The 9 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend

No excuses, weekend like a champion

3D: Double Vision
July 15-March 31

This eye-popping LACMA show is entirely dedicated to the 3D art form, tracing the lineage of 3D imagery through more than 60 photographs, videos, and holographic sculptures. There’s no passive spectating in this exhibition—you’ll use stereoscopes, glasses, mounted lenses, and more to encounter works from Marcel Duchamp, Ed Ruscha, William Kentridge and others. While you’re there, check out another new installation: John Gerard’s Solar Reserve, a digital simulation of a Nevada solar thermal power plant projected onto a ginormous LED wall, is on display outside near Levitated Mass.

Union Station Summer Train Festival
July 14

Kids who can’t get enough of Travel Town will lose their minds over this event at DTLA’s rail hub. Scope out (and climb aboard) vintage engines and cars from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, including three cars from the Zephyr Silver Fleet as well as the Utah, a vintage parlor cafe-lounge car. There will also be a model train tutorial with the good folks from two different model railroad clubs as well as a VR experience that’ll take you whooshing through the Swiss Alps.

Lotus Festival
July 14-15

Roughly 100,000 people descend on Echo Park Lake for this event celebrating Asian American contributions to L.A. Dragon boat races, a teahouse ceremony, and an origami workshop are on the docket, but stopping by to sample some good eats and admire the lake’s lotus blossoms makes for a solid day, too.

The O.C. Fair
July 13-August 12

You can stop watching the OC Fair’s live pig cam—the time has finally come to see the little guys in real life. Head to the fair’s eponymous event center for pie competitions and live entertainment, including sets from Jim Gaffigan and Earth, Wind & Fire. Cap the day with carnival games and the deep-fried snack food of your dreams.

South Bay Greek Festival
July 13-15

Practice your “opa!” then get yourself to the Greek at Saint Katherine church in Redondo Beach. The midsummer Hellenic shindig has all the gyros, baklava, and kalamatianos dances you can handle.

Summer dineL.A.
July 13-27

Got champagne taste on a beer budget? The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board has your back. More than 300 L.A. restaurants—Alimento, Baco Mercat, Cosa Buona, Fishing With Dynamite—offer crazy discounts during this foodie extravaganza, with two-plus-course lunches starting at $15 and three-plus-course dinners starting at $29. Reservations aren’t a must, but in the parlance of a certain shoe company: Just do it.

July 12-22

The city’s longest-running film fest got its start in 1982, thanks to a group of UCLA students. Catch more than 150 LGBTQ-focused features, documentaries, shorts, and episodic series—not to mention panels and galas galore—at venues all over town.

L.A. Original Pop-Up Shop
July 12-September 3

L.A. Original teams up with the Museum of Contemporary Art to present a stellar bunch of local makers. Visit the MOCA store and treat yourself to a Clare V. clutch, nail decals from Cha Cha Covers, Carrots streetwear, Jen Stark-designed planters, and more.

National Ice Cream Day @ Smorgasburg
July 15-Labor Day Weekend

It kind of feels like there’s a National Day for everything—Bowling League Day, Hobbit Day, and Dogs in Politics Day are all real things—but some fake holidays are better than others. Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and Smorgasburg is where you ought to celebrate. This Sunday marks the food fair’s second annual Ice Cream Alley, a new section for hawking ice cream and sweets. Stop by for licks from a rotating roster of vendors, some of which will include McConnell’s, Sweet Rose Creamery, Jeni’s, Nancy’s Fancy Gelato, Afters, and Salt & Straw. 

RELATED: The Best Exhibits at L.A. Museums and Galleries in July 

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