Discover the Best of Los Angeles Fall 2018

Celebrate LA!, "Stranger Things," OTR II, Ai Weiwei & much more

"Stranger Things" at Halloween Horror Nights | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles has four seasons and summer in L.A. isn’t actually endless. As the city transitions to the cooler temps and shorter days of fall, we preview the hottest openings, exhibits and special events taking place in L.A. from September and beyond.



LA Phil 100: Season of the Century

Celebrate LA! (SEPT. 30, 2018)

On Sunday, Sept. 30 the LA Phil kicks off its centennial season with Celebrate LA! a FREE celebration with hundreds of musicians, artists, dancers, family activities and more. Produced in partnership with CicLAvia and Community Arts Resources (CARS), Celebrate LA! will be an epic, history-making festival showcasing L.A.’s creative spirit. Connecting Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, the massive street party will feature 1,800 musicians, artists, and dancers coming together to perform at the festival’s six hubs and along the eight-mile route itself. The evening culminates with a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl, where Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic and welcome very special guests – including Katy Perry, Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), and more to the Bowl stage.

STAPLES CENTER (September - November 2018)

Located at the spectacular L.A. LIVE entertainment complex in Downtown L.A., STAPLES Center is one of L.A.'s sports meccas and the home arena for the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks. Lakers fans have circled October 20 on the calendar: LeBron James will suit up in the purple and gold at STAPLES Center for the first time. King James and the Lakers will face the Houston Rockets, featuring the NBA's reigning MVP, James Harden and Chris Paul.

STAPLES Center also hosts world-class performances year-round. Upcoming concerts include BTS World Tour: Love Yourself (Sept. 5-6, 8-9), Keith Urban (Oct. 6), Drake (Oct. 12-14), Bruno Mars (Oct. 23-27), and Justin Timberlake (Nov. 27).

Hollywood Bowl (September - October 2018)

The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheater in the United States and is renowned as one of the world's premier outdoor cultural venues. The Bowl hosts a wide variety of the world’s greatest artists from all genres of music, with Gustavo Dudamel and the acclaimed LA Phil at its core. Final shows of the 2018 season include the Fireworks Finale: Harry Connick, Jr. & New Orleans 300th Birthday Celebration (Sept. 8-10), Norteño at the Bowl! (Sept. 15), The War on Drugs (Sept. 16), Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Lil Buck & Jared Grimes (Sept. 20), Grizzly Bear (Sept. 23), Beck (Sept. 28), and LA Phil 100 (Sept. 30).

Throughout the year, the Hollywood Bowl hosts fantastic Lease Events, aka non-LA Phil-produced events. Fall 2018 Lease Events include: Dave Matthews Band (Sept. 10), Lauryn Hill with Dave Chappelle & De La Soul (Sept. 18), Florence + the Machine (Sept. 25-26), Interpol (Oct. 4), Ozzy Osbourne (Oct. 11), Dierks Bentley (Oct. 13), Arctic Monkeys (Oct. 16-17) and the Willie Nelson Outlaw Music Festival (Oct. 21).

"Stranger Things" at Halloween Horror Nights | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS (Sept. 14 - Nov. 3, 2018)

Face your darkest fears in one of Southern California’s scariest, most intense events of the season – Universal Studios™ Halloween Horror Nights™. The movie studio that invented the horror genre brings to life all new immersive worlds of living, breathing icons from the most twisted imaginations in film and television. This year, discover the dark secrets lurking in the Upside Down world of Netflix Stranger Things and seven more spine-chilling mazes: Poltergeist, Halloween 4 - The Return of Michael Myers, Universal Monsters, Trick ‘r Treat, The First Purge, The Horrors of Blumhouse - Chapter Two and AMC’s The Walking Dead. The screams and thrills continue with Terror Tram: Dreadtime Storiez Hosted by Hollywood Harry, five new scare zones, and an all-new high-energy Jabbawockeez live show. Halloween Horror Nights will be open select dates from September 14 through November 3. Tickets are now on sale at

Las Colibrí | Photo courtesy of Ford Theatres

FORD THEATRES (September - October 2018)

