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Weekend Planner: 21 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Looking for something to do? Look no further than these 21 events happening this weekend. And don’t forget to check out our Outdoor Film Screenings and Summer Concert lists for more suggestions.

FRIDAY, AUG. 7

ART: LA Luz de Jesus Gallery holds artists receptions on Friday from 8-11 pm for two shows: J.A.W. Cooper’s Viscera and Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ Wonder Pop. Ontiveros continues his exploration of animated characters, history and pop culture while Cooper’s show “explores instinct and intuition as the spark of creation, to delight the feral child at our core.” The works will remain on view through Aug. 30.

FILM Q&As: The ArcLight Hollywood has great guests this weekend doing film Q&As. On Friday and Saturday after the 8:30 pm screenings of The End of the Tour, Jason Segel and director James Ponsoldt talk about their film. After the 7:30 pm screening of Cop Car, Kevin Bacon does a Q&A. Tickets: $15.50-$16.50.

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MUSIC: The Jazz at LACMA summer music series continues on Friday night at 6 pm with a performance by MONK’estra. From LACMA: “Led by conductor/arranger John Beasley, the 15-piece modern jazz band MONK'estra captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s unique quirkiness.” The concert is held outdoors at the BP Grand Entrance. Free, no reservations.

BEER FEST: Brew at the Zoo returns to the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Friday from 7-11 pm. The event is an after-hours Zoo party with more than 55 local craft and microbreweries with an eclectic music lineup that features the ‘80s band The Spazmatics; The Noble Gasses surf band; The Black Canyon dance band; live karaoke with Casual Encounters; and Der Burgermeister Boys, a German Polka band. Tickets: $50 general admission (presale); $55 at the door (if not sold out); designated drivers: $25 (free non-alcoholic beverages in a zoo cup).

HORRIBLE MOVIE: Horrible Movie Night returns to NerdMelt showroom on Friday night at 9 pm. Organizers screen the worst films ever made, and the audience is invited to roast the movie as it plays. The best one-liners will win prizes. Screening this time around is the 1986 film Never Too Young to Die, starring John Stamos. The evening includes free popcorn, cheap snacks and comedy by John Ungaro and Bill Dixon. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door. 21+.

RIOT GRILL: Riot Grill is at the Regent on Friday night. It’s female-centric festival that brings together punk music, comedy and food to celebrate LGBT rights. Babes in Toyland, headlines with Le Butcherettes, Slutever and The Menstruators; comedian Sara Schaefer emcees and chef Nadia G (Bitchin’ Kitchen) caters the festival. 7 pm. All ages. Tickets: $34.99-$99.99.

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FILM: American Cinematheque presents the film series The Old And New Hollywood of Peter Bogdanovich this weekend, and on Friday night there’s a discussion with the director himself between the screening of his films The Last Picture Show (1971) and Nickelodeon (1976). He’ll also do a Q&A on Sunday between films She’s Funny That Way and One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film. Tickets: $11. The first film at 7:30 pm on both nights.

MARKET: The 626 Night Market returns to Santa Anita Park this weekend with a festival that features more than 200 food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and other entertainment attractions. The Night Market runs 4 pm-1 am on Friday and Saturday and 4-11 pm on Sunday. Admission is $3 and parking is free; children 6 and under get in free.

DANCE PARTY: The Music Center hosts Friday night dance parties all summer long, including this Friday from 7-11 pm. Bring Your Own Dance Moves, a collaboration with ArtDontSleep and Dublab, features tunes provided by DJ Carlos Niño & Friends, Vinyl Don, Azul Niño and a special surprise guest. The tunes begin at 7 pm and the late night bar menu and $5 parking start at 8pm.

GARDEN PARTY: The Natural History Museum holds a free Summer Nights in the Garden event on Friday night beginning at 5 pm. Listen to music with Coastin (5-7 pm) and Evan Weiss from Junk (7-9pm), sip on garden-inspired cocktails, participate in arts & crafts activities and hands-on garden workshops (butter making, spray painting with Self-Help Graphics) and more. Bring a picnic or buy from one of the food trucks on site. Free admission. RSVP guarantees entry.

NEXT FEST: Sundance NEXT FEST begins its three-day run at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Friday night with a screening of Mistress America followed by music by Sky Ferreira. Other screening events this weekend include Finders Keepers documentary followed by a Q&A with Aubrey Plaza and Thomas Middleditch, and a screening of Cronies with guest Robert Townsend. Tickets: $15-$25.

