Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: Guilhem Vellut/Flickr/Creative Commons License

This week, with the summer sun out in full force, it's time to think about one thing, and one thing only: wine. The drinking season is upon us, and the unbelievable availability of some of the best wines in the entire world this week means you should prepare your liver accordingly. Sure, there are movie screenings and gardening tips to be found, but when wine is on the menu, you don't need to order anything else to have a good time.

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First, a few alcohol-free events to cleanse your palate. You can start your week off right by ordering up one of the tasty burgers at The Oinkster's Burger Week 2013. The annual patty party uses outside-the-wrapper thinking to come up with seven different, equally amazing burgers for the mass consumption of Angeleno eaters. There are riffs on the popular Wendy's Baconator, there's a fried pork and shrimp patty done in the Manila style, a Doritos Bell Beefer and (on Sunday) The Oinkster's take on a true McRib. Should be pretty amazing. Or you can simply relax with a couple of laughs, courtesy of Comedy Central. Their free Not Safe For Work stand up show in Venice on Tuesday will feature nationally-recognized comics like Jon Dore doing some of their best material, all at the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice.

If you're on the hunt for more food, hold out for the weekend. That's when you'll find the latest installment of 626 Night Market, the exceedingly popular Asian street market that's taking over Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. There will be meat skewers and noodle bowls and plenty to drink, so come hungry and leave full. You'll also find plenty of fun (and food) at The Jubilee, the (formerly) outdoor music celebration (formerly in Silver Lake) now (formally) entering its fourth year inside new Arts District digs. Two day passes run $50 per person and will feature bands like The Black Lips, The Drums, Fools' Gold and Moses Campell, with eats courtesy of the India Jones truck, CoolHaus and others. Of course, you'll also be able to snack away at the 38 Degrees Ale House and Grill fourth anniversary party, an all day beer bash going down on Saturday. Look for rare pours from some of the region's best breweries, plus food that will keep you from floating away amidst all that carbonation.

Would you rather try and save the world this week? How very noble of you. Start by catching a screening of Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmlands at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. The documentary follows a series of war veterans who have returned to the States to take up an agricultural lifestyle, and the benefits it has given them. Or, if you're down by Long Beach, get to a discussion on the Past, Present and Future Habitats of the Los Cerritos Wetlands. The intensely environmental discussion will take a look at the withering wetlands, and what future preservationists can do to ensure their safety. And on Saturday, you can try your hands in the dirt with a free Organic Fruit and Vegetable Gardening class. It's going down at the Los Angeles County Arboretum at noon, all under the instruction of horticultural curator Jill Moranelli, who focuses on organic summer gardening tips and pest management.

Now, about that wine. You can enjoy the ongoing Summer Wine Tastings in the Barnsdall Art Park, which, for the low price of $25 (advanced sale only), allows picnickers to sample an array of fine vinos from across the world, all in a great public space. On Saturday, you can crowd in for a two-day drinking session known as L.A. WineFest. The yearly occurrence takes place on the Raleigh Studios lot in Larchmont, and will also offer breakout learning sessions, plus food trucks and craft beer among the 500 wines available. Then on Sunday, drag yourself up to Ojai for their elegant Ojai Wine Festival on the banks of Lake Casitas. While you can't go swimming, per se, you might just end up over-enjoying the 60 wineries and 20 specialty beers in the hot sunshine so much that you... fall in.

It's a big week for all of us, but we beer and wine drinkers have a lot to look forward to. Still, there are gardening tips, free movie screenings and more to keep the rest of you occupied, as summer continues on in full force. For more weekly events, take a look at KCET's constantly updated Events page.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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