13 Things to Do in LA This Weekend

Indulge in everything your city has to offer

March 22, 2024 6:46 am
people sitting down at table eating, trees and tennis court in background
Rancho Valencia
Taylor Abeel

Welcome to another weekend in Southern California, where it has thankfully returned to the standard 70s-and-sunny that has long been LA’s signature climate. It’s a special one for museum-goers, as the annual free-for-all weekend means more than 30 different entities are offering gratis entry this Saturday. For foodies, there’s also a couple of great chef-driven dinners taking place just a short drive out of town and a stellar new Mediterranean restaurant in West Hollywood to check out. All that, plus a self care moment or an afternoon tea are all on the docket. Here’s a list of things to do in LA this weekend.

Friday, March 22

man with goatee in front of white house and wood
Mason Jennings
Benson Ramsey

Mason Jennings at The Venice West

The west side doesn’t have the abundance of live music venues that the east side does, so when there is a great show on this side of town, it’s time to get off the couch and go. Mason Jennings is one of those independent-minded, folksy singer-songwriters who knows his way around an acoustic guitar but isn’t afraid to get a little heavy, either. Because he’s based in the Midwest, a show on the West Coast isn’t always a regular occurrence, so get out to see him while you can. Tickets here.

white massage table, dream catcher on wall, white curtain
The NOW Massage boutique South Bay
Public 311 Design

Book a Massage at One of The NOW Locations Throughout the City

Some concepts catch on like wildfire, and Gara Post’s massage-only day spa is one that has taken California by storm. After all, this place is basically the wellness capital of North America, so why not listen to the advice of the gurus, doctors and therapists themselves and give yourself the gift of self-care? Post notes she wanted to offer “an oasis in the city to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect within through the healing benefits of massage therapy.” If that’s striking a chord with you this weekend, it might be time to pursue your own personal oasis. .

John Adams Conducting City Noir at Walt Disney Concert Hall

If you’re a fan of the LA Philharmonic and all they do, then tonight’s show is likely already on your calendar. And if you’ve “always been meaning to go,” this is a perfect night to keep that promise to yourself. John Adams — a popular contemporary composer well known for his minimalism and myriad influences — will be conducting the premiere of Made Of Tunes (a concerto written by Timo Andres for pianist Aaron Diehl), leading the symphony through Aaron Copland’s Quiet City and finishing up with his own City Noir, which was inspired by Los Angeles and classic films he said are reminiscent of “a very crowded boulevard peopled with strange characters…who only come out very late on a very hot night.” If you’ve lived in LA for even a short amount of time, you know exactly what he means. Tickets here

two women with sunglasses serving food onto plates from a steaming pot
Rancho Valencia
Taylor Abeel

Head to Rancho Valencia for a Weekend Getaway

Some weekends, the best way to appreciate your home city is to leave for a while. Especially if you’re not on the west side, getting across town to the beach takes almost as long as heading to San Diego anyway, so why not check into a coastal hotel like Rancho Valencia for a few nights to soak up ocean breezes and golden rays? This hacienda-inspired hotel is small enough to feel like your own private getaway, especially with 45 acres of gardens and citrus groves to wander. If you feel like playing hooky during the week instead, head to the resort on Tuesday, March 26 when the Michelin-starred team at Camphor is hosting a special dinner that would be an incredible midweek pick-me-up. Adults deserve spring break too, right? Tickets here.

Saturday, March 23

a wooden table with white plates of chicken salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, petit four
Afternoon tea at Valerie’s
Valerie Confections

Afternoon Tea at Valerie Confections

Valerie Gordon has been a fixture in the Los Angeles dessert scene for the last two decades, so it’s no surprise her contribution to the growing afternoon tea craze is an excellent one. Head to Glendale to discover her serene garden, set up complete with tea, scones, savories and more signature sweets from Valerie Confections. Seriously, no place in town can compete with these creme fraiche scones! Book a tea time here.

