6 cheap events to discover this weekend

A wide range of events are happening this weekend, from an exhibit dedicated to man’s best friend to a car show to Shakespeare at the park. Read on to learn more.

Explore the hidden nuggets of L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley with family and friends this weekend. Have a fiesta in the park, listen to mariachi music, pet adorable zoo animals, make new friends with stilt walkers in Culver City. Then, enter your car in a best-in-show competition before watching a Shakespeare play in the park. 

Do you know of any fun, cheap events in your area? Let us know in the comments below and we'll add them to our weekend events round-up. 


1. Adopt a dog and see eye-popping watercolor art

Animal lovers behold: a special exhibit dedicated to man’s best friend at Gallery Nucleus. The exhibition, named after Bob Dylan’s song “If Dogs Run Free,” will feature the works of Scott Campbell, a contemporary illustrator who uses eye-popping visuals and soothing watercolors to tell simple, yet poignant stories. Spend your Saturday evening perusing puppy portraits at every corner of the gallery. 

Stay for the book release party, and bring your kids — they’ll love flipping through colorful pages etched with hundreds of happy-go-lucky dogs. 

What’s even more rad? The fact that you can bring your furry friends to the exhibition. For the royal puppy treatment, a play area will be set up in their honor. 

Opening reception festivities include a special reading and coloring session with the author himself, followed by a contest to see if your dog can showcase some of his/her best tricks. Make sure you dress your dog up for the chance to participate in the "Best Costume" contest starting at 9 p.m.  

Here's a tweet from the illustrator himself: 

Pro tip: Looking to adopt a dog? The folks from What’s up Dog! L.A. will be there too! No sign of the author/singer Bob Dylan, making an appearance. But who knows...

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Where: Gallery Nucleus | MAP

Price: Free

Here’s that Bob Dylan song to get you in the mood: 


2. Enter an ice cream contest, greet stilt walkers

Save your appetite for the ultimate chocolate ice cream showdown during Culver City’s “Fiesta La Ballona.” Jam out to hard rock tunes and listen to the greats: Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Greet animals at a miniature petting zoo and bring your wallet just in case you want to splurge on a few vintage finds.

Warning: Stilt walkers may appear randomly. Be careful not to knock them over.

Sweet deals: Carnival rides are just a buck. Participate in the Watermelon Relay Boat Race and other fun attractions. To get your money's worth, purchase a $20.00 wristband good for unlimited rides effective Saturday and Sunday until 6 p.m. 

The folks from Radio Disney will be there, too. Be sure to stop by their booth for some interactive back-to-school games your kids will love. Here's the full schedule of events.

On Sunday, speed up the tempo and watch dozens of skilled Ho’Aloha Polynesian dancers swaying to the beat of the drums. Then, grab your dancing partner and groove to the sounds of mariachi music alongside a live band. 

Pro tip:  Go green! Palms Cycle will offer valet services for those who choose to bike to the park. If you decide to bring your car, you can find complimentary event parking at Veterans Park and Sony Pictures Studios.

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Veterans Park | MAP

Price: Free admission. Carnival ride tickets: $1


3. Listen to house music at a rooftop dive bar 

The weekend isn't over yet! Don't let the Sunday blues ruin your "spirit." Catch a blend of local house music, kick back with friends, make some new ones, and order a round of strong cocktails at a rooftop dive bar overlooking the San Gabriel Valley skyline. 

Stay warm and snag a spot next to the Spirit's beloved fire pit — an iconic symbol among locals. Then, stay until 11 p.m. and listen to some great tunes. 

This dive bar wins for the best curry fries, deep fried corn fritters and lotus chips made fresh to order. Choose from a wide selection of imported craft beers like Hitachino Nest White Ale or the Allagash Black.  

Here's the rundown of who's spinning for the night: Mikey V. and Eddie B., Stylus (Thee-O and Rob Pointer) and Hector Merida (Baroque, House of Plastek). More details on Facebook. 

Pro tip: This dive bar may be difficult to find for first-timers. It's located on the second floor of the Lincoln Plaza Hotel. Catch Happy Hour specials from Tuesday through Friday, 5-8 p.m. 

When: Sunday, 4 p.m. 

Where: Spirit House | MAP

Price: Free


4. 5th Annual Surf City Garage Car Show

Are you always in the fast lane? Think your car can win best-in-show? The Orange County Mustang Club is hosting The 5th Annual Surf City Garage Car Show, where you can “feel the thrills of the NASCAR racing experience.”

There will be full-size NASCAR simulators, demos, vendors, giveaways and, of course, American muscle cars, hot rods, trucks and sports cars.  

You can participate by being a spectator for free or by entering your own car in the show for $40.

Pro tip: Interested in participating? Don’t forget to register. Find more information at www.OCMustangClub.org.

When: Sunday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Where: Surf City Garage | MAP

Price: Free for spectators, $40 for participants


5. Annual Tiki Beach Festival Long Beach

Aloha! Get your island groove on at the Annual Tiki Beach Festival in Long Beach. Watch island dancers and enjoy some music while your kids spend their time in a zone just for them. Then, you can come back together and see cultural exhibits, tiki carvers and even ride a canoe.

Pro tip: Feel free to leave the coconut bra at home.

When: Saturday from sunrise to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from sunrise to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Granada Beach | MAP

Price: Free


6. Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival

In need of a cheap date idea? Big Shakespeare fan? Consider a night of literature at The Old Zoo at Griffith Park where Independent Shakespeare Co. will put on "As You Like It" and "Macbeth" this weekend.

Pro tip: Bring a blanket or low-backed chair as there is no seating at the site. The area gets cool when the sun goes down, so dress warmly.

When: "As You Like It" will take place Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and "Macbeth" on Sunday at 7 p.m

Where: The Old Zoo at Griffith Park | MAP

Price: Free, but donations are accepted


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