32 Awesome Events In Southern California This Weekend

Get wild with the wildlife at Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo. (Courtesy of GLAZA)

Climb the Bank Tower in DTLA. Watch Killer Crocodile. Attend Tegan & Sara's book launch. Check out Ava DuVernay's Array 360 film series. Catch the L.A. Opera — at the beach. Eat your heart out at gelato and chocolate festivals. And get spooky — or spooked — with our SoCal Halloween Guide.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 6 - 10:30 P.M.
Roaring Nights at the Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo — 5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park
Hang with (some) creatures of the night at a party with music provided by DJ Richard Blade, Flashback Heart Attack, DJ Severe, The Detroit Nights and HUSH Silent Disco. Check out close-up animal experience stations throughout the zoo. Food trucks will be onsite to feed partygoers. The event is 21+.
COST: $21; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 11 A.M. - 9 P.M.
YMCA Stair Climb for Los Angeles
U.S. Bank Tower — 401 S. Hope St., downtown L.A.
Be one of the 4,000 participants to take on the tallest stairwell west of the Mississippi, nd it's for a good cause. Race or walk up the U.S. Bank Tower's 1,664 steps (that'd be 75 stories) then treat yo self by taking the elevator down to a block party with games, bands, food trucks and a 21+ beer garden. Funds raised will benefit the YMCA's community programs.
COST: $150 - $50 (for Elite racers); MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 5 - 9 P.M.
Van Nuys Arts Festival
Van Nuys Civic Center — 14350 Sylvan St., Van Nuys
This year's arts festival, The Glow Up, focuses on art and tech, nature and empowerment, with a glow nature garden by artists Debi Cable, Black Light King, Todd Meyer and Darlene Kerns. Listen to music by the Selena tribute band Selenamos and DJ Les Ortiz as well as performances by The Gr818ers Dance Crew, Champs Charter High School of the Arts & Panorama High School.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

The inaugural Groove Island Festival on Catalina Island features DJs, dance music, outdoor activities, meditation, yoga and comedy. (Courtesy of Prism Cam)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Groove Island Festival
Various locations in Avalon, Catalina Island
The first immersive music dance festival on the island features 40 artists and DJs such as Andrew Rayel, Chus & Ceballos, Mark Knight, Oliver Heldens, Sam Feldt and Shiba San. The event includes themed costume parties; a chillout experience with yoga, meditation and wellness workshops; a silent disco; and stand-up comedy. Travel and lodging packages are available. This festival is 21+.
COST: Single-day tickets start at $99.; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 7 P.M.
Frankie Quiñones
The Wiltern — 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
The stand-up comedian brings some of his best-known characters to the stage, including Creeper (a reformed cholo turned fitness guru) and Juanita Carmelita (a suburban drama queen). If you can't make the Wiltern show this week, he also has four shows at the Irvine Improv on Oct. 4 and 5.
COST: $25; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 6:30 - 10 P.M.
Haunted Little Tokyo Film Festival: Prince of Darkness
David Henry Hwang Theater in the Union Center for the Arts —120 Judge John Aiso St. downtown L.A.
Go Little Tokyo presents spook-tacular events throughout the month, including a film festival that opens on Friday with John Carpenter's 1987 horror film. It screens in the church it was filmed (fka Union Church) with special guest, actor Dennis Dun. Guests 21+ can partake in themed cocktails at a cash bar, listen to a Q & A session with Dun and tour of the filming location with Horror's Hallowed Grounds' Sean Clark.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 10 P.M.
Beyond Fest: Killer Crocodile
Egyptian Theatre — 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
Friday Night Frights presents the 30th anniversary screening of the 1989 film, written and directed by Fabrizio De Angelis. A take on the "animals gone extra wild" subgenre, the movie follows a croc that has grown unnaturally large due to chemical dumping in the river. The film stars Richard Anthony Crenna (son of Rambo's Richard Crenna) who tries to save the community from this predator. Tickets are only available at the Egyptian's box office one hour before showtime; two tickets per person maximum. (Also at Beyond Fest on Friday at 8 p.m. is a free screening of Paganini Horror (1989), the story of a female metal band that accidentally opens a portal to hell while playing cursed sheet music.)
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Ohana Fest
Doheny State Beach — 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point
Say goodbye to summer with a three-day music festival at the beach. The all-ages event includes performances by Eddie Vedder, The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Glen Hansard, Las Cafeteras, Jenny Lewis and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
COST: Single-day tickets start at $128.50; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27; 8 P.M.
Robot Chicken 10th Season Spectacular: Night of 1000 Bawks
The Theatre at Ace Hotel — 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Adult Swim promises an evening of laughs (at least 1,000) with a celebration of the show's greatest sketches and untold stories. Hear behind-the-scenes tales from co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. They're joined by writers, producers, craftspeople, voice actors and celebrity guests who've contributed to the show. Guests will also get a sneak peek at Season 10. The event is 18+.
COST: $10; MORE INFO

Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy presents her classic 1983 film, ,Sugar Cane Alley,' on opening night of Array 360. (Film still courtesy of Euzhan Palcy )

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2
Array 360
Amanda Theater @ Array — 180 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park
The new film series, which is curated, funded and presented by Ava DuVernay's nonprofit, Array Alliance, brings together filmmakers, emerging artists and the community for six weekends of screenings and conversation. The opening weekend features the two-day program, A Woman's Work, highlighting the films of trailblazers Euzhan Palcy, Barbara Loden, Kathleen Collins, Marilou Diaz-Araya and Suzana Amaral. Palcy and Nina Collins, the daughter of late Kathleen Collins, are expected to attend. The series runs through Nov. 2.
COST: FREE, seats on a first-come, first-served basis; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Gelato Festival America
Pacific Design Center — 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
This festival and competition pits artisanal gelato makers against each other as they vie for title of best of the fest. Guests can taste all the gelato they want among competing flavors. The winning flavor and chef will head to the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021. The weekend also includes games, contests and a laboratory of frozen desserts.
COST: Admission $10 - $25; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Nigerian Independence Day
Veterans Park — 22400 Moneta Ave., Carson
The 59th edition of the community carnival celebrates Nigeria's independence from British rule, which occurred on Oct. 1, 1960. Listen to tunes spun by DJ Lenitini, take part in cultural activities, taste Nigerian foods available for purchase and shop the wares of local vendors.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

It's a weekend of culture, community and music at the Watts Towers, built by hand over 33 years by sculptor and designer Simon Rodia. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Watts Towers' Festivals
Watts Towers Arts Center — 1727 E. 107th St., Watts
Saturday marks the 38th Day of the Drum Festival, which includes performances of Aztec drumming and dance, Korean classical music, Japanese taiko, capoeira and West African beats. Sunday's 43rd annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival features spiritual music, Italian jazz, Afro-Cuban and R&B music. Look for performances by David Ornette Cherry with Organic Nation, Lynne Fiddmont and Dwight Trible. The festivals include kids activities, food and craft vendors.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Main Day Event
The Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St.. Pico-Union
This lit festival for LGBTQ writers culminates with a closing celebration and performances. Tegan & Sara read and discuss their recent memoir, High School. You can also catch readings and performances by Katherine Agyemaa Agard, Charlie Jane Anders, Myriam Gurba, Dynasty Handbag, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Phranc, Tommy Pico, Danez Smith and Karen Tongson (who also hosts karaoke to end the day). Doors open at 11 a.m. Free lunch provided by L.A. Habana.
COST: FREE, but there's currently a waitlist; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 6:30 - 10 P.M.
Queer Prom
First Christian Church of Whittier — 6355 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier
The city holds its first-ever gay pride festival from Sept. 26-28, and one of the big events is the prom. Taking place after Whittier Pride, the event features sound and lights by three DJs, two photo booths, snacks and a space to chill. The evening closes with a ballroom-
style pose-off to crown three prom winners. LGBTQ+ community members, friends, family and allies are welcome to the dance.
COST: Admission $5 - $50; MORE INFO

Relive the 1940s aboard the historic Battleship IOWA. (Courtesy of '40s on the Fantail)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 5 - 10 P.M.
40's On The Fantail - Wine, Beer & Food Festival
Battleship USS Iowa Museum — 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
This 1940s-themed festival doubles as a charity fundraiser benefiting Mission 22, a nonprofit organization that combats suicide among veterans. Guests will be treated to USO-style entertainment from headliner Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, the Satin Dollz and the Hollywood It Girls as well as swing dance lessons, vintage cars and costume contests.
COST: $65 - $120; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 12 - 7 P.M.
Michelada Rumble on the Beach
SeaLegs at the Beach — 17851 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach
This festival devoted to beer cocktails features a competition among 24 of the best micheladas (a combo of beer, tomato juice and spices) from California and Texas. The day also includes luche libre wresting, a performance by Baby Bash and, of course, beer. This event is strictly 21+.
COST: $25 general admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 2 P.M.
Disney's That Darn Cat
New Beverly Cinema — 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax
Watch a family matinee of the 1965 Robert Stevenson film in a 35mm print. Hayley Mills and Dorothy Provine star as sisters with a trouble-making Siamese cat. Dean Jones co-stars as an FBI agent. Kids of all ages are welcome, and attendees 12 and younger get a free child size popcorn and raffle ticket.
COST: $6; MORE INFO

LA Opera's 2019 production of 'La Boheme' will be simulcast to Santa Monica and Torrance on Saturday night. (Cory Weaver )

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 7:30 - 10:30 P.M.
Opera at the Beach and Opera in the Park
Santa Monica Pier — 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
Columbia Regional Park — 4045 190th St., Torrance
L.A. Opera opened its 2019-20 season with a new take on Puccini's romantic tragedy, La Bohème (the inspiration for Broadway's Rent). For the fifth year, catch the production on HD-livestreams in Santa Monica and Torrance. Bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

A woman plays 'Mortal Kombat 2' on an 1980s console by Arcade 1Up at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, opening in Los Angeles, California on June 11, 2019. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 - SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Retrocade
Union Station — 800 N. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
The old-school gaming weekend is back by popular demand with more than 50 cabinet games from the '70s, '80s and '90s, including Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. (We got dibs on Galaga and Donkey Kong.) All games are set to free play and the admission fee covers two-hour sessions. Serious gamers can enter the Pac Man tournament each day from 5 to 7 p.m. A DJ spins while arcade food, beer, wine and cocktails are available for purchase.
COST: $5 admission, $10 for Pac Man tournament; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 11 A.M. - 4 P.M.
Los Angeles Libros Festival
Los Angeles Central Library — 630 W 5th St., downtown L.A.
The free, bilingual book festival includes storytelling, music performances, international and local authors, books and workshops throughout the day in dos idiomas.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Nature for All: National Public Lands Day
Multiple Locations
Experience L.A. County's public lands for free, while taking public transportation. Start at Union Station then head to the mountains, beach or parks either on your own or via a guided trip. All participants need to have their own TAP card, with $3.50 pre-loaded for the roundtrip ride on Metro. Destinations include L.A. State Historic Park in Chinatown, the L.A. River (Steelhead Park), Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills, Santa Monica Beach Pier and Sturtevant Fall in the San Gabriel Valley. RSVPs required for guided tours.
COST: FREE / donations accepted; MORE INFO

