Besides the days growing longer and the weather warming up as an indicator of what’s to come, the official kick off to summer starts with Memorial Day Weekend. In LA, it’s not just another sun-drenched few days, but a chance to get out and explore the city in a whole new way. With most people enjoying a three-day weekend, that leaves additional time to spend with friends and family as well as take a bit of an exploratory vacation in your own city.
Still not sure where to go or what to do in between cook-out invites? Look no further than these foodie happenings, cultural celebrations, cult classic films and chances to connect with Mother Nature.
La La Land in Concert at Hollywood Bowl
Whether you saw the Oscar-winning movie for yourself or just heard about how great it was, you certainly don’t want to miss an opportunity to experience the captivating score of La La Land in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The Memorial Day Weekend event features a full orchestra recreating the sounds and songs from the film, while Technicolor images cover the screen. Though you won’t hear the live voices of John Legend, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, you will hear their vocals blending with the live musicians for a truly unique and unforgettable experience at one of LA’s most iconic venues.
Malibu Lagoon Field Trips
Experience Malibu in a whole new way this weekend. Put the surf on hold and try one of the Malibu Lagoon Field Trips. These 2 – 3 hour day trips allow you to see the beauty and expansive number of creatures who call Malibu home. The tours begin early and offer chances to birdwatch in Malibu’s stunning unspoiled expanse.
MAINopoloy: Taste of Santa Main Street
Foodie or not, the MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street event is one not to be missed. Kicking off Sunday, May 28 from 3 to 8pm, the event offers an opportunity to soak up the Santa Monica sunshine and delight in the city’s flavors. In partnership with the Heal the Bay Foundation, this tasty happening offers fare from local (and beloved) eateries like Aussie Pie Kitchen, Bareburger, The Birdcage, Fork In The Road, Manchego and several others. So you know deal, but you’re still curious about the name. As you experience each of the participating restaurants you’ll move through a game board and instead of paying for your food and drinks with Federal Reserve dollars, you’ll pay in MAINopoly money. And last, but not least festive attire–which includes mustaches, top hats, red bow ties and jail stripes–is encouraged. A fun and delicious time to be had, the MAINopoly event is enough to define your Memorial Day Weekend (and afford you some great Instastories).
Experience good times right by the pier and the Pacific. The stretch of Hermosa has shut down since 1972 to bring Fiesta Hermosa, a mix of food, art and music to the town every Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekend. There’s no shortage of flavor as the fiesta features 18 different types of food options ranging from savory Mexican to refreshing Greek flavors and barbequed sausages. Not to mention sweets galore. Go back to your childhood with a funnel cake–yes a funnel cake. Beyond the fare, Fiesta Hermosa prides itself on being suitable for all ages. Carnival rides, a petting zoo and a 30 foot slide, keep little ones happy, while you enjoy the sounds of the fiesta–something that everyone loves most about the whole thing. Reggae, classic rock, zydeco and a host of tribute bands including The Police, Pearl Jam and Rolling Stones tribute bands will take to the stage and set the mood along with several other local and loved artists. And don’t forget to hang in the Charity Beer and Wine Garden. Seems Fiesta Hermosa leaves no stone unturned.
Greek Festival at Saint Nicholas Church in Northridge
Daydreams of Santorini fill your head, images of Athens keep you curious and wanting to know more. Well for Greek culture connoisseurs, there’s the 44th Annual Valley Greek Festival at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Northridge. From May 27th to 29th, the Greek Festival will bring the sounds, sites and fare of the cherished and historical country. Moussaka, gyros, handmade pastries like baklava, melomakarona, kataifi are just a few of the delights you’ll have a chance to taste. But wait, there’s more. The place is flooded with the sounds of Greek thanks to the distinctive sounds of authentic Greek musicians performing both traditional and popular Greek songs. Performances take place throughout the day and the opportunity for you to participate in classic Greek dancing is there too. There’s shopping, there’s art, there’s history and an all around celebration of culture, here. Spend your Memorial Day not only enjoying yourself, but educating yourself too.
Add some history to your Memorial Day Weekend and put the whole holiday into context by touring The Queen Mary. Active members, retired military personnel and veterans can enjoy free admission and discounted rates for their family. The fun and informational tour, shares the incredible–and true story–of just how The Queen Mary played a crucial role in the Allied Forces WWII victory. Learn about everything from the ship’s name to the specifics including its speed and size. Learn just why this beautiful piece of history sits in LA’s backyard. Perhaps one of the most poignant ways to celebrate Memorial Day by immersing yourself in the facts and absorbing all of the rich tales of veterans and active duty and fully understanding their sacrifice.
Clueless at Hollywood Forever
“Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie.” If that phrase strikes a chord with you, then it’s fitting that you clear time out of your busy weekend schedule to see the showing of Clueless at Hollywood Forever. Grab your best pals–the ones who remember when the movie came out in 1995 and your best statement piece–to link up with Cher, Dion, Tai and the whole cast of one the 90’s most definitive flicks. Travel back in time to when mini backpacks and platform sneakers were cool, grunge was a thing and when everywhere in LA only took 20 minutes to get to.