Nestled in a picturesque setting in the Hollywood Hills, Ford Theatres has been one of L.A.'s favorite outdoor music venues for generations. From July to October, the Ford hosts an eclectic calendar of events that represent music and dance styles that span the diverse communities of Los Angeles County. Upcoming highlights include Ritmos Latinos (Sept. 8-9), We Have to Go Back: The LOST Concert (Sept. 15), Element Band (Sept. 16), LA Film Festival: Echo in the Canyon (Sept. 20), Hollywood Blues Bash feat. Mavis Staples (Sept. 22), The The (Sept. 24), Jason Moran and The Bandwagon - Finding a Line (Sept. 29), MC5: "Kick Out the Jams" 50th Anniversary (Oct. 5), David T. Little's "Soldier Songs" (Oct. 13), The Secret City (Oct. 14), Fusicology presents Louie Vega & EOL Soulfrito Live (Oct. 21), and Heidi Duckler Dance (Oct. 27-28).

Greek Theatre (September - October 2018)

Opened in 1929, the historic Greek Theatre is one of L.A.’s premier outdoor music venues. The 5,900-seat venue offers an intimate concert setting, with state-of-the-art acoustics and excellent sight lines, surrounded by trees in a picturesque setting within Griffith Park. In February 2018, the Greek was named Best Small Outdoor Venue at the annual Pollstar Conference in Los Angeles.

Highlights of the fall calendar include Leon Bridges (Sept. 11), Anita Baker (Sept. 13-14), Voodoo Threauxdown feat. Trombone Shorty (Sept. 15), The Neighbourhood (Sept. 18), Arcade Fire (Sept. 20), Blood Orange (Sept. 21), First Aid Kit (Sept. 26), Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (Sept. 27), Ringo Starr (Sept. 29), Boy George & Culture Club (Oct. 3), Børns (Oct. 24), and Christina Aguilera (Oct. 26)

Photo courtesy of Childish Gambino, Facebook

The Forum (September - December 2018)

The Forum is a world-class entertainment venue that bridges its iconic past with today's state-of-the-art technology and amenities. Upcoming highlights include: Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience (Sept. 9), The Eagles (Sept. 12-15), Luis Miguel (Sept. 16), J Balvin (Sept. 22-23), Childish Gambino (Sept. 26 & Oct. 3), Bill Burr (Sept. 28), Carlos Vives (Sept. 29), R&B Super Jam (Oct. 5), Def Leppard & Journey (Oct. 6), Aubrey & The Three Migos (Oct. 16-17, 19), Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Oct. 21), Josh Groban (Oct. 27), Ozuna Aura (Nov. 2), Nicki Minaj & Future: NICKIHNDRXX tour (Nov. 20), Marc Anthony (Dec. 2), and Fleetwood Mac (Dec. 11, 13).

"Satyagraha" | Photo courtesy of LA Opera

LA OPERA - DOROTHY CHANDLER (Sept. 22 - Dec. 15, 2018)

On Sept. 22, LA Opera opens its 2018-19 season with Verdi’s timeless classic Don Carlo, described by Variety as "a stunning revival." The mesmerizing Satyagraha (Oct. 20 - Nov. 11) is a Philip Glass masterpiece inspired by Gandhi’s early years in South Africa. Satyagraha is the final piece in Glass' "portrait" trilogy. The beloved fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel (Nov. 17 - Dec. 15) comes to the operatic stage with 12-foot-tall creatures, fantastical sets and elaborate special effects. Diva extraordinaire, Susan Graham stars as the uproariously wicked witch.


In the summer of 2014, Beyoncé and JAY-Z performed six weeks of sold out stadium dates across North America with their highly anticipated ON THE RUN tour. The Carters are joining forces once again for the OTR II stadium tour, which kicked off in June and arrives at Rose Bowl Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23. Rolling Stone described the opening concert as "a hits-packed, visually stunning show." According to the BBC, the superstar duo have rehearsed 60 songs for the tour, so expect the set list to change frequently.


Located at Exposition Park in Downtown L.A., the National History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) presents the third annual Dino Fest, a two-day celebration of dinosaurs, their prehistoric past, and the science that brings their world back to life. Meet world-renowned paleontologists from the museum's Dinosaur Institute and beyond as they discuss historic and ongoing fossil discoveries from around the world. Visit exhibitors, catch a glimpse of rare specimens from the museum’s collections, dig into hands-on activities, explore Dino Hall with the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series, and much more. This year you can cool off with dinosaurs who lived in polar environments, like Cryolophosaurus. Enjoy the Dino Encounters show, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Dino Fest is included with regular museum admission.

