13 Awesome Ways to Spend Your Weekend: Artisans, Star Wars, Derby Day, and More

Pony up and watch the horses run in the Kentucky Derby, eat ice cream sandwiches, check out some taxidermy or celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Los Lobos

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Pony up and watch the horses run in the Kentucky Derby, eat ice cream sandwiches, check out some taxidermy or celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Los Lobos. And may the fourth be with you! 

SEE: Unique L.A.
Explore the nation’s biggest “Made-in-America” shopping extravaganza with over 350 designers and artists. Many local L.A. vendors will be present to sell gifts and items ranging from artwork, food, clothing, and everything in between. More information (May 3-4; The Penthouse at California Market Center)

SEE: Star Wars Legion Exhibit
Celebrate “May the fourth be with you” at this exhibit comprised of storm trooper helmets, each of which has been decorated by a Pixar, Disney, Lucasfilm artist or by a street artist. From psychedelic paint jobs to feathers, these alternative takes give the stoic helmet a wild and fun twist. More information (May 2-4; Robert Vargas Gallery)

SEE: 4th Annual Kentucky Derby Bonanza
Get ready for the most profitable—or expensive—two minutes of your life at a betting extravaganza where the experts will provide guides for newbies. Sip rhubarb bourbon lemonade and shop for an oversized hat to the tunes of an eclectic bluegrass performance as you watch the equestrian race. More information (May 3; L.A. Athletic Club)

SEE: No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station
Showcasing artifacts, drawings, and photographs from deep within the Getty’s Union Station archive, this exhibit explores the impressive architecture of L.A.’s iconic train station. Much of the show includes pieces never before released for public viewing. More information (May 2-August 10; Central Library)

SEE: iPic Theaters Westwood: Opening
L.A.’s newest luxury theater opens its doors in Westwood. In addition to the plush seats, there’s a full bar and a gourmet menu designed by chef Sherry Yard. More information (May 2; iPic Theater Westwood)

EAT: Coolhaus 5th Anniversary
Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, owners of local ice cream company Coolhaus, have a few reasons to bust out the champagne: They expanded to New York, opened two brick-and-mortar locations in L.A., recently partnered with Umami Restaurant Group, and penned a cookbook that’s out next month. Now they’re inviting you to join the celebration at downtown’s Unique Space. For $65, partygoers receive a Coolhaus mason jar for filling at the open bar, fried chicken, pizza, eclectic ice cream treats, a copy of their cookbook, and a tote bag filled with various freebies. More information (May 2; Unique L.A.)

READ: California Bookstore Day
Indie shops across the state—such as L.A. favorites Skylight Books and Book Soup—celebrate their success (read: survival) with a day of sales and author appearances. More information (May 3; various locations)

HEAR: Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival
Los Lobos started out playing backyard parties. Four decades later the band, with its mix of soulful rock and regional Mexican music, has come to embody the sound of L.A. More information (May 3; Greek Theatre)

SEE: Biennial Taxidermy Show
Forget stuffed deer heads mounted in cabins, this taxidermy show highlights a more “recycled” spirit of the art. Sculptures will be fashioned from discarded animals and road kill carcasses that have been non-traditionally arranged utilizing taxidermy techniques. More information (May 2-June 1; La Luz de Jesus Gallery)

SEE: Venice Garden & Home Tour
Venture into 30 architectural showplaces scattered throughout the canal-side community. More information (May 3; various locations)

SEE: The Gay ’90s West
Eagle Rock-based artist Mark Ryden breaks in the gallery’s new Hollywood digs with an exhibition that includes mixed medium pieces portraying an idealized America in the 1890s in all its clichéd and vaudeville glory. More information (May 3-June 28; Kohn Gallery)

HEAR: First Fridays
Take a tour, enjoy a speaker, and listen to some music as you explore the Natural History Museum. This month the tour and speaker will teach you about L.A. wildlife. The music starts out with DJs Anthony Valadez and Daddy Kev and wraps up with the L.A.-based band Holychild. More information (May 2; Natural History Museum)

SEE: June Wayne: Paintings, Prints and Tapestries
As an artist who hung out with rock stars, actors, and rocket scientists, June Wayne had plenty of inspirational material to draw from. This exhibit features her best work from all of her major periods, with plenty of her light-reflective paintings, tapestries, and digital prints. More information (May 4-August 31; Pasadena Museum of California Art)

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