The Best Things to Do in L.A. in February

Live music, Chinese art, an antiquarian book fair, and more

After a January that seemed to last for years, February is finally here. From music with former Chairlift front woman Caroline Polachek to stand-up comedy with Australian phenom Hannah Gadsby, here are some of the best things to do in L.A. in February.

Golden Dragon Parade

February 1

Now on its 121st year, L.A.’s annual Golden Dragon Parade is older than most local traditions. Line up with thousands of other spectators to ring in the Lunar New Year and watch almost two dozen colorful floats drift down the streets of Chinatown, along with marching bands, local dignitaries, and cultural groups. Free, Chinatown.

Caroline Polachek

February 1

Weird girls rejoice—former Chairlift front woman Caroline Polachek is heading to the Fonda Theatre to perform songs from her debut album, Pang. Sway to glittering, cyborg-Lilith Fair pop ballads and swoon to the singer’s “organic autotune” voice. $23, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.


February 6

Darren J. Cunningham—who goes by the pseudonym Actress—reigns supreme over London’s avant-garde EDM world, where he’s known for crafting hazy, cerebral dance music with a distinctly human touch. Catch him doing a semi-rare L.A. DJ set at Chewing Foil, along with Sentimental Rave, Kaili, and a special guest. Address released day of show.

Chani Nicholas

February 6

L.A. astrologist Chani Nicholas’s queer, feminist, social-justice-oriented approach to the stars has made her an internet sensation beloved by thousands. She hits Skylight Books to introduce her first book, You Were Born for This, an interactive, in-depth guide to exploring your birth chart. Free, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz.

Birds of Prey

February 7

Harley Quinn is back, and this time she’s got a girl squad. In Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie’s mischievous character leaves behind her former lover (the Joker) to band together with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) in defense of their friend Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). Like DC’s dark hit, Joker, the release is rated R. It’s sure to be quite a ride.

53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair

February 7-9

At one of the largest antiquarian book fairs in the world, visitors will have the opportunity to peruse rare books, maps, manuscripts, and more. Special exhibits include a celebration of the works of L.A. icon Ray Bradbury and a look back at 100 years of women’s suffrage in the U.S. $15–$25, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena.

Where the Truth Lies: The Art of Qiu Ying

February 9-May 17

While very little is known about the life of the Chinese painter Qiu Ying, his mastery of gongbi—in which delicate, expressive lines are used to represent objects—has led scholars to deem him one of the masters of the Ming dynasty. LACMA exhibits the works of the enigmatic artist for the first time outside of Asia, along with the art of many painters he influenced. Free-$25, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire.

High Fidelity

February 14

Nick Hornby’s 1995 book about a record shop owner revisiting the ghosts of relationships past has been adapted once again, this time for Hulu. This iteration’s “Rob”—or in this case, Robyn—is played by Zoë Kravitz and works in Brooklyn. Natasha Lyonne directs and produces, and Jake Lacy (I’m Dying Up Here) stars as Robyn’s L.A. love interest.

Hannah Gadsby

February 22

The Aussie comedian heads to the Theatre at Ace Hotel to take on anti-vaxxers, Louis CK, and, of course, the patriarchy with her new show, Douglas, named after her dog and inspired in part by the haters of her stand-up special Nanette. If you can’t make the Ace, catch Douglas on Netflix later this year. $39.75-$59.75; 929 S. Broadway, downtown. 

L.A. IPA Fest

February 29

Craft beer aficionados can flock to Mohawk Bend’s “hoppiest weekend of the year” to sample the best IPAs that California has to offer. Attendees can sample more than 60 IPAs, sip on curated flights, and enjoy “experiential” VIP packages. Free; 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park.

RELATED: 3 New L.A. Restaurants You Have to Try This February

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