The Best Things To Do In LA And SoCal This Weekend: April 8 - 10
Screen a diverse group of LGBTQ+ BIPOC films at Outfest Fusion. Catch car or horse races. Attend Bob Baker Day 2022. Head to the desert for art and the outdoors.
Friday, April 8 - Sunday, April 10
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
300 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
The weekend not only includes races through the streets of Long Beach, but also car shows, driver autograph sessions, a Lifestyle Expo and Family Fun Zone, a Food Truck Experience, and a Saturday night concert from the all-star band Royal Machines.
COST: $37 - $108 for general admission; MORE INFO
Friday, April 8 - Sunday, April 17
Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival
Various locations, plus virtual options
The festival focuses on works about and by queer, trans, Black, and Indigenous people, as well as other people of color. It features seven feature films, 52 short films, three episodics, a minute movie contest, as well as workshops and panels. The opening night features a slate of short films and a special awards presentation honoring Stephanie Beatriz and Sandra Oh.
COST: Screenings start at $12; MORE INFO
Friday, April 8: 1 - 6 p.m.
Festival Fever Bazaar
Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles
8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Need to prep for desert vibes? The bazaar features curated brands and local vendors that can help you find your festival-ready look. Listen to live DJ sets and sip cocktails while taking in the views and making your Coachella game plan. 21+.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Friday, April 8 (opening)
Dinosaur Encounters at NHM
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exhibition Blvd., Exposition Park
Attend a live educational performance with NHM's life-size dinosaur puppets: T. rex and Triceratops. Each show explores a different theme, with paleontologists and puppeteers showing how these prehistoric animals lived. Shows Thursdays and Fridays 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
COST: $6 + price of admission ($7 - $15); MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9 - Sunday, April 10: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Brewery Art Walk
642 Moulton Ave. #E19, downtown L.A.
The spring edition of the twice-annual open studios event returns this weekend, featuring more than 100 artists opening their workspaces to the public. Meet and chat with the artists and buy pieces from them directly. The select studios are spread across the Brewery's 16-acre campus, so bring good walking shoes.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9 - Sunday, April 10: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Family Festival: Persia
17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades
Bring the fam to experience the music, dance, storytelling, and hands-on workshops and activities that celebrate the culture of ancient Iran. The daylong festival is inspired by the exhibition Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Bob Baker Day 2022
L.A. State Historic Park
1245 N Spring St., downtown L.A.
The community festival returns in person this year with puppetry, stage performances, and dozens of vendors and creators. In addition to the puppets from Bob Baker, participating organizations include Pacific Opera Project, Southern California Children's Museum, the Velaslavasay Panorama, Welcome Skateboards, and Angel City Press. Food trucks and stands will be onsite, too.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9: 12 p.m.
Harvey Fierstein discusses I Was Better Last Night, with Billy Eichner
First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
540 South Commonwealth Ave., Westlake
Listen to Fierstein — cultural icon, gay rights activist and Tony Award-winning actor and playwright — read from his memoir and discuss it with comedian Billy Eichner. Ticket includes a copy of I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir.
COST: $32; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9: 5 p.m. (PT)
A Night of Unity: Performances from WriteGirl
Listen to an online public reading from several teen writers and alums of the lit and mentoring program. The event celebrates the launch of the second issue of Lines & Breaks: A Literary Journal From WriteGirl, which showcases creative writing from WriteGirl teens and alums in poetry, fiction, songwriting, screenwriting, journalism, and other genres
COST: FREE, but donations encouraged; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9: 12 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Noon to Midnight: A Day of New Music
Walt Disney Concert Hall / BP Hall
111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
Hear new classical music from forward-thinking ensembles at the L.A. Phil’s 12-hour marathon of music. The day features flutist Claire Chase performing Pauline Oliveros’ Tuning Meditation, an evening concert focusing on composer Louis Andriessen and conducted by L.A. Phil Creative Chair John Adams. You'll also see performances by Southland Ensemble, Hocket, Jacaranda Music, WildUp, and Danny Holt.
COST: $5 - $63; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9
Santa Anita Derby
Santa Anita Park
285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia
First run in 1935, the Santa Anita Derby is the signature West Coast race leading to the Kentucky Derby. In addition to horse racing, the day also features a 5K morning run that ends on the track, a spring carnival, a beer and cider festival, and a Desert 5 Spot pop-up.
COST: Admission prices vary; MORE INFO
Saturday, April 9: 10 p.m.
Groundlings of ‘69
The Groundlings Theatre
7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax
Catch a preview of a new, groovy sketch show from the troupe’s main company. Directed by Lisa Schurga, the show features members Josh Duvendeck (Parks and Recreation), Allison Dunbar (The Sopranos), and Ryan Gaul (The Last O.G.). Previews continue weekly until opening night on April 29.
COST: $20; MORE INFO
Sunday, April 10 - Saturday, May 7
Monica Wyatt: Curiouser
4959 York Blvd., Highland Park
The TV producer/director-turned-dumpster-diving sculptor presents a series of found objects she’s turned into assemblage artworks. View large-scale, dream-like installations among the gallery’s own collection of objects and art. The opening reception takes place on Sunday, April 10 from 3 to 8 p.m.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Sunday, April 10: 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Recuerdos Vintage Market
The Bamboo Club
3522 East Anaheim St., Long Beach
Shop fashion, vinyl, memorabilia, antique pottery, home decor, and collectibles from vintage vendors while sipping on Tiki drinks and listening to DJs spin funk beats.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO
Sunday, April 10: 2 p.m.
Mostly Blues Festival
Aitken Arts Plaza
415 North Glassell Orange St., Orange
Keb’ Mo’ headlines this year’s festival, with Sunny War and Jackie Vernon opening. Feel free to bring chairs, blankets, and a picnic. (But no umbrellas or outdoor alcohol.) A beer garden will be open during the event, with Crepes Bonaparte and Salt N' Pepper food trucks open at 1 p.m.
COST: $40; MORE INFO
High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) 2022: The Searchers
This week’s outdoor pick is part roadtrip and part art excursion. HDTS, a nonprofit art institution that supports experimental artwork in the Joshua Tree region, holds an opening weekend of activities for the launch of nine new site-specific artworks in Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Wonder Valley.
All sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10. The official driving map and directions will be released Friday, April 8, and physical maps will be available at the HDTS HQ at the Sky Village Swap Meet. After opening weekend, all sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays through May 22.
Bridgerton, Season 2
Nothing new really struck our fancy this week, so if you haven’t already (or even if you have), get lost in the (fantasy) world of Regency England with the family Bridgerton, as eldest son Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) tries to find a match during the season’s marriage market. We love seeing the show’s production values, its sets, costumes, hair, and casting choices. Last year, Regé-Jean Page lit up the small screen as the Duke of Hastings — this year, Simone Ashley takes a leading role as Kate Sharma. Bridgerton is now streaming on Netflix.
Dine & Drink Deals
Check out the 411 on restaurant, bar, and food happenings in SoCal this week:
- Enjoy the foods of the 626 without having to cross the 405. The 626 Night Market Mini (image, above) returns to downtown Santa Monica on Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10, from 1 to 10 p.m., bringing with it two dozen food vendors to the Westside. The market takes place near the Third Street Promenade. Tickets are free, but the market has limited capacity.
- On Sunday, April 10, the Godfrey Hotel’s ALK (About Last Knife) welcomes Carti G. for the hotel’s first-ever Drag Brunch from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., with performances beginning at noon. Menu highlights include avocado egg toast, shrimp ceviche, French omelets, grilled steak sandwiches, and a vegan breakfast sandwich. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended.
- The newest Outpost Kitchen (3420 Bristol St. at South Coast Plaza) launches dinner service this week, Thursday through Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. The Aussie-inspired dinner menu features Willapa Bay oysters, hummus and meatballs with rosemary infused lemon oil, Australian Barramundi, Southern Ocean Chilean sea bass, Pacific Alaskan halibut, bone-in “Kurobuta” pork chop, and Australian rack of lamb.
- On Saturday (April 9), The Hoxton’s hotel’s rooftop restaurant Cabra launches brunch service. While taking in great views of downtown L.A. and beyond, guests can enjoy new menu items from chef Stephanie Izard. These include skirt steak with sunny side eggs, fruit ceviche with avocado cream, and quinoa granola. Weekend brunch runs Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Road trip time: Head up to the Central Coast, because Priedite Barbeque in Los Alamos hosts chefs Nestor Silva and Elizabeth Heitner from L.A.’s Mexican-inspired Jewish cuisine pop-up Malli for a collab cookout on Saturday, April 9, starting at 9 a.m. until sold out. Expect dishes like pastrami’d beef cheek barbacoa adobada, pastrami bagel sandwiches, salsas, and Priedite’s full barbecue spread. They’ll also serve up sourdough bagels and conchas from Estaven Silva. The collaborative event takes place at Bell’s restaurant in Los Alamos.
- The Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village turns 100 this year, and it’s now offering a lavish $100 drink: The Centurion Cocktail. So what’s in the drink that will cost you a Ben Franklin? Macallan Rare Cask, Amontillado Sherry, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Manuka honey rooibos, and house-made luxury bitters, garnished with a truffled chocolate blood orange crisp. And you get to keep the keepsake cut crystal whiskey glass.
- NorthRidge Eats (9346 Corbin Ave.) is an Asian food hall that opened last month and currently features four vendors: Akafuji Sushi, Maxwell Chicken Rice, Mee Dee Thai Kitchen, and Kotsu Ramen & Gyoza. (h/t Los Angeles Times)
- Dine L.A. restaurant week continues through April 15. Participating restaurants offer prix-fixe menus for lunch, dinner, or both. Prices range from $15 - $65+. Dozens of restaurants are participating, including TAO L.A., Beauty and Essex Los Angeles, Café Gratitude, Gracias Madre West Hollywood, and several Original Farmers Market eateries.