of L.A.’s best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured legit legends over its three-decade run at the museum. Seating for the program is available in the museum’s plaza on a first-come, first-served basis, though you’re welcome to picnic on the grass, too (you won’t really be able to see the show, but you’ll still hear it). You’ll find the series on Friday evenings in LACMA’s welcome plaza (just behind Urban Light)throughout the summer.

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Photograph: Courtesy Gina Cholick/Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum
  • Things to do
  • USC/Exposition Park

Nature lovers rejoice! Spend a day at the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Pavilion, which will openfrom March 17 throughAugust 25 withup to 30 butterfly and moth species and an assortment of California plants. The seasonal outdoor exhibit allows for adults and children alike to witness nature up close—we’re talking having bufferlies take flight and land on your arms or shoulders. Prime time for these unique butterfly flight experiences are between 10 and 11am each morning.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
SOAR
  • Things to do
  • Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

Walk through a pavilion of fluttering butterflies and peep a chamber with pupae and caterpillars at South Coast Botanic Garden’sseasonal exhibition.For an extra $6, you can pick up a flower vial or ring filled with nectar to attract and feed butterflies.

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Melrose Rooftop Roller Rink
  • Things to do
  • West Hollywood

Melrose Rooftop Theatre is taking off until the fall, but in the meantime the event deck on theE.P. & L.P. rooftop is hosting this open-air roller rink. The rooftop rink is all-ages through 2pm, after that it switches to a 21+ affair. Tickets are available in one-hour time slots and include skate rentals and a churro—though that’ll all cost you a relatively steep $30 to $35.

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Photograph: Courtesy Kelly Lee Barrett/Cinespia
Cinespia Cemetery Screenings
  • Movies
  • Hollywood

It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings hoards of movie-lovers to Hollywood Forever, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snack spreads and lots of booze. Each year, Cinespia brings classic cult favorites to the hallowed resting place of such Hollywood greats as Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel.

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Photograph: Courtesy Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club
  • Movies
  • Downtown

The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for another season of screenings in Downtown L.A., with nearly-nightly showings this spring.

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Photograph: Courtesy Westfield Fashion Square/My Valley Pass
Movies on the Roof
  • Movies
  • Sherman Oaks

Take a seat atop Westfield Fashion Square’s parking garage for this afresco film series. Each Friday and Saturday in the summer, you can catch a different popcorn flick, includingTop Gun,La La Land,The Sandlot,Clueless and more.

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Photograph: Courtesy Ian Flanders
Summer Season at Theatricum Botanicum
  • Things to do
  • Performances
  • Topanga

For more than 50 years, this venue has drawn theatre aficionados to its storied, open-air stage for engaging productions in a magical setting. The 299-seat amphitheater in Topanga Canyon hosts audiences of all ages for plays from a wide range of genres, like Shakespearean classics and folktales. This season, catch highlights such as William Shakespeare’s The Winter's Tale andA Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well asWendy’s Peter Pan,Tartuffe: Born Again andThe Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latine Vote.

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Photograph: Courtesy Smorgasburg L.A.
Smorgasburg LA
  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Downtown Arts District

Every Sunday you can find dozens of food vendors at this market at ROW DTLA, with a mix of much-loved pop-ups and future foodie stars. Look out for this year’s new vendors, includingBasket Taco Co, Battambong Barbecue and Taste of the Pacific.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Westside

Let the wild rumpus start at this celebration of beloved children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. The Skirball Cultural Center will be displaying more than 150 sketches, storyboards and paintings from theWhere the Wild Things Are creator.

Photo by Joshua White/JWPictures,courtesy of The Broad.
Mickalene Thomas: All About Love
  • Art
  • Downtown

Best known for her rhinestone-studded paintings of Black women, collages of old Jet Magazine spreads and revisions of historic paintings, Thomas’s large-scale works (80 of them from the past two decades)are on display at theBroadin this transportive exhibition.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN
  • Art
  • Painting
  • Miracle Mile

This major Ed Ruscha retrospective includes his meticulous photos of L.A. streets and a reconstruction of his Chocolate Room (which, yes, is a room made out sheets upon sheets of chocolate).

