11 Free Things to Do This Weekend in Los Angeles

By Christina Elston

Made it through the holidays with your budget not quite as intact as you’d hoped? Or maybe your 2018 resolution to spend less but play more needs some help.  

We’ve got this! Read on for almost a dozen (just one short!) things you can do this weekend without pulling out your wallet. 

Music Just for Kids: Loyola Marymount University presents its Concerts of Music for Children at 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, featuring French and American song and dance, plus Japanese butterflies and dragons. Concerts of Music for Children, in its 19th year, will highlight music by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Irving Fine, Marc Blitzstein, Karen Tanaka and Koichi Kishi, with performances by members of the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company and LMU’s chamber and percussion ensembles. This show is an annual treat!

Playtime With Your Tot: Why play on your own when you can enjoy guided story time and sensory activities that support language development and build Baby’s brain. This 90-minute program for kiddos ages 17 months and younger takes place from 10:30 a.m.-noon Saturday in the Santa Monica Main Library’s children’s activity room.

Non-Valentine Story Time: It’s not Valentine’s Day yet, but Carter Higgins is still heading over to Children’s Book World in West L.A. Saturday to sign “This Is Not A Valentine,” her debut picture book for ages 5-8. The fun lasts from 10:30-11 a.m. (and of course you might be cajoled into buying a book or two at this delightful store).

Self-Help Silkscreening: The talented folks from Self Help Graphics will be at the Altadena Main Library from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday to help you and yours (ages 5 and up) create mono-silkscreen posters. Space is limited, so advance registration is required – and there’s a limit of two participants per household.

Walking With the Tide: The beach lovers among you should head to San Pedro for tidepool walks led by naturalists from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Meet at the aquarium at 11 a.m. Saturday or noon Sunday for a slideshow, then head to the Point Fermin Tidepools to check out the wildlife.

Celebrating Cetaceans: The Sunday fun continues at Cabrillo with its Whale Fiesta from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. It’s a really big deal. The fiesta celebrates the start of the Pacific gray whale’s yearly migration with games, puppet shows, the building of a life-size sand sculpture of a whale, and the “Great Duct Tape Whale Contest.”

Watching All the Birds: Over at Malibu Lagoon, the action is up in the sky rather than out at sea. Meet near the parking lot at Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road at 11 a.m. Sunday for an hourlong family bird-watching walk. The walk’s leaders are experienced with kids, and there is an ample supply of binoculars for everyone to use.

Marching Through Marshes: Not to be outdone, Madrona Marsh Preserve in San Pedro devotes its Sunday to the flora and fauna that live in the marshlands. Take a walk with a trained docent (from 10 a.m.-noon) and learn the value of wetlands in our urban environment. (Note that donations are appreciated.)

Be With the Bees: If you’re having a great time at Madrona, stick around to meet Beekeeper Leroy Jackson. He’ll teach families about hive society and share his own beekeeping stories during “What’s All the Buzz? – The Lives of Honey Bees” from 2-4 p.m. Pre-registration is strongly recommended by calling 310-782-3989.

Mural Painting, Live: Stop by the Subway on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday and your face might be part of a mural being painted by artist Davia King. There will also be face painting, a DJ and the CoolHause Ice Cream Truck – with free ice cream sandwiches for the first 20 visitors.

A Collage Workshop: The California African American Museum will also be into faces on Sunday, with a family collage workshop from 1-3 p.m. Artist Lezley Saar will guide families, and a variety of materials will be provided.

If you didn’t find anything clickable in this list, check out our full calendar of events for fun in every part of town. 

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