If you’re headed into the red from plunking down cash for music festival passes, you’ll be happy to hear there are plenty of free things to do in April. From a cleanup party along the L.A. River to a corgi beach day, these are the best ways to make the most of your month without breaking into your wallet.
Future Currents: Los Angeles River; The Soraya
See art, dance and music performances inspired and created by the Los Angeles River at this daylong festival in the Valley.
So Cal Corgi Beach Day; Huntington Beach
Hit the beach with fellow devoted dog owners at this adorable corgi meet-up.
Through 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.
Earth Day L.A.; Grand Park
Celebrate Earth Day at Grand Park, the Music Center and DWP with green living demos and activities.
LA Art Book Fair; The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Leaf through zines, catalogs and coffee table books during this showcase from hundreds of international and DIY publishers.
Apr 13, 20, 27
The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp; Various locations
Do your part in restoring the river with this coordinated cleanup effort at over a dozen different spots.
Apr 13, 14
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; USC
Feed your bookworm tendencies with two days of lectures, signings and performances from the likes of Chelsea Clinton, Roxane Gay and Queer Eye star Karamo Brown.
Record Store Day; Various locations
Catch pop-up concerts around the city at this annual celebration of independent brick-and-mortar music shops.
Through Apr 13
“Dreamweavers”; UTA Artist Space
Prolific producer Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and UTA Artist Space present 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.
Through 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.
An Encounter with Lux Prima; Marciano Art Foundation
Listen to Karen O and Danger Mouse’s collaborative album with accompanying visuals during this communal, multisensory experience.
Through Apr 21
Desert X; Various locations
The desert-spanning biennial showcases 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.
CicLAvia: Wilmington ; Various locations
Discover a softer side of the industrial, harborfront neighborhood during this car-free bike fest.
Apr 26–Aug 18
“Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”; Annenberg Space for Photography
Celebrate the photographers responsible for helping to define hip-hop’s visual identity with this display of unedited contact sheets for photo shoots with the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Salt-N-Pepa, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and more.
Apr 26–28, May 2–5
Photoville LA; Century Park
When this New York export makes its Los Angeles debut, scope out art exhibitions in repurposed shipping containers while filling up at Smorgasburg vendors and a beer garden.
Apr 27, 28
Our L.A. Voices: Spring Arts Festival; Grand Park
Celebrate the diversity of L.A.’s creators during two days of visual arts, plays, live music and workshops, all aligned with this year’s “Origin Stories” theme.
Free concerts; Various locations
Listen to some tunes without breaking the bank with free shows at the Echo, the Satellite, Grand Park 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.