Here Are the 11 Best Things to Do in L.A. in January

Your guide to the month’s can’t-miss events

Pacific Standard Time: Live Arts LA/LA 

January 11-21

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The Getty’s initiative uniting the art of Latin America and L.A. barrels onward with a blitz of live shows. Organized by REDCAT, the 11-day fest serves up everything from an evening of music and costume with performance artist Astrid Hadad at the  Mayan theater to a Spanish-language learning session outside the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro station.

En Masse

January 14-28

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Last October the Space by Advocartsy gallery opened in the Fashion District as a venue for showcasing contemporary Iranian artists. This month visual artist Pouya Afshar mounts his solo show, a multimedia installation that explores Persian and Shiite Muslim mourning rituals as they play out in the theater.

Gabriel Kahane

January 20

Musical talent runs in the Kahane family: Singer-songwriter Gabriel is the son of Jeffrey, former music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The former stops at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on behalf of CAP UCLA to perform 8980: Book of Travelers. The series of songs was inspired by a 9,000-mile train trip he took to understand our country better after the 2016 presidential election.

Museums Free-for-All

January 28

Special exhibitions aren’t gratis, but catch just about everything else on the cheap at more than 30 arts institutions across Southern California. Make a day of it and hit as many as you can, from north (Kidspace, Pasadena Museum of California Art) to south (Orange County Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum) and tons of places in between (LACMA, the Broad, the Hammer).

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

January 26

One of London’s five symphony orchestras hops the pond for a stop at the Valley Performing Arts Center. Revered maestro Thierry Fischer conducts an evening of Haydn, Debussy, and Stravinsky.

Kotohajime 2018

January 7

Roosters are so 2017. Mark the start of the Year of the Dog at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s daylong celebration of Japanese New Year. Time-honored rituals, like the shooting of the arrow and breaking the sake barrel, are rounded out with musical performances highlighting the traditional biwa, or lute, and Okinawan dance (above) at the Aratani Theatre.

Bricks LA

January 5-7

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You needn’t be a LEGO enthusiast to have your mind blown when this building-block wonderland hits the Pasadena Convention Center. Ooh and ah over impressive models before you hit the stalls selling vintage sets or the free-build area. (Pro tip: Don’t forget the Purell.)

Santa Monica Restaurant Week

January 8-14

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This appetizer to dineL.A. (January 12- 26) puts the focus on a single ingredient. The humble pomegranate is the star this year; spend the week sampling creations at restaurants like Mélisse, Tar & Roses, and the Lobster.

Monster Energy Supercross

January 6

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Think of it as a Disneyland for motor sports fans. Anaheim’s Angel Stadium hosts some of the best athletes in off -road motorcycling during this World Championship race (the first of 17). There’s a Triple Crown competition this year, too, with the sport’s top 44 riders racing in Anaheim (January 20), Minneapolis, and Atlanta.


January 27-February 18

L.A. Opera celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s centenary with a staging of his comedic operetta at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Starring Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole, the production follows its endlessly optimistic title character as he navigates a series of unfortunate events.

Palm Springs International Film Festival

January 2-15

Since 1990, when then-mayor Sonny Bono launched it, the fest and its opening gala have become a major draw for Oscar hopefuls. This year’s slate is stacked as ever, with screenings of the drama Call Me by Your Name and the Israeli film Foxtrot.

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