Everything Fun You Can Do This Weekend in LA

Check out a comedy fundraiser, a puppy pop-up, a dumpling festival, a tiki marketplace, and more.

puppy bowl
Puppy Bowl | Courtesy of PetSpace
Puppy Bowl | Courtesy of PetSpace

With both the Grammys and the Big Game coming up next week, this weekend seems like one of those calm-before-the-storm moments in LA, but there’s still a ton of great stuff to do including a pop-up vending-and-music festival, some Lunar New Years celebrations, and a totally oddball film festival. If you’re looking for more ideas, it might be a good weekend to hit one of the best farmers markets, to roll out to Palm Springs while the weather’s perfect, or to continue your 2023 adventure through the Thrillist 50.

Wednesday, February 1-Sunday, February 5
Sportsman’s Lodge (Studio City)
SoCal’s own Salt. Optics is popping up for 5 days with 32 one-of-a-kind collabs with brands like Civil Coffee, Tuesday’s Candy Store, and more; there will also be raffles, giveaways, and more.
Cost: Free

Friday, February 3-Saturday, February 4
Skye Studios (Glendale)
This local mini-fest is really going to have it all: vendors selling everything from food to jewelry, a cavalcade of local bands, firebreathers (!), tattoo artists, interactive murals, movie screenings, and more. It’s also the least-expensive fest you’ll ever go to: $15 gets you in for both days.
Cost: $15

Saturday, February 4
Elysian Theater (Elysian Valley)
On Cinema host Tim Heidecker is the headliner for this installment of the monthly Repentance comedy show at the Elysian, which is a fundraiser for the Downtown Women’s Shelter. Also featured: Netflix-approved Nataly Aukar, Iranian comic Lili Michelle, and “Human Resources” writer Caleb Hearon.
Cost: $15

Lunar New Year
City of San Gabriel Government

Saturday, February 4
San Gabriel Mission District
The annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Fest is all-systems-go, with traditional lion dances, chalk art contests, balloon artists, and a ton of vendors selling food and goods. For more Lunar New Year activities as celebrations come to a close, check out our full guide.
Cost: Free

Saturday, February 4
Annenberg PetSpace (Playa Vista)
This ultra-fun, ultra-adorable event is part promo for the puppy bowl (yes, the half-time show for pet lovers airing during that big sporting event next Sunday) and part funtime for pets and owners, with dogs doing 40-yard dashes and football catching contests while owners sip coffee from Grounds & Hounds and enjoy bites from Vurger Guyz.
Cost: $10-$15

The Bamboo Club

Saturday, February 4
The Bamboo Club (Long Beach)
The LBC’s tropical marketplace The Bamboo Club is hosting this shopping-and-more bonanza, with exclusive new items for sale including rum taster sets and volcano girl mugs. They’ll also have drinks and a DJ onsite.
Cost: Free

Mao's Bao

Saturday, February 4
Santa Anita Park
Smorgasburg has curated a great lineup of meat-in-pastry amazingness for dumpling day at Santa Anita. Vendors include Shirley Chung, Mao’s Bao, dumpLin’s, and more, with packages including horse racing betting vouchers and booze.
Cost: $34+

Sunday, February 5
Velaslavasay Panorama (USC)
This one-day film festival highlights the work of Pa,Sacio Davinci, whose public access show The King Show has for 25 years been “weaving Hollywood tropes with hallucinogenic visuals that expand beyond the limits of everyday filmmaking.” The shorts feature everything from alien abductions to superheroes, and the screenings will be peppered with Q&As from Davinci himself.
Cost: $10

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Jeff Miller is the founding editor of Thrillist LA. Follow him at @jeffmilllerlaon Instagram.