LA Art Show: It's often said that art appreciation is a subjective pursuit, but there's not too much that's subjective about the bold claim that Los Angeles is an important and vital nexus for the creating of visual art. January, or LA Art Month, reflects our city's global rep as an innovating chance-taker in modern and contemporary art, and LA Art Show, a mega feast for the eyes, caps it all off downtown over the final weekend of the month. Want traditional art? Find that adjacent to LA Art Show, at the LA Fine Art Show. Big? Yes. Galleries from all over the world? They'll be at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Museums Free-for-All Day: Indeed, January being LA Art Month means many things, and one of the money-saving-est of all those things is happening on Saturday, Jan. 30, when a whole caboodle of local institutions waive their get-in fees for the day. What's free? Well, what isn't? Okay, a few places might be, so best check all the participants. Of note: The new Petersen Automotive Museum is on the list, if you haven't visited yet, and Skirball Cultural Center is honoring its free day on Sunday, Jan. 31.
Mardi Gras Opens: True, true, Fat Tuesday officially happens on Feb. 9, but the landmark public market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue is starting the zydeco tunes and beignet eating and bead throwing a bit early. The party is on all Jan. 30 and 31, and Sunday will see a gussied-up pet parade to boot. If you can't make it, there's more Mardi Gras good times to come, on Feb. 6 and 9.
Chinese New Year: Our region will see a parade of parties honoring the Year of the Monkey over the coming weeks, and Universal Studios Hollywood is ready to get the celebrating going early. For two weeks -- Jan. 30 through Feb. 14 -- a number of festive to-dos will happen at the park, from Shenzhen performances, a plum blossom arch, cuisine that suits the spirit of the occasion, and, wait for it, Megatron, a character from Transformers: The Ride 3-D, chatting with guests in Mandarin.
Night on Broadway: Bringing Broadway Back, the multi-year initiative spearheaded by Councilmember José Huizar, is all about putting the deserved spotlight on the vibrant stretch of theaters and businesses that centers downtown. This annual party is free, and full of performances, and you get to enjoy Broadway for several blocks in its closed-to-cars state. Love a gratis bash with a community and cultural heart? It's all happen on Saturday night, Jan. 30.