Rich in Love, but Not in Cash — A low-budget Los Angeles Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to feel cheap. Here are 10 free things to do in L.A. for Valentine’s Day for you and your special someone.
(1.) If music be the food of love – play on! A free live concert Fowler Out Loud: Will Magid and Friends performs a mixture of West African music electronic and jazz. The concert is outdoors so make sure you bring a jacket and a blanket to keep your Valentine warm. Light refreshments are also being served too! Starts at 6pm at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Los Angeles, CA 90095; park in Lot 4 and enter from Sunset Blvd. For more information call (310) 825-4361 or visit www.fowler.ucla.edu.
(2.) Visit The Getty Center for a feast for the eyes — 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049. Admission is free, but there is an $8 parking fee per car and parking on the streets around The Getty is restricted. Motorcycles and bicycle parking is available at no charge. Other transportation options include the Metro Rapid Line that stops at the main gate, having a friend drop you and your valentine off, and taking a taxi. The Getty Center is open on Valentine’s Day from 10am-6pm. The Getty Center hosts an extensive collection of permanent art exhibitions and hosts rotating exhibitions. The building the Center itself is housed in is an architectural showpiece. If the weather is nice take in the Gardens outdoors and enjoy the panoramic views of Los Angeles. Many different tours and talks are available. Be sure to view “Consuming Passion: Fragonard’s Allegories of Love” a collection of paintings, drawings, and prints on the subject of romantic love with your Valentine. For more information call (310) 440-7300 or visit http://www.getty.edu/.
(3.) Many people associate wine culture and vineyards with romance. Skip the expense of visiting the Austrian wine country and let it come to you! “The Austrian Winery Boom: A Wine and Architecture Miracle” at the Museum of Design Art and Architecture (located next to the Wilson Restaurant) showcases recent architectural models and project descriptions in Austria and surrounding states along with original wine bottles. The Museum is located at 8609 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 and is open on Valentine’s Day from 12pm-6pm and admission is free. For more information about the exhibition call (310) 558-0902 or visit the Web: http://acfny.org/magfs.aspx?CID=75for more about the contents of the exhibition.
(4.) For the Valentine who loves to read, head to the Los Angeles Central Public Library for a fun day. You can explore classic sonnets or favor your Valentine with a more contemporary poet. If poetry does not appeal to your lover — other options include picking out some romantic literature, browsing a book on creative dating, planning future dates with a travel book for a future destination or your place of residence, or even flipping through a reference book to learn the art of massage. Be creative, you can find just about anything here or get online! Special for Valentine’s Day you can bring your lunch to “Romantic Reads – Find Love in the Library!” in Meeting Room A at the library from 12:15pm-1:00pm where they discuss books and “some of the surprises at the Central Library.” If desperation sets in, tours are available (see times online at the site listed below or print your own self-guided tour PDF). The central library is located at 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 but there are satellite branches located elsewhere too. Reduced parking rates are available during library business hours at the 524 South Flower Street Garage – make sure to get your parking validated or you’ll pay the full-market rate. Metro blue and red lines both have stops near the library. Valentine’s Day the Central Library is open from 10am to 8pm. For more information call (213) 228-7000 or visit www.lapl.org.
(5.) If you’re busy on Valentine’s Day and looking for a related activity for Valentine’s Day weekend, try your hand at playing cupid and learn the sport of archery. Pasadena Roving Archers offers free archery classes complete with equipment every Saturday morning at their range in Arroyo Seco except when it’s raining. Participants must be 10 years of age, but younger archers may be accepted with prior approval from the Instruction Coordinator. All young archers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All residents of Pasadena and the surrounding communities are eligible to participate. Classes are free for first-time archers with a $5 donation for subsequent sessions. The classes are from 9am-11am, but arrive by 8:30am to get fitted with the necessary equipment. PRA recommends prospective cupids wear shirts with snug fitting sleeves and tops should be free of large buttons, pins, badges, or other things that can be caught in the bow string. Participants should wear closed-toed shoes without heels as the range is in a woodland area (dress for the outdoors). You may wish to bring water with you as access is not convenient in the instruction area. Find a map to the range at http://www.rovingarchers.com/map.html. For more information call (909) 598-6529 or (626) 447-7600 visit www.rovingarchers.com.
(6.) Delve a little deeper into interpersonal relationships and communication through film for Valentine’s Day at Bettina Hoffmann’s “Parallax” at the Kristi Engle Gallery where admission is free. The solo exhibit video work made use of revolving camera that offers 360 degree views of communication – one person’s comments and another person’s response. The gallery is located at 5002 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042 and is open on Valentine’s Day from 12:00pm to 6pm. For more information call (323) 472-6237 or visit www.kristienglegallery.com.
(7.) If your Valentine has a flair for the dramatic or just loves Hollywood history try playing tourist and visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to walk where the stars have walked. Bonus points for dressing like a famous Hollywood couple. This famous theatre has been home to numerous popular film premieres and its courtyard is home to stars hand and footprints immortalized in cement that date from 1927 through the present. Be sure to say cheese for the webcams. You can walk up and down and check out the stars in the sidewalk too. Nearby is the famed Kodak Theatre. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. For more information call (323) 464-8111 or visit www.manntheatres.com.
(8.) Spend Valentine’s day wandering the streets of downtown Los Angeles for the Downtown Art Walk. This is a great way to see a huge collection of art and includes venues like the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Ave. and the Los Angeles Public Library. Admission to all participating venues is free. The art walk is primarily self-guided, but guided tours of the Gallery Row section of the Downtown Art Walk are available. The Downtown Art Walk takes place the second Thursday of every month and is held from 12pm-9pm. See the complete map of participating galleries and parking locations, and the route of the entire art walk at www.downtownartwalk.com. The area is also served by Metro Rail and DASH buses.
(9.) Some say love is looking through rose-colored glasses, but it could be through three-dimensional glasses. Spend your Valentine’s day viewing The Discover 3D exhibition of three-dimensional media from eight artists at the Black Maria Gallery. The Discover 3D exhibition pieces have many different ways of being viewed stereographically. Some art requires the observer to look through sculptural pieces to view the art, others do not and use the gallery to create the stereographic effect in the environment. Admission to the gallery is free. The exhibit is open from 7pm-10:30pm on Valentine’s Day and is located at 3137 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039. For more information call (323) 660-9393 or visit www.blackmariagallery.com.
(10.) If your stomach is like your empty wallet on Valentine’s Day, here are some places that are offering free food in Los Angeles. Most of these places offer a single item free, but you can always play up the romantic aspect of sharing a lover’s cup (or rather plate!) on Valentine’s Day. Remember many restaurants are packed on Valentine’s Day so plan in advance and make the necessary arrangements.
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