Arts & Entertainment

11 fun and almost-free ways to spend the weekend in LA

Whether you're riding bikes, nerding out on books or honoring the memory of Prince, it's a busy weekend for the area in and around Grand Park.
Whether you're riding bikes, nerding out on books or honoring the memory of Prince, it's a busy weekend for the area in and around Grand Park.
Prayitno via Flickr

It's Mother's Day weekend, but before your Sunday brunch there's fun to be had. Honor Prince, dance like Queen Bey or dress up in drag. We've got the details. 

1. Prince tribute at City Hall

L.A.’s City Hall recently lit up purple in honor of Prince. Now, the landmark where the icon’s "Diamonds and Pearls" video was filmed will host a free musical tribute to the Purple One. Thousands are expected to attend the event outside City Hall so registration is highly recommended.

When: Friday, May 6, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Where: L.A. City Hall | MAP

Price: Free | Register Here

2. Neil Young at Natural History Museum’s First Fridays

Bask in the museum’s outdoor Nature Gardens while legend Neil Young holds a listening party for his new live album, “Earth,” which features hits like “After the Gold Rush,” “Vampire Blues” and a 29-minute version of "Love & Only Love” juxtaposed with wildlife sounds. Earlier in the evening, you can get a behind-the-scenes tour of bizarre items that have inspired blockbuster movies and listen to a discussion on dinosaurs and film moderated by Patt Morrison.

When: Friday, May 6, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Natural History Museum

Price: Tickets are $18

3. Club '90s Beyonce Ball

Before Beyonce became Queen Bey and had an army of fans ready to attack “Becky with the good hair,” the pop diva was in a little group called Destiny’s Child. Dance and reminisce to a heavy dose of Beyonce inspired hits as well as other '90s and early 2000s classics. Outfits inspired by Beyonce and her early era are highly encouraged. You can also document your fierce look at the Beyonce photo booth. First 300 guests get a free Beyonce pin. This event is for ages 18 and up.

When: Friday, May 6, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Where: The Echoplex | MAP

Price: Tickets are $12, cash only

4. Downtown Bookfest

Celebrate indie, Los Angeles-based authors and publishers at this year’s fest, which is themed “Literary LA: Places, Spaces and Faces,” a celebration and reflection of where Angelenos love to read and write – past, present and future. Check out pop-up bookshops, readings/performances and discussions for kids and adults.

When: Saturday, May 7, noon - 5 p.m.

Where: Grand Park | MAP

Price: Free 

5. Blastoff Comics Fest

In honor of Free Comic Book Day, the Federal Bar is hosting an all ages comic party! Enjoy signings, panels and free sketches with creators from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and more. There'll also be costumed hero photo ops, music, a beer garden and lots of free comics.

When: Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Where: The Federal Bar | MAP

Price: Free

6. 10th Annual Strawberry Festival

U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Satisfy your spring craving for strawberries at Cal Poly Pomona's Strawberry Festival. Pick fresh strawberries and veggies straight from the school's farm while enjoying live music, food vendors and a vintage tractor and car show. Face paint and a petting zoo will be available for the kiddos. Pro tip: Admission may be free, but parking is $4. 

When: Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Where: AGRIscapes at Cal Poly Pomona | MAP

Price: Free 

7. KROQ Kentucky Derby Day

A photo posted by Santa Anita Park (@santaanitapark) on

Place your bets, pour your brew and don your floppiest of hats as horses take their marks to run in the first of this season's Triple Crown Races. While the horses round the track in the Kentucky Derby, you can join in on the racing fun from KROQ's Brewfest on the Santa Anita infield for beer, lawn games and food trucks. Beer drinkers will get wristbands, so the whole family is welcome to join in on the fun. 

When: Saturday, May 7, noon - 5 p.m.

Where: Santa Anita Park | MAP

Price: Admission is $5 at the door 

8. RuPaul’s DragCon

After last year's huge success, RuPaul's DragCon is back to create a space for all things drag. From makeup workshops and panel discussions to meet-and-greets and lip-sync contests, this convention is "the place to find your tribe,” according to RuPaul. Special guests include Jeffree Star, Amber Rose and many others. Fans of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. May the fierce be with you. 

When: Saturday, May 7 - Sunday, May 8

Where: L.A. Convention Center | MAP

Price: One-day tickets start at $30 | Get tickets

9. L.A. Bicycle Fest

If you want to ride your bicycle, the L.A. Bicycle Fest is the place for you to be this weekend. Along with demos, workshops and local ride groups, don't be surprised to see wandering musicians, interactive art installations and a beer garden. Pro tip: Costumes are encouraged! 

When: Sunday, May 8, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Park | MAP

Price: General admission is $12 | Get tickets

10. MOMentum Place

Looking for a unique way to celebrate your mom? Take her to a special aerial and circus performance at an outdoor amphitheater, preceded by brunch in the theater's garden. Homemade breakfast pastries, crustless quiche and Belgian waffles are all on the menu, along with other tasty treats. Pro tip: Tickets are going quickly for this one, so you might want to sign up fast.

When: Sunday, May 8, noon brunch, 2 p.m. show

Where: Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum | MAP

Price: Show admission is $25, brunch is an additional $30 | Get tickets

11. Echo Park Craft Fair

instagram echo parkcraft

A slew of local vendors will be selling housewares, clothes, beauty products, jewelry, stationary, edibles and more at this homemade craft fair.

When: Saturday - Sunday, May 7 - 8, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Where: Mack Sennett Studios | MAP

Price: One-day ticket is $10. Weekend ticket is $16 | Get tickets

What'd we miss? Let us know on Twitter @kellie_gal, @JessicaHamlinB and @LeoHasACat.