Arts & Entertainment

Free Weekend? Billboard Art, Shark Lagoon Night, Mother’s Day

The Santa Monica Festival is the city's biggest event.
The Santa Monica Festival is the city's biggest event.
Phil Scoville/flickr Creative Commons

The sun’ll come out tomorrow — or the day after, actually — just in time for the weekend. So it’s time for some outdoor art, playing in Santa Monica and spending time with mom on her special day.

Here’s everything you need to know:

1. Billboard Creative Public Art Show

Go on a self-guided tour of billboards throughout Hollywood and L.A. that includes the work of 14 artists from seven countries and a range of media. “This is the inaugural show from The Billboard Creative, a nonprofit founded in 2014 with the goals of giving artists access to a mass audience and to make art as accessible to Angelenos as the numerous billboards that they view everyday,” the organization shares on its website. Pro tip: Download a map (link below) of the billboards, which includes QR codes for Google maps of each installation. 

When: Through May 15

Where: Across Los Angeles | MAP

Price: Free


2. Unique LA Spring Market

See hundreds of local designers and makers of clothing for men, women and babies, décor, bath and beauty, stationery and food items at this biannual show. Some food and drink freebies and DIY craft projects sweeten the deal. Pro tip: Tickets at the event are cash only. First 1,000 shoppers each day get free tickets to the OC Fair.

When: May 9-10, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: The Penthouse at California Market Center | MAP

Price: $10


3. LitFest Pasadena

See local authors, including L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold & Kogi taco truck king Roy Choi, author of the memoir "L.A. Son," at this diverse celebration of literature. The event includes readings and salon-style panels from YA authors, poets, and others at three different locations throughout Pasadena’s Playhouse District, from Vroman’s Bookstore to the Pasadena Playhouse to El Portal restaurant. 

When: May 9, 11:45 a.m.-10 p.m.

Where: Various locations in Pasadena’s Playhouse District | MAP

Price: Free


4. Santa Monica Festival

Art, culture, food, sustainability, and well-being will all be celebrated during Saturday's Santa Monica Festival. Zumba, mariachi performances, a bike hub and a vendor marketplace are just a few of the programs and activities you'll be able to enjoy. See all this festival by the beach has to offer here.

When: Saturday

Where: Clover Park | MAP

Price: Free 

5. 99 cent burgers at Cassell's

Make your way down to K-town this Friday: Cassell's is celebrating burger month with a deal that your wallet will love. For one day only, the burger joint is offering 99 cent burgers. Yes, you heard right, and NBC Los Angeles reports that, "Customers should arrive for the lunch hour in a timely manner, as the frenzy will sustain itself only while patties last" — a good idea since you'll probably want to get more than one burger.

When: Friday

Where: Cassell's Hamburgers | MAP

Price: 99 cents 


6. Shark Lagoon Night

Get up close and personal with bamboo sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific's "Shark Lagoon Nights." Visitors will be able to touch these smaller ocean predators, but also be able to see larger sharks like sand tigers and rays. 

When: Friday 

Where: Aquarium of the Pacific | MAP

Price: Free


7. An LA Journey 


The Eastside's CASA 0101 has been the home for a variety of theatrical productions, film festivals, and stories. Currently the theatre is bringing to life the true story of 11-year-old Lorenzo, a K'iche Mayan homeless orphan, and his journey from Guatemala City to Los Angeles. Lorenzo shares his 13-month voyage across two borders with Ofelia, who seeks to escape an abusive relationship. Will their new destination give them a better life? Find out on the play's opening weekend. 

When: Saturday

Where: CASA 0101 | MAP

Price: $20


8. Watch "Grease" with a T-bird and Pink Lady

It may be spring, but you can enjoy “Summer Nights” at an outdoor showing of “Grease” by Street Food Cinema. Food trucks will be there for on-site eats and 50s band Lil’ Mo and the Dynaflos will play some tunes, so brush up on your hand jive skills. Special guests from the film will also be there — Jamie Donnelly, who played Jan, and Michael Tucci, who played Sonny. Peachy keen, jelly bean.

When: May 9, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Victory Park, Pasadena | MAP

Price: General admission is $12, kids tickets are less


9. Mother's Day Brunch

In case you were unaware, Sunday is Mother’s Day. If your mom is in the area, you can take her to brunch at the fun and funky Hotel Figueroa in Downtown LA. The brunch includes bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, plus a live band. Pro tip: Make reservations as soon as possible.

When: May 10, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Where: Hotel Figueroa | MAP

Price: $42


Mother's Day bonus: "Whistler's Mother" with your mother

Renowned painting "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1," commonly called "Whistler's Mother," is on loan from the Musée d'Orsay and currently on display at the Norton Simon Museum. If your mom enjoys art, you can take her to see this famous painted mom on Mother's Day. Pro tip: Timed tickets for this exhibit are required. Info here

When: Through June 22. Museum hours here.

Where: Norton Simon Museum | MAP

Price: $10-$13. Students free

What'd we miss? Tell us in the comments or tell Kristen Lepore on twitter @kristenlepore.