Richard Neutra Drawings at Louis Stern Fine Arts

Though Richard Neutra is best known for his contributions to the architecture world — working in the mid-century-meets-minimalism milieu for both commercial and residential spaces — the artist was also consistently taking “graphic notes” as he searched for spaces, styles and ideas that would suit his clients. Now, a selection of these drawings taken mostly from his sketches made while visiting Europe and Asia are on display at an exhibit at Louis Stern Fine Arts that opens this Saturday and runs through the beginning of May. More info here.

people sitting watching person in traditional native american dress perform outside museum entrance
Autry Museum
Autry Museum

Socal Museum Free-for-All Blitz, Including The Autry Museum, The Broad and LACMA

Just in case prohibitive ticket prices were keeping you away from the museum scene in Los Angeles, this Saturday is a completely complimentary day for visitors at almost every single institution in the city. From the relics of the American West at The Autry Museum, to some of the most relevant (and interactive) modern art at The Broad, to the tried and true contemporary classics housed at LACMA (Barbara Kruger, anyone?), a whole group of museums have opened their doors to the public for free. Check out the full list and plan to hit a few while you’re out and about.

Mediterranean food: falafel, hummus, pita, vegetables, chickpeas
The spread at Ladyhawk
Neetu Laddha Photography

Indulge in a Mezze Feast at Ladyhawk

Feeling a bit peckish after your museum blitz? Head to West Hollywood, which is pretty close proximity to many of the art institutions in the city, and tuck into a glorious mezze feast at the still new-ish Ladyhawk restaurant. Hidden away from the crowds on Melrose inside the Kimpton La Peer Hotel, this outpost from Lebanese chef Charbel Hayek is serving up some of the best Mediterranean food in the city. Absolutely start with a selection of their mezze dips and pita, then move onto an olive-crusted rack of lamb or a shawarma skirt steak. Top it all off with a glass of cinsault from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

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Celebrate the Weekend in Style With a Night Out at Sunset Tower Hotel

Maybe the Oscars last weekend put you in the mood for luxury? We recently put together a list of the best hotels in West Hollywood, and of course Sunset Tower was high on our list for its old Hollywood history and classic Art Deco feel. While there are plenty of newcomers to the Sunset Strip, which is undergoing something of a renaissance in its own right, this property has been a fixture for close to a century. Even if you don’t spend the $700 necessary for a suite, the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that let in tons of light and super luxe bathrooms that will make you feel like a movie star yourself. That’s all part of what makes it the ideal place to spend a Saturday night, complete with visits to the Tower Bar — which has some of the best views of the entire city — and the Terrace Room for an elegant dinner or boozy brunch on the way out. Book here.

Sunday, March 24

Italian Culinary Masters Series With Gucci Osteria at Pelican Hill Resort

Perhaps you or someone you know is struggling with an obsession with Italian food. It can happen to anyone — usually all it takes is one visit to Italy, and the damage is done. If obsession has set in, there are a few options stateside that almost live up to the beauty of Italian food in the motherland, and Gucci Osteria is one of those places. But this event is a chance to try a special menu from the Gucci folks, all while soaking up the Orange County sun for a staycation. A six-course dinner is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and a brunch menu is on offer Saturday and Sunday. Get more info and book a table here.

Pacers vs. Lakers at Crypto.com Arena

When there’s home games during the weekend, it’s always a good idea for basketball fans to head downtown and soak up a game from arena seats. Score a couple off nosebleed tickets or put down some real cash to sit courtside and support one of the best basketball teams in the nation. After all, it won’t be much longer that Angelenos can watch Lebron playing live, so catch the legend while he’s still on the court. Tickets here

Attend a Screening of Anatomy of a Fall at Academy Museum

Award shows can be a tedious part of celebrity culture, but occasionally they function like they’re actually supposed to and bring light to artistic projects that deserve to be highlighted. That was definitely the case with the awards this year when Anatomy of a Fall was nominated for and won multiple awards at the Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay. To celebrate the success of the film, the Academy Museum is hosting a special screening. Tickets and more info here

a wooden board with two tacos and burrito bowl shot in natural sunlight
Tocaya
Tocaya

Swing by Tocaya for Birria Bowls and Tacos

There’s nothing like takeout on a Sunday night to fight off the inevitable feeling of sadness that accompanies the close of another weekend. I’m not the only one who consistently battles the Sunday Scaries, right? My fix for this trend is to get something delicious and low maintenance to close out the weekend, and it was recently brought to my attention that the prevalence of birria is now so strong in Southern California, it’s even made its way onto the menu at Tocaya. This Venice-founded chain has been growing in the area since 2016 and now has 10 locations around the city — so odds are you’re in the delivery zone of at least one of them. And what’s better than slow-cooked succulent beef to get you ready for another week? Order here.

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