09/19/2013 07:51 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2013

BGG Weekender: Free Venice Beach Music Festival, Cheap Sweets in Santa Monica & More

Not sure about you, but we're FRIED. Too much work and not enough sleep does not a happy broke girl make, and this week is feeling endless. But, it's almost Friday, so as usual, we're going to tell you all the best deals on everything from dining out to wiling out this weekend in LA. But seriously, if you browse this with the best intentions and end up ditching all plans to stay in bed for two days, we won't blame you. In fact, we might envy you. And come to think of it, we'll probably just join you.

Quick reminder: LearnVest Live goes down next Tuesday, September 24 in Culver City. One of our favorite websites, LearnVest brings their experts out for panels and presentations on everything from lifestyle savvy to financial planning. Our free ticket giveaway is now closed, but we think the $25 price tag is well worth it -- besides entrance, it gets you a signed copy of LearnVest founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel's book, $50 towards the LearnVest Planning Action Program, cocktails by Godiva Liqueur, and more.

And now, on to your regularly scheduled weekend...


Santa Monica

If you have the luxury of making your own schedule (or can swing a half day at work), use the hottest part of the afternoon as an excuse to head to Rita's in Santa Monica. The eatery is giving away free Italian ices all day - and for the first 50 people in line at 10 am, an entire year. (Heads up: The one-year giveaway is being done with Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, so to be eligible, bring an unwrapped children's board game.)


You're heading to Hollywood tonight to check out Londoner Gold Panda at the Fonda Theatre. A perfect way to wind down after a long week, openers Slow Magic and Voices of Black will ease you into the mesmerizing, chillwave tunes of Gold Panda. Tickets are $20 and up, so don't fight your date when he insists on picking up the bar tab.

Other Shows

Thievery Corporation at The Greek Theater, $39+; Dirty Beachs, Chasms, SISU at The Echo, $10.


Studio City

Girasol in Studio City is now serving up what they're calling a rustic-refined weekend brunch. The menu has items priced between $4-28 and incorporates ingredients locally foraged from the Angeles National Forest. Try the Strawberry and Bellwether Farms Ricotta Crepes or go all in for the Steak and Eggs with foraged pickled California walnuts and Kennenbeck potatoes. Menu available 10 am - 2 pm.


Head to the bohemian center of the city for the Venice Beach Music Fest. In its eighth year, the festival features Willie Chambers, Meet Me At The Pub, and Looner, along with several belly dancing acts and other local performers. Sand, sun, music - and did we mention it's free? 11 am - 7 pm at the Windward Plaza Park.

Santa Monica

Grab your bike and pedal north to Santa Monica, where the Buy Local Expo & Festival is underway on the Third Street Promenade. Park it at the Santa Monica Bike Center (corner of 2nd and Colorado - free bike valet for two hours) and head to the annual event, which kicks off Buy Local Week (Sept. 21-28) and features exhibitor booths, free cooking demos from local eateries The Lobster, Del Frisco's Grille and Seasons 52, free dance and yoga classes, and live entertainment. Pro tip: The first 200 people to check-in at the Buy Local booth with proof of local residency receive a free gift bag.

Top off your seaside, artisanal day with an ice cream cone from Sweet Rose Creamery. Today is the launch of their new location (826 Pico Blvd.) and they're offering fresh pastries and coned goodies.

West LA/Westwood

Since you're already on the west side, end your night with Saturdays Off the 405 at The Getty. Shows are held in the museum courtyard and this week Big Black Delta performs - you get to soak up their end of summer indie/synthpop tunes for free. (Yup, no cover.)

Other Shows:

The Octopus Project, Paper Lions, Plvs Vltra at The Echo, $8; The Beach Ball featuring Aloe Blacc, Lee Fields, Sly & Robbie, Allen Stone, Maceo Parker, and more at the Santa Monica Pier, $27+.


It's World Car Free Day, so wherever your plans take you, make sure you're getting there via bike or by foot. As Angelenos, we love our automobiles, but go with it - if nothing else, it makes for a fun excuse to slow down and explore your environs. Check out some special events around the city, like a hike and picnic in Sherman Oaks and special promotions from retailers when you wear blue.

Eagle Rock

You don't want to hear this, but the weekend is almost over. Why not end it on a strong note? Check out indie-rock band The Orwells at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock. The $12 tickets won't break the bank, but they will get you in for a good time before your two-day respite is up.

Other Shows:

The Vaccines at The Mayan, $27+; The Beach Ball featuring Aloe Blacc, Lee Fields, Sly & Robbie, Allen Stone, Maceo Parker, and more at the Santa Monica Pier, $27+.