Whether you’ve been out of town celebrating the holidays or hunkering down for an unexpectedly rainy season in Los Angeles, the advent of the new year always spells a return to socializing. Here are some of the best things to do in L.A. the first weekend of January, from Tarantino screenings to a football game where Taylor Swift just might be in the crowd.
Friday, January 5
The Eagles may be down a few players because of tragic losses — rest in peace to both Randy Meisner and Glenn Frey — but the rest of the band is still taking it to the limit along with Glenn’s son, Deacon Frey, and country star Vince Gill filling in for “The California Concerts” tour. With Steely Dan opening, this lineup is unmissable for fans of ‘70s rock. Tickets here.
The inimitable work of queer filmmaker, actor and writer John Waters is finally getting the recognition it deserves in a standalone exhibit at The Academy Museum that runs through August. Every Friday, the museum offers a 30-minute tour through the history of Waters’s delightfully transgressive filmmaking style, complete with props, costumes and backstories galore. Museum tickets here and tour slots here.
For local film lovers, a weekend visit to the historic New Beverly Cinema is a no-brainer, and settling in for a late night screening of one of Quentin Tarantino’s finest works is a great way to ease into the first weekend of the year. The best part? This showing is a 35 mm print of the film from Tarantino’s own private collection, so the quality is pristine. And tickets are only $10.
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It’s not too late to ditch the city all together and venture out into the wilds of Santa Ynez Valley for a Wellness Weekend at Alisal Ranch. This private working ranch traces its roots back to the early 1800s and has become an envied retreat across a sprawling 10,000 acres. Get in on horseback riding, wine tastings and guided hikes, or book a night or two on your own and explore the ranch at leisure.
Stay in town and lose your inhibitions for a night on the dancefloor at Zebulon, still one of the best places for live music and DJs on the east slide. Settle in for a night of Scottish dream pop, strong cocktails and a devoted crowd of fellow music lovers. Free to the public.
Saturday, January 6
Every so often, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium hosts a free day of exploration at the Cabrillo Beach wetland habitat, Salinas de San Pedro. If you’re in the mood to see some wildlife and breathe fresh sea air, a day exploring this salt marsh in San Pedro might be just what you need. Free to the public, 12 PM to 2 PM.
Even when there’s not a big name on the bill, you never know who might show up at a UCB variety show. Late Night Monthly is just what it sounds like — a late night feature that showcases a rotating cast of local comedians that never disappoints. Grab tickets for less than $11 a piece (including fees) because these weekend shows almost always sell out. Tickets here.
Sunday, January 7
Here’s something that could only happen in Los Angeles — an afterparty for the Golden Globes, which sets the tone for what will go down later in the year at the Oscars. Get a chance to rub shoulders with talent at the Young Hollywood afterparty, with tickets ranging from free with an early RSVP to $500 for a group table. Tickets here.
This annual event held at the Japanese American National Museum is a celebration of the rich tradition of Japanese New Year with activities like mochitsuki, or traditional rice pounding, origami and free entrance into several of the museum’s current exhibits. This is definitely a great event for children and families but also anyone who wants to learn more about Japanese culture. Free all day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the last round of games before the playoffs begin, the Chiefs (10-6) will be in Los Angeles playing against the Chargers (5-11) at SoFi Stadium — and given their records, it won’t change much in the AFC West standings. The Chiefs need a win here to set the tone heading into the postseason, but what makes this game even more interesting is it’s very likely Taylor Swift will be there, rooting on Travis Kelce. Regardless of how you feel about her music, the buzz around this celebrity romance is already bringing a welcome level of drama to 2024.