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 8

SCARE FAIR: ScareLA, a Halloween convention, is at the Pasadena Convention Center this weekend (Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm). The convention marks an early kick-off to the Halloween season features exclusive seasonal tidbits from the top theme park attractions, haunted houses and cosplay groups in the area. Throughout the weekend there will be classes, presentations, interactive experiences, demos, contests, screenings haunted house walk-throughs and performances, including a vintage horror comic book stories by Captured Aural Phantasy Theater! Tickets start at $30.

MUSIC FEST: Goldenvoice & Roland present the Low End Theory Festival at the Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds on Saturday with a great day and night of music that features the music of Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat, Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, Jonwayne, Teebs, Ras G, Samiyam, House Shoes, Alix Perez & Eprom, Milo, Mndsgn, Dibia$e, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Astronautica, Sister Crayon, Cazal Organism, Elusive, Mono/Poly, Open Mike Eagle, Free the Robots, Great Dane and Low End Theory Residents: Daddy Kev, Nobody, The Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles and Nocando. The all ages show begins at 4 pm (doors at 3:30 pm). Tickets: $35-$65.

MUSIC: Grand Performances has a great concert lined up on Saturday night with headliner Yuna, the pop and R&B songstress from Malaysia, with opener Aloe Blacc. The free concert takes place at the California Plaza in DTLA and begins at 8 pm. Bring a picnic.

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MUSIC: The Annenberg Foundation and KCRW continue their Sound in Focus free concert series at the Annenberg Space for Photography at Century Park on Saturday night with country honky-tonk music star Dwight Yoakam and punk rock legends in X. All four original members of X (John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake) will perform. Doors at 5 pm with tunes provided by KCRW DJs and the live performances begin at 7 pm.

SWIM: Marina Del Rey Hotel celebrates the life of film and swim star Esther Williams with a Synch or Swim event on her birthday, Saturday from 2-5 pm. Guests (and the public) are welcome to watch a synchronized swimming performance by The Aqualillies and enjoy sounds by DJ Sleeper as they lounge by the infinity pool and take in the views. Free.

CLASSIC FILM: Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery screens the 1934 Frank Capra romantic comedy classic It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert on Saturday night at 9 pm. The gates open at 7:15 pm for guests to explore the grounds or have a picnic. Bring beer or wine only (no spirits).

COMEDY: The L.A. Improv Comedy Festival continues at iO West on Saturday night at 10 pm with the Cast of Drunk History in The Armando Show (long-form comedy). Tickets: $10. Ages 21+.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9

BIKING: Culver City meets Venice when streets close from 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday for the next CicLAvia. The 6-mile route is a variation of the 2013 CicLAvia Westside route, and will allow walkers, bike riders, skaters to explore more Culver City neighborhoods. The open streets events connects to the Westside’s Mar Vista Farmers Market, Abbot Kinney and Venice Beach. Cirque du Soleil, a CicLAvia partner, will be at the Culver City Hub to promote their newest touring show: KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities, which debuts in Southern California this fall.FOOD TALK: To Live & Dine in LA: A Live Mixtape takes place on Sunday at the Regent Theatre in DTLA. Part of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ To Live and Dine in L.A. project that explores L.A. history through the Library’s huge menu collection, the evening’s participants will try and answer the questions: How can we activate history to awaken the present? How can historic menus from the Library’s collection help spark new conversations about food access, raise awareness around food history, and draw attention to food injustice in contemporary Los Angeles? Leading the evening are USC professor Josh Kun and curator of the Library exhibition, chef Roy Choi, artist Rakaa Iriscience (Dilated Peoples) and special guests that include Jarocho musicians César Castro, Cambalache, and Son del Centro as as restaurateur Nes Abegaze and hip hop DJ Ras G with Ethiopian beats and food stories. Doors open at 6 pm and the show is at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 general admission and $60 VIP (includes reserved seating and a special cocktail reception). 21+.

AVOCADO FEST: Angel City Brewery’s 3rd Annual Avocado Festival is at the DTLA brewery on Sunday from noon to 8 pm. The day features Avocado Ale as well as foods, brewer led tours, beer flights, and fun and games. There’s live music scheduled throughout the day, too, in the beer hall. 21+. Proceeds from the day (and $1 from every pint of Avocado Ale sold) benefits the local nonprofit Food Forward.

Related: LAist’s July Guide

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.