11 Actually Fun Things to Do in LA This Weekend
Music fests, Halloween greatness, and some new food to get you through the weekend.
Has there ever been a better moment in time to be an LA sports fan? It was nearly a week ago that the Lakers won the NBA championship, and now we’re mid-World Series with the Dodgers. It’s almost enough to take your mind off that pesky COVID situation… and the upcoming election… and what the hell you’re going to do for Halloween that’s both safe and fun. But that’s still a week away: this weekend, eat some incredible BBQ (or crazy-good vegan food!), check out some great online music fests, and, yeah, get your Halloween spirit on too.
Get out the vote (and get some free ice cream in your belly) with Brave Robot’s Taste the Future Tour
Wednesday, October 21–Wednesday, November 4
The dairy-free ice cream brand Brave Robot’s gonna be cruising around the LA area until just after Election Day, passing out totally free samples of flavors like buttery pecan and blueberry pie this weekend in Pasadena and Westwood before rolling into the OC during the week. They’ve also got some get out the vote days planned for later in the month, when they’ll be rolling through TBA locations to get ice cream to people waiting to vote. Which should be you, too, unless you’ve voted already.
Thursday, October 22–Saturday, October 24
This shilly-but-should-be-fun activation from one of your top three favorite streaming services is promoting a free screening series for Hulu’s slate of scary and scaryish movies, ranging from the neo-classic Hocus Pocus to the old-school classic Carrie to the brand new Hulu originals Bad Hair and Books Of Blood . Tickets include concessions and a drive thru of a haunted forest that isn’t recommended for kids and doesn’t include any jump scares, which is a somewhat confusing disclaimer.
Friday, October 23 and Friday, October 30
The debauchery queen behind Disco Dining Club is at it again with her on-theme home delivery party service, this time dedicated—of course—to the best holiday of the year (no, silly, not Seward’s Day, Halloween!). The package is inspired by the longtime LA classic Dracula performance from the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and includes booze, ice cream, body glitter (!), fake blood, a blood-red disco ball, bat puppets, and about a billion other things to make your Halloween-at-home at least kinda good.
Friday, October 23–Sunday, October 25
The desert’s always been home to some of SoCal’s best progressive/psychedelic rock music, and the Joshua Tree Music Festival’s always been great at booking the artists who make that dusty insanity possible, so it’s not surprising that the lineup for their online edition—shot at the actual concert venue—is stacked. Highlights include First Lady of the Desert Jesika Von Rabbit (whose “I’m A Dog at a Human Party” is literally one of the greatest songs of the last decade) and ultra-high-energy Primus-meets-Flaming Lips rockers Thumpasaurus, whose recent hustle has also included in-person shows at the Dodgers Stadium COVID test site (GO BLUE!)
Cost : $10
Ongoing on weekends
Chef/Owner Mimi Williams has decided to up the ante at her Echo Park vegan spot, with a just-debuted all-plant based, eight-course tasting menu exclusively running on weekends. The menu’s expected to change seasonally but the first edition focuses on her Creole/Sicilian background: expect veggie takes on carpaccio and a lasagna Bolognese with cashew ricotta, laden with fresh ingredients.
Cost: $75 per person
Saturday, October 24
Location TBD with order
If the pandemic’s been good for anything, it’s LA’s community of underground cooks busting out food from their backyards, and at the risk of blowing up their spot, Boyz in the Wood’s BBQ is straight-up some of the best in LA right now. The collective’s every-once-in-a-while smokeouts kick up again for one-day-only this weekend, with brisket, pork ribs, and Santa Maria-style chicken; the address, of course, is revealed with your order. Pro tip: get twice as much as you think you’ll want. Your fridge will thank you later.
Saturday, October 24
Pasadena Rose Bowl
As of press time there are still tickets available for this crazy-inspired drive-in double bill, featuring avant-jazz bassist/amazingly costumed Coachella vet Thundercat and Hannibal Burress, the nerdily likable, always hilarious comic. These are both artists at the very top of their game, which means the ultra-rare chance to watch not just one but two masters at work.
Cost: $120-$300 per car
Saturday, October 24
Mash Gallery (DTLA)
Remember the halcyon pre-COVID days of art openings, when you could show up, get some free wine and cheese, check out some art, and feel a bit cultured in the process? Mash Gallery’s bringing that vibe back with this retrospective from Haleh Mashian, which focuses on her work inspired by the female form and veers from abstract to realistic. The event’s all-outdoors, obviously, and will feature live flamenco music to set the mood as you knowingly nod at the artists’ work.
Saturday, October 24–Sunday, October 25
Heritage Square (Pasadena)
This cheekily-named, two day festival at the Heritage Square Museum in Pasadena is actually a dive into the macabre: billed as an outdoor “Victorian mourning festival,” activities include a deep dive into spirit photography (promising “definitive proof of life beyond the grave”), an overview of the customs behind Dia De Los Muertos , and a visit to a Victorian cemetery.
Saturday, October 24 and Saturday, October 30
There are a bunch of online interactive Halloween theater options right now, but this one sounds like one of the most intriguing: a Zoomy version of Scream , which producers promise will convince you that the call...is coming...from inside...your house (assuming your WiFi stays reliable.) For serious though, this show also includes an integrated drinking game, so no matter how the movie is, if you’re drawn to participate in that it clearly gets better as it goes.
Sunday, October 25
Started in early quarantine as a way to help adults cope with intense issues by making them feel like they were watching a kids’ show, Ohayo! is now a monthly comedy/weirdness show with great lineups. This edition includes comedy stalwart Margaret Cho as well as local phenom Dynasty Handbag; the whole thing should be equal parts surreal and hilarious.
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