If you’re already going broke on Valentine’s Day ideas, you’ll be happy to hear there are plenty of free things to do in February. From a Chinatown parade to a party at a brewery, these are the best ways to make the most of your month without breaking into your wallet.
Through Feb 10
“A Journey That Wasn’t”; The Broad
View Ragnar Kjartansson’s mesmerizing, musical video installation The Visitors before it heads back to the Broad’s vault.
Night of Ideas; Natural History Museum
A vegan fashion show, a sound bath from Sigur Rós’s Jonsi and some dude who can perform complex mental calculations very quickly in his head? And all for free? Sign us up.
Feb 2, 3
Museums Free-For-All; Various locations
Visit more than 40 SoCal museums for free as this annual event expands to two days.
Chinese New Year Midnight Temple Ceremony; Thien Hau Temple
Make offerings to the deities, awaken the spirits with firecrackers and burn incense for good fortune.
Feb 6–Apr 9
“People”; Jeffrey Deitch
Journey into the uncanny valley to see more than 50 contemporary, figurative sculptures constructed via a variety of means, like body casts and found objects.
Feb 9–Apr 21
Desert X; Various locations
The desert-spanning biennial premieres site-specific works from over 15 artists. For its second iteration, Desert X has added more public programming, film projects, process-driven works and an expansion toward the Salton Sea.
Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival; Chinatown Central Plaza
Participate in one of L.A.’s oldest traditions as the 120th parade steps off in Chinatown.
Feb 10–May 12
“Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018”; Hammer Museum
Language factors heavily into the L.A. artist’s works on display, including novels copied by hand and posters inspired by Beat poetry.
Feb 13–Apr 13
“Dreamweavers”; UTA Artist Space
Prolific producer Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) presents this surreal exhibition, curated by Nicola Vassell, that features fantastical works from artists like Nick Cave, Karon Davis, Kerry James MArshall, Charles White and more.
Feb 14–Apr 14
“Annie Leibovitz: The Early Years, 1970–1983”; Hauser & Wirth
This early-career retrospective features more than 5,000 photos from the acclaimed portrait photographer’s 1970s practice.
Follow That! Free Valentine’s Day Comedy Show; Comedy Store
Head to the Comedy Store for a lineup of terribly awkward love-gone-wrong videos that comedians riff over.
Grand Park Lovers Rock; Grand Park
Listen to Lovers Rock reggae, pack a picnic or bring your date to the lineup of food trucks for soul-satisfying grub.
Chinese New Year at Santa Monica Place; Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica Place toasts to the Chinese New Year with performances and activities.
Feb 16, 17
Sounds of L.A.; Getty Center
Catch a pair of free shows from LADAMA during this free series at the Getty.
Broken Hearts Circus; Angel City Brewery
Make a circus out of L.A.’s dating scene with this pre-Valentine’s bash, complete with stilt walkers and a magician.
Free concerts; Various locations
Listen to some tunes without breaking the bank with free shows at the Echo, the Satellite and more.
Free museum days; Various locations
Make the most of free days at LACMA, the Natural History Museum and more, plus always-free museums like the Hammer, Getty and Broad.