This Week: Music Center Plaza Reopens

The grand DTLA public space underwent a multi-month rehaul; now a series of free events will festoon its return.

Hello again, Music Center Plaza: A renovation of any space, no matter how big or small, takes time, effort, and a lot of can-do. But the can-do grew for this massive DTLA project, which began around the start of 2018, and included new eateries, fresh sitting areas, and a open look, one that, at least visually, better connects the plaza to Grand Park next door. It's celebrating its grand re-opening as August ends and September starts with several free events for the public. Up first? A civic dedication for invited guests on Aug. 28, a wine party on Aug. 29, and loads of lively fun over Labor Day Weekend. Dates/details/welcome back Music Center Plaza!

80s Dance Party on the Alley: Haven't made it to the mall lately? No worries. We know you have plenty of neon-pink scrunchies and over-sized blazers, the ones with the huge shoulder pads, at the ready. Throw them both on and make for Old Pasadena on Wednesday, Aug. 28 for a free party that's all about the terrific tunes from three decades back. Arcade games'll be part of the vibe, at Neon Retro Arcade, and food will be for sale, too (Dog Haus Biergarten just reopened). It's a mid-week dose of throwback charm, in one of the most historic areas of SoCal. That's so rad.

Final Friday Night Music: The mornings are chillier, there are spider webs here and there, and the signs of summer are winding down faster than it takes to say "fall's on the way." So you totally dig the Original Farmers Market and its free Friday Night Music events, the ones that pop up on the landmark's West Patio over three rockin', jazzy, dance-it-out months? Best get to Third & Fairfax on Friday, Aug. 30 for the last one of the 2019 series. Maiya Sykes will be on the stage, tables'll fill up early, and nearby? There's delish gumbo and pizza and more to buy, and beer and wine, too. It all begins at 7 p.m., summer lovers.

626 Night Market: Did we mention that summer is slipping away? Exhibit B: This warm-weather snack-around is heading into its final 2019 Santa Anita Park visit beginning on Friday, Aug. 30. If you've been before you know that sweet treats will be balanced well with savory options and the talented food pros will be plentiful and varied. Just look who showed up for the last go-around, earlier in August: Blue Maine Lobster and Seafood, Gaja Japanese Food, Got Corn, Dos Roti, Ridges Churro Bar, and Potato Shack. Pay five bucks at the door, in cash, to get in, and then have the dough to make sure your dining experience is plush. More yum? More here.

Halloween Shop at Roger's Gardens: One of the best example of autumn-fun theming in Southern California doesn't take place inside a haunted attraction or at a theme park's spooky event. Rather, look to Corona del Mar, and this well-known garden-and-home hub, for its annual Halloween Shop. It's a tricked-out, super-deep display of items that have that October vibe, and each year there's a special theme. In 2019? Think white rabbits and mad hatters. But when should you fall down your own personal rabbit hole in order to see this magical spot, which has been dubbed "Malice in Wonderland"? It opens on Aug. 30. Curiouser and curiouser...

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