The Hammer Museum opens a retrospective on the artist Lari Pittman, including 'How Sweet the Day After This and That, Deep Sleep Is Truly Welcomed.' (© Lari Pittman, courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 8 P.M.
Lari Pittman: Declaration of Independence
Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
The museum presents the opening celebration of the most comprehensive retrospective of the L.A.-based artist, teacher and social justice advocate's work. Featuring approximately 80 paintings and 50 works on paper, the exhibition marks the first time the Hammer has devoted all of its major exhibition spaces to a single living artist. The opening night party features food trucks, a cash bar and a live DJ. The exhibition runs through Jan. 5, 2020.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 9 P.M.
NY Night Train Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down! w/Jonathan Toubin
Zebulon — 2478 Fletcher Dr., Elysian Valley
DJ, producer, writer and party ringleader Jonathan Toubin brings his NY dance festivities to the West Coast, spinning vinyl soul along the way. There's a $100 dance-off at midnight. Ages 21+.
COST: $10 ; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28; 11:59 P.M.
Barton Fink
Vista Theatre — 4473 Sunset Dr., Los Feliz
The Secret Movie Club screens the Coen Brothers' 1991 film, which stars John Turturro as the title character, a mildly successful New York playwright who moves to L.A. to write screenplays. Once here, he encounters writer's block, a traveling salesman neighbor (John Goodman) and a dead woman in his bed.
COST: Tickets start at $12.75; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 12 P.M.
Offal Closing Events
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery — 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood
It's the closing weekend of the Offal exhibition at the gallery. The group show is based on the practice of consuming innards as well as an examination of culture and food. The two final public programs are a walkthrough with artists Matt Hollis, Sarah Julig and Alex Nazari then a pickle-tasting led by artist Robert Farid Karimi. Sample pickles that have fermented during his installation's run or create your own as you listen to Karimi's poetry.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 7:30 A.M.
Alive & Running
West 88th St. & La Tijera Blvd., Westchester
The 5K run/walk remembers loved ones lost to suicide while raising funds for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center. The org offers training, research and services to people who have thought, attempted or lost someone to suicide. Hosted by actor Catherine Hicks, the featured speaker is Talinda Bennington, widow of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, with music by Alex Boyé.
COST: $35; free for children 12 and younger; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
35th Annual Abbot Kinney Festival
Abbot Kinney Blvd. — between Venice Blvd. and Main St., Venice
The annual Venice block party takes over a one-mile stretch of the trendy boulevard with four live music stages, five beer gardens (21+), more than 350 vendors as well, and food booths and trucks. The festival also features games, rides and music for kids. There are beer garden fast passes ($35, includes one beer) and KidsQuad wristbands (games/rides) available for purchase ($90 - $100 for unlimited rides).
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 10 A.M. - 3:30 P.M.
Los Angeles Chocolate Salon
Pasadena Convention Center — 300 E. Green St., Pasadena
Sample sweet treats from artisanal chocolatiers and confectioners such as Michael's Chocolates, Mignon Chocolate, Amano Artisan Chocolate and Andrea's Truffles. In addition to tastings, there are chef and author talks, wine tastings (for those 21+) and cooking demos.
COST: $20 - $25 for adult admission; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 5 - 8 P.M.
45th Annual AbilityFirst Festival of Fall
Laurabelle A. Robinson House — 195 South Grand Ave., Pasadena
Held on the grounds of the historic house, the festival showcases the tastes of more than 25 top chefs, restaurants, cocktail bars, wineries and breweries, along with live culinary demonstrations and music. Sample delights from vendors including Bone Kettle, Bacchus' Kitchen, Celestino Ristorante & Bar, El Cholo Café, Sushi Roku andTam O'Shanter, among others. Special cocktails and spirit tastings from Dulce Vida Tequila, Krafted Spirits, Mi Piace and The Raymond 1886. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the nonprofit AbilityFirst, which helps people with disabilities achieve their full potential.
COST: Tickets start at $250; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 10 A.M. - 7 P.M.
Community Classroom
The Row Downtown LA — 767 Alameda St., downtown L.A.
The digital media company ATTN teams with UCLA to present a day of ideas and art, with alumni speakers taking on topics of culture, sustainability and entrepreneurship. Presenters include: actor and LGBTQ+ advocate George Takei; chef Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish; and Coolhaus founder Natasha Case. The day also features a community mural, art installations, the "Human Library" and Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29; 8 P.M.
Rosh Hashanah Community Dinners
Shul on the Beach — 505 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
Watch the sunset over the ocean and share the first meal of 5780 with a welcoming community. The event will be led by Rabbi Shalom Rubanowitz.
COST: Dinner tickets start at $35.; MORE INFO