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
David Zwirner: 30 Years
  • Art
  • East Hollywood

David Zwirner has onlyhad an L.A. gallery for about a year—plus a new flagship that opens with this show—but the gallerist’s history stretches back three decades elsewhere around the globe. To celebrate, you’ll find works by all of the gallery’s artists across its three L.A. buildings, includingNjideka Akunyili Crosby, Josef Alberts, Diane Arbus, Ruth Asawa, R. Crumb, Dan Flavin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Donald Judd, Toba Khedoori, Paul Klee, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra and more.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Miracle Mile

It’s more than just the low clearance: This exhibition at the Petersen explores the custom paint, engraving, upholstery and, of course, thegravity-defying suspension of the lowrider scene. In addition to iconic cars, the exhibit spotlights influentialartists inthe Chicano lowrider art scene.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Simone Leigh
  • Art
  • Sculpture
  • Miracle Mile

See large ceramic and bronzesculptures atLACMAplus a few more sculptural pieces and collaborative video works atCAAMduring thiscrosstown exhibition of Black feminist artist Simone Leigh.

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Photo by: Charles White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation.
John Waters: Pope of Trash
  • Art
  • Film and video
  • Miracle Mile

See how theHairspray andPink Flamingos writer and director’s delightfully filthy style has redefined the possibilities of independent cinema—as well as what exactly goes into making an indie movie—during this career-spanning exhibition at the Academy Museum.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Painting in the River of Angels: Judy Baca and The Great Wall
  • Art
  • Miracle Mile

Judy Baca’shalf-mile–long TheGreat Wall of Los Angeles, a collaborative mural painted in the ’70s along the Tujunga Wash, has received all sorts of museum love in the past few years. But LACMAhas a particularly unique show to boast about: The local Chicana muralist and SPARC artists will paint two new sections ofThe Great Wall during museum hours. The exhibit also debuts a new section of the wall, in honor of activists known as the Freedom Riders, dubbedGeneration on Fire.

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Slices of Light
Filipino California: Art and the Filipino Diaspora
  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • Glendale

See works from seven contemporary artists (Eliseo Art Silva, Allison Hueman, Anthony Francisco, Maryrose Cobarrubias Mendoza, Christine Morla, Maria Villote and Junn Roca) who address issues related to Filipino culture and the Filipino-American experience during this exhibition at the Forest Lawn Museum.

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Photograph: Courtesy Japan House
Yes, Kawaii is Art -Express Yourself-
  • Art
  • Installation
  • Hollywood

Hollywood’s Japan House has tapped artistSebastian Masuda to dive into the roots of all things cute and colorful with this exhibition on Japanese kawaii culture. The free show includes multiple pieces and installations from Masuda.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Eyes On the Road: Art of the Automotive Landscape
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Miracle Mile

See 1930s-to-50s concept carsplus artworkfrom Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and David Hockney at this Petersen exhibition.

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Photograph: Courtesy GRAMMY Museum
Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • South Park

The GRAMMY Museum celebrates hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with interactive DJing, rapping and sampling stations and instantly recognizable artifacts like LL Cool J’s red Kangol bucket hat and the Notorious B.I.G.’s red leather pea coat.

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Foto: Cortesía Warner
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
  • 4 out of 5 stars

  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

George Miller delivers the full-throttle, no-prisoners-taken prequel we’ve all been waiting for.

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Photograph: 20th Century Studios
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
  • 3 out of 5 stars

  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

No Andy Serkis, no problems for Wes Ball’s thoughtful ape adventure.

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Photograph: © Universal Studios
The Fall Guy
  • 4 out of 5 stars

  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt share a ton of goofy chemistry in this nitrous pull of an action-comedy.

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Image: Murray Close
Civil War
  • 3 out of 5 stars

  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

Alex Garland’s brutal, dystopian vision of America at war with itself is visceral but vague.

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Photographer: 20th Century Studios
The First Omen
  • 4 out of 5 stars

  • Movies
  • Horror

Eschewing gimmicky callbacks, this horror prequel is thoughtful and engaging—but still unsettling.

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