"Life Cycle" by Ai Weiwei | Instagram by @marcianoartfoundation

AI WEIWEI: LIFE CYCLE - Marciano Art Foundation (Sept. 28, 2018 - March 3, 2019)

Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle, a solo exhibition by the acclaimed Chinese artist, will be on view from Sept. 28, 2018 to March 3, 2019 at the Marciano Art Foundation. This exhibition is Ai’s first major institutional exhibition in Los Angeles and will feature the new and unseen work Life Cycle (2018) – a sculptural response to the global refugee crisis. The exhibition will also present iconic installations Sunflower Seeds (2010) and Spouts (2015) in MAF’s Theater Gallery.

Life Cycle is one of three Ai Weiwei exhibitions that will be on view in L.A. concurrently this fall. Following Life Cycle, Ai will be opening Zodiac on Sept. 29 at Jeffrey Deitch's new 15,000 square-foot space in Hollywood. Beginning October 4, a selection of Ai's sculptural works will be on view at a 4,000 square-foot gallery that he designed, the new UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills. 

Day of the Drum & Simon Rodia Jazz Festival - Watts Towers (Sept. 29-30, 2018)

The landmark Watts Towers hosts a weekend of global music on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30. On Saturday, the 37th annual Day of the Drum Festival celebrates the role of drums and drummers in world cultures, past and present. Named for the creator of the world-famous Watts Towers, the 42nd annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival pays tribute to the American music forms of jazz, gospel and R&B. Both festivals are free and feature all-day activities like guided tours of the Watts Towers, children's activities, and art exhibitions. Food and arts and crafts will be available for purchase. 

Full body cast from "Pompeii: The Exhibition" | Photo courtesy of Reagan Library

POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION - Reagan Library (OPENS OCT. 6, 2018)

Opening October 6 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Pompeii: The Exhibition features over 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy. These are not replicas, but rather original, 2,000-year-old objects that were preserved in the ash. The exhibition’s media-rich, immersive experience transports visitors back in time to 79 A.D. where they will embark on a journey through the ancient city, culminating with the fateful morning of the eruption. Artifacts on view include wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, gladiator armor, weapons, jewelry, ancient Roman coins, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims.

"Notorious RBG" | Photo courtesy of Skirball Cultural Center

NOTORIOUS RBG - SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER (Oct. 19, 2018 - March 10, 2019)

Based upon the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an original exhibition at Skirball Cultural Center created in partnership with the book’s co-authors: journalist Irin Carmon (a national reporter at MSNBC) and attorney Shana Knizhnik, who founded the popular Tumblr that earned Ginsburg Internet fame (and amused the Justice herself). Opening Oct. 19, Notorious RBG will offer a visually rich, entertaining, yet rigorous look at the Justice’s life and career. Through archival photographs and documents, contemporary art, media, and interactives, the exhibition will present a unique take on the American legal system and civic rights movements through the lens of Ginsburg’s personal experiences and public service. It will tell the parallel stories of Ginsburg’s remarkable life and the ongoing expansion of “We the People” to include those long left out of the Constitution’s promises and will examine her continuing work to protect civil rights and equal opportunity for all.

Custom Nissans inspired by "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show | Photo courtesy of L.A. Auto Show

LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW (Nov. 30 - Dec. 9, 2018)

Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show is the first major North American auto show of the season. The L.A. Auto Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown L.A. from November 30 to December 9, featuring 1,000 vehicles, world and North American premieres, new vehicle shopping, test drives, the latest tech, and customized rides and exotics. Tickets are now on sale at the L.A. Auto Show website.


First held in Downtown L.A. in October 2010, CicLAvia has become the largest event of its kind in the country - more than a million people have explored over 140 miles of open streets in L.A. CicLAvia's annual Heart of L.A. event returns on Sunday, Dec. 2. Taking place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Heart of L.A. will have six miles of car-free streets for participants to explore by bike, foot, skateboard, wheelchair and other non-motorized traffic. Each year the Heart of L.A. route takes participants through historic neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Broadway Theatre District, Civic Center, Chinatown and Echo Park.