Get Out and Go: Tango, Cinco de Mayo, Garden Tour, Food Trucks

We dare you to find nothing to do in Santa Monica this weekend.

Twenty-four worthy events happening in Santa Monica this weekend. Not much more of an introduction is needed to the latest edition of our weekend guide, "Get Out and Go." Check it out:


Where/When: , between Arizona and Wilshire; Saturday, 12 to 6 p.m.

Why Go: "Dancing in the street" isn't just an expression; see it come to reality on Saturday when people hit the pavement on the promenade. The program, presented by the Smith Santa Monica Tango Festival, will feature tango classes and tango stage performances, supported by music from a DJ.

Pricing: Free

2. Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Where/When: ; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.

Why Go: Carnival rides; game booths; a car show; dance performances; and live music (salsa, mariachi, more) should ensure that there's something for every member of the family to enjoy.

Pricing: Free

3. Incognito

Where/When: ; Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.

Why Go: Now in its seventh year, the art exhibition and benefit will feature original works by 500 contemporary artists. Here's the hook: Each of the $300 works up for auction is signed on the back, but bidders won't discover the artist until they buy the piece.

Pricing: $100 to $10,000

4. Transportation Forum

Where/When: ; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Why Go: Concerned about traffic and safety in Santa Monica? Voice your thoughts at this forum hosted by the Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition. Panelists include Principal Transportation Engineer Sam Morrissey, Recreation and Parks Commissioner Richard McKinnon and others.

Pricing: Free


Where/When: ; Friday, 1o to 5 p.m.

Why Go: Friday is your last chance to catch this show, which opened Mar. 25. Twenty-five members of The Clayhouse are showing off the unique bowls and mugs they crafted specifically for this event. Big bowls, small bowls, rice bowls, cereal bowls, decorative bowls—you name it, they're all on sale.

Pricing: Free

6. 52nd Annual Spring Garden Tour

Where/When: Various (map here); Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Why Go: Guest speakers, shopping and refreshments are on the program for this event, which the Santa Monica Bay Auxiliary is staging to benefit the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Neither cameras nor strollers are allowed—and remember to wear flat shoes.

Pricing: $40 donation

7. SMC Wind Ensemble Concert

Where/When: ; Sunday, 4 p.m.

Why Go: The ensemble will perform Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium, Holst’s A Somerