The Best Things To Do This Weekend in Southern California: July 16 - 18
Roller skate through a disco garden. Fly a kite at a community fest. Support your local artisan at a SoCal makers fair. Attend a night of beer and the Bard. Bring your Doxie to a meetup. Watch a doc about Anthony Bourdain.
Friday, July 16 - Monday, Sept. 6
South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula
Roll and spin through a 90- to 120-minute journey of art, light, disco, live performance and roller skating in the middle of the garden. Grammy Award-winning composer, producer and musician Nile Rodgers curates the soundscape. Food and drinks will be available to purchase.
COST: $39 - $59; MORE INFO
Opens Thursday, July 16
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
Morgan Neville’s documentary examines the life of chef, writer, TV host and adventurer Anthony Bourdain who committed suicide in 2018. Neville, who directed the docs 20 Feet From Stardom and Won’t You Be My Neighbor, takes an unflinching look at Bourdain's life and how he impacted the world around him.
COST: Varies; MORE INFO
Friday, July 16 - Saturday, July 17; 7:30 p.m.
Moonlit Fridays / Saturdays
2200 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank
The new comedy venue offers outdoor laughs, Tuesdays through Saturdays. This Friday's lineup features Kiran Deol, JT Parr, Sara Weinshenk, Omid Singh and a surprise guest. Saturday’s comics include Zainab Johnson, Andy Kozel, Dwayne Perkins, Meredith Casey and another secret performer.
COST: $20; MORE INFO
Friday, July 16 - Saturday, Aug. 21
Plaza de la Raza
3540 N. Mission Rd., Lincoln Heights
The Eastside arts center opens an exhibition featuring the works of artists Emilia Cruz and Rick Ortega. The art explores culture as an evolving guide to the future. The opening reception takes place on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Masks are required.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO
Friday, July 16 - Sunday, Aug. 15
Orange County Fairgrounds
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Yee-haw! The O.C. fair returns with animals, games, rides, music, entertainment and all the deep-fried foods your stomach can handle. New fair food items include Hot Cheeto-n-Cheese Pickles, chicken lumpia topped with ice cream, and watermelon tacos. The fair operates a little differently than in years past. This summer, a limited number of tickets will be available each day to reduce capacity. Tickets will be sold online in advance with no transaction fees. Masks are required indoors for unvaccinated guests.
COST: $7 - $14 for fair admission; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17; 2 - 3:30 p.m.
California African American Museum
600 State Dr., Exposition Park
The museum hosts an all-ages workshop based on its current exhibition, April Bey: Atlantica, the Gilda Region. Bey layers plants, videos, photos, mixed-media paintings and textiles to create a world and tell its story. Artist Alyssa Olepau leads a workshop on creating and collaging zines that tell your story. Masks required.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17 - Sunday, July 18; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair
275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Uniting crafts and culture, Jackalope features more than 100 artisans who create handmade jewelry, wares, clothing, food and beverages. Enjoy live music throughout the weekend. Kid-friendly entertainment happens from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17; 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Community and Unity Kite Festival
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 N. Spring Street, downtown L.A.
Go fly a kite ... at this family festival sponsored by Clockshop and California State Parks. Learn about the art of kite making and flying, participate in art and printmaking workshops, watch a “gallery in the sky” through flying demos with kite masters and listen to live music by Maqueos Band and Neon Dots (Andres Leñero).
COST: FREE with RSVP, donations accepted; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17 - Aug. 28
The Torrance Art Museum (TAM)
The museum launches a new community-based, outdoor public art exhibition found in various locations throughout the city. View more than 20 artworks accessible by foot, bus or car. Artists include:Luciana Abait, Richard Ankrom, Joshua Beliso, Reed van Brunschot, Juan Capistran, Ana Carolina Estarita-Guerrero, Fallen Fruit and Yarn Bombing LA, among many others. Pick up a map at the museum, which also reopens with a celebration on Saturday, or view it online.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17; 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Open Space Preserve: Wilderness Access Day
Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp
11 Bommer Canyon, Irvine
For one day, the entire southern part of the Open Space Preserve trail network is open for self-guided hiking and biking. (Typically, these areas are open for guided activities only.) Explore ancient oak and sycamore groves, rock outcrops and trails once used by cattle and ranchers in the historic Cattle Camp. Ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Don’t forget to bring your own water.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17; 4 - 7 p.m.
200 W. First St., Claremont
The nonprofit theater company Ophelia’s Jump Productions pairs beer and Shakespeare for a fun night out. Walk to several outdoor locations in Claremont Village where craft breweries pour their beers while live music plays. Admission includes a total of 12 drink pours and bites, one at each location. Pair your tasting with a ticket to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Sontag Greek Theater at 8 p.m. (or select another night if you don't want to mix beer and the Bard).
COST: $30 (designated driver ticket), $60 - $80; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17; 3 - 8 p.m.
The Comeback Fest
Art Share L.A.
801 E. 4th Place, downtown L.A.
It’s time to bring back the arts and live music, and this community fest presents performances by the L.A.-based bands Sunny War, Sin Color and Very Be Careful, along with the all-women DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club. L.A. County's current Youth Poet Laureate, Jessica Kim, also performs. Check out wares from 35 vendors, artists booths, live mural activations and various programs. There will be a mobile vaccination clinic on site if you haven’t gotten your COVID shots yet.
COST: FREE / donations accepted; MORE INFO
Saturday, July 17 - Sunday, July 18; 5:30 p.m.
Summer Music Strolls
1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge
Take an after-hours walk through the gardens while listening to classical music from various corners of Descanso. Enjoy classical music from SAKURA Cellos, sitar music from the Paul Livingstone Ensemble: AROHI, and Middle Eastern tunes performed by Yuval Ron Music featuring Manuel Gutierrez and Andres Vadin. Chairs, blankets, outside food and picnics are not permitted. Reservations required.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO
Sunday, July 18; 7 p.m.
Kamasi Washington / Earl Sweatshirt
2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
Summer is definitely back as KCRW’s World Festival returns to the Bowl on Sunday nights, kicking off with saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington and hip-hop artist Earl Sweatshirt.
COST: $25 - $138; MORE INFO
Sunday, July 18; 1 - 2:30 p.m. PT
Doxie Tombstone Meetup
6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
If you own Dachshunds or if you like Dachshunds, then you need to attend this meetup to view a new installation, The Doxie Tombstone, commissioned by writer Mike Szymanski. The sofa tombstone is modeled after one that was in his living room and features eight bronze Dachshunds modeled after his own dogs. Portraits are being offered for a suggested $20 donation, and organizers hope to get one big group photo with all the Dachshunds.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO
This week’s outdoor adventure takes us to the coast for stand-up paddleboarding. Balance on the board and use a paddle to propel yourself through the water for a great full-body workout. The calm waters of Marina del Rey make for a popular L.A. paddleboarding spot, with rentals and lessons available from Pro SUP Shop and the Paddle Method. In Orange County, Pirate Coast Paddle Company in Newport Beach offers a nighttime LED glow tour (not for beginners) in addition to lessons and rentals. Rentals for stand up paddleboarding run about $20 - $30 per hour depending on company and location.
American Horror Stories
No, that’s not a typo. FX on Hulu’s new episodic anthology series is a spinoff of Ryan Murphy's long-running American Horror Story. Instead of telling a single story throughout the entire season, the new series features a different narrative and cast each episode. Many American Horror Story veterans are featured in the spinoff including Matt Bomer, Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga. Sarah Paulson also steps behind the camera to direct an episode for the new show. Two episodes stream on Thursday, followed by five subsequent weekly releases.
Dine and Drink Deals
Here are a few options from restaurants and bars as we work our way back toward normal.
- Sunday is National Ice Cream Day and Smorgasburg L.A. brings back its Ice Cream Alley to celebrate properly. Expect vendors such as Wanderlust, Sweet & Hollow, Madame Shugah and Smoreology in collaboration with Scoops on Tap, plus pop-ups from Atomic Creamery, Van Leeuewen and Nice Pops. The Alley runs every Sunday through Labor Day Weekend (Sep. 5).
- Other ice cream peddlers will also be offering deals and hosting pop-ups for National Ice Cream Day. At McConnell’s, buy one scoop and get another for free on Sunday at any of their Scoop Shops — or get 20% off online orders through July 19. At Carvel, buy a churro-inspired ice cream treat on Sunday and you'll get a card with a "surprise offer" for another item from the ice cream chain. On Saturday, look for the Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream truck in Venice. It will be scooping at Linus Bike from 1 to 3 p.m. then at Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. At Salt & Straw, get free shipping on all ice cream on Sunday. Head to Whole Foods for 35% off all Coolhaus treats through July 20.
- Thanks to LA Taco for the tip that Crystal's Soul Cafe in Willowbrook (12823 S. Avalon Blvd.) is serving vegan soul food. Look for plant-based versions of gumbo, coconut shrimp and banana cream crumbles.
- Delicious Little Tokyo! continues with culinary experiences throughout the neighborhood, including two self-guided food tours. The Mini Matsuri Hop offers gyoza, takoyaki and SPAM musubi from different eateries. The Tasty Time Hop offers a history of Little Tokyo through its food offerings, from manju at Fugetsu-Do to Cafe Dulce’s sausage donut. Both hops take place on Saturday from 2 - 5 p.m. Tickets: $69.
- After his June residency at Animal on Fairfax, chef John Clark’s Two Wings chicken reopened last week in its usual home at a South L.A. church. The menu includes chicken wings, chicken BBQ sliders, chicken strips and a bunch of sides.
- Arth Bar + Kitchen opened last week in Culver City, offering contemporary Indian cuisine from chef Sagar Ghosh, formerly of the Yellow Chili in Tustin. Check out chicken tikka tacos, a Bombay burger, Kolkata fish fry, nalli nihari (a whole lamb shank), lobster moilee and a Cornish hen tikka masala. There's also a robust cocktail menu.
- Remember Nathan Apodaca? Better known as TikToker @420doggface208, he went viral in a video showcasing his love for Fleetwood Mac and Ocean Spray cranberry juice. Apodaca recently revealed his latest collab with BeatBox — a boozy juice box called Cranberry Dreams Cosmo. (h/t Complex)
- Brunch-focused Westchester restaurant the Court Cafe has returned after being closed for more than a year. Created by members of the not-so-secret “foodminari” society — Taco Mell’s Jermelle Henderson and Bleu Kitchen’s Calvin Johnson — the menu features waffles, omelettes, seafood and grits (with shrimp, lobster or catfish). (h/t Eater LA)
- The Ecology Center — a 28-acre regenerative farm and education center in San Juan Capistrano — holds a Hearth dinner series on Friday and Saturday nights through August with a seasonal chef-in-residence. The interactive series immerses guests into discussions through food, music, art and experiences in the San Juan Creek bioregion (Acjachemen land). Ticket sales support The Ecology Center’s mission to give back 20% of what it grows, with the goal of nourishing 750 food-insecure families per week.