Best things to do this Memorial Day weekend in Los Angeles and SoCal: May 27-30
VSCelebrate Memorial Day weekend with festivals in Topanga and Hermosa Beach. See a new exhibition of works by Keith Haring. Watch a mashup of Hamlet and Radiohead.
Saturday May 27 – Monday May 29
Topanga Days National Fair
Topanga Community Club Ground
1440 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga
The bohemian festival, nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, features live music on two stages, food and games for the whole family, and a Memorial Day parade. Musical performers this year include Allah-Las, Young Dubliners and the Spazmatics.
COST: Adult admission: $15-$50; MORE INFORMATION
Saturday May 27 – Monday May 29
Hermosa Ave. and Lower Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach
The festival is expected to attract over 100,000 people over the three-day weekend with live music stages, a food fair, Makers Mercato, carnival and The (beer) Garden. There is free parking and a shuttle leaves from the Northrop Grumman parking lot in Manhattan Beach.
COST: FREE – $5 admission to The Garden; MORE INFORMATION
From Saturday 27 May to Sunday 8 October
Keith Haring: Art is for everyone
221 S. Grand Ave., Downtown LA
The art exhibit marks the late pop artist’s first-ever museum exhibit in Los Angeles to feature a display of his expansive body of his most iconic works. The exhibition includes more than 120 works and archival documents.
COST: $15 – $22; MORE INFORMATION
Saturday May 27; 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
I LOVE RNB FESTIVAL: Ashanti, Ja Rule, Keyshia Cole
Queen Mary Events Park
1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach
It’s time to step back with classic 90s R&B. Lineup includes Ashanti, Ja Rule, Keyshia Cole, Fabolous, Chingy, Bobby V., Pleasure P, Nivea, Marques Houston, Ruff Endz and more.
COST: $199; MORE INFORMATION
Saturday May 27, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Radiohead + Hamlet: a chance to dream
The Pico Union project
1153 Valencia Street, Pico Union
This concept concert features a full band, strings and a cast bringing Shakespeare’s dark, dystopian narration Hamlet to life through the music of Radiohead’s OK Computer, Kid A and The Bends.
COST: $10 – $25; MORE INFORMATION
Saturday May 27; 5:30 p.m. (doors)
The Autry Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park
Watch Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as two directionless high school grads who get into serious trouble at this Street Food Cinema event. The evening also includes a number of on-site food trucks and music from Pleasures.
COST: $22 – $32; MORE INFORMATION
Sunday May 28; 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Japanese car cruise
The Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid Wilshire
The museum’s annual Japanese Car Cruise is back, featuring all makes and models of Japanese cars. The biggest cruising and judged competition of the year, spectators can ride between show cars, heritage cars and unique unicorns. Free coffee, donuts and parking will be provided to spectators on a first-come, first-served basis.
COST: $20 admission for spectators; MORE INFORMATION
Sunday May 28; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Los Angeles Zine Festival 2023
The Arts Expo Center
4321 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach
The celebration of DIY printing returns for the first time since the pandemic. The one-day event brings together nearly 200 zine vendors, hands-on workshops, panels, local DJs, independent bookstores and grassroots community groups. The festival also provides a safe space for creators to post on topics ranging from community awareness and mental health to intersectional identities and more.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFORMATION
Sunday May 28; 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Santa Anita Park
285 Huntington Drive, Arcadia
SoCal Corgi Nation, the group of Corgi enthusiasts behind Cal Corgi Beach Day, hosts the annual running event for these furry four-legged riders. The day includes corgi and dog-themed vendors, food, drink, carnival rides (additional cost) and races on the track. Enter through Gate 6 and park for free at the Infield Colorado entrance.
COST: $12 – $17 general admission; MORE INFORMATION
Monday, May 29; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Jazz Reggae Fest
UCLA Sunset Recreation Center
111 Easton Drive, Westwood
The student-run festival, now in its 36th year, combines music, art and good vibes for just one day under the sun. After a set by the UCLA Sparker Band student ensemble, listen to sets by Your Grandparents, Jordon Ward, Maxo Kream and Hempress Sativa.
COST: Tickets start at $20 for the general public; MORE INFORMATION
Hike to Yoga LA
Every Saturday at 8 a.m. Hike to Yoga LA offers free yoga sessions and a guided hike at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. The group’s mission is to increase individual self-awareness and collective physical health through connection to nature, community and intentional movement. The moderate hike starts at 8am (set your GPS for La Brea and Don Lorenzo and go to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area at the east trailhead). The hike ends at the yoga session at The Bluffs, so if you want to do yoga only, pay $7 cash for parking, enter at the La Cienega entrance and park near the picnic area picnic/toilet from Burke Roche. Hike to Yoga LA sessions are free, but donations are accepted.
The Oath of the Sword, presented by the National Japanese American Museum
On Sunday May 28 at 2 p.m., watch the 1914 film The Oath of the Sword at the Accademia Museum with live musical accompaniment. Presented by the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Film Company’s film is considered the first Asian American film production. After the film, Renee Tajima-Peña, professor of Asian American studies at UCLA, moderates a panel discussion with guests Stephen Gong, executive director of the Center for Asian American Media; Karen L. Ishizuka, chief curator at JANM; and Denise Khor, associate professor of Asian American studies and visual studies at Northeastern University. Tickets are $5.
Food and beverage offers
Here are some food and drink options to savor this week.
- MAINopoly: A Taste of Main Street returns to Santa Monica on Saturday, May 27. The culinary walking tour doubles as an interactive version of the classic board game. Participants exchange “Mainopoly” dollars for tastings at restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlors, circling the board to win prizes. General admission tickets include 20 tastings at locations such as Ashland Hill, Holey Grail Donuts, Alfalfa, JuneShine, Library Alehouse, Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Jameson’s Pub, Tavern on Main, The Victorian, Papille Gustative, Pasjoli, Ubatuba Acai and others.
- Aster Food as Art’s culinary pop-up series continues May 26-28, with chef Alvaro Clavijo brings his avant-garde touch on classic Latin American flavors for a five-course rooftop dinner. Tickets are $185 per person.
- If you are heading to Big Bear for the holiday long weekend, the Festival of grills and cold barbecues will be held on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28 at the Big Bear Lake Village. Grillmasters from across the country converge to compete for top honors while attendees can taste some of the best barbecue and craft beer while enjoying live music, shopping and kids’ activities. Tickets cost between $10 and $100.
- The newly renovated swimming pool of the Marina del Rey hotel kicks off the summer season with a weekly appointment Funday Sunday Pool Party, from Sunday 28 May. Guests will be able to listen to the beats of local DJs, delicious bites, and enjoy drink specials while soaking up the SoCal sun. Adult tickets are $50-$60, children $20.
- Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria holds a Santa Maria Grill Summer Series will begin Saturday, May 27, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., serving some of the region’s favorite barbecue dishes prepared on the restaurant’s new Santa Maria grill, including Calabrian chicken wings, barbecue oysters, three-point sandwiches and Moreover. If you can’t make it this weekend, the series continues on the fourth Saturday of each month through Labor Day weekend (June 24, July 22, August 26, and September 2).
- The Newport Beach Wine Festival at the Balboa Bay Resort takes place this Memorial Day weekend (May 27-28), featuring wine tastings from over 60 wineries and spirit labels, coastal California-inspired bites, live music and a new speakeasy sponsored by Macallan Whiskey. Tickets start at $125.
- The 63rd edition Garden Grove Strawberry Festival runs from Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29 in downtown Garden Grove. Ride the carnival rides, watch the Strawberry Parade, shop at vendors and listen to live music.
What questions do you have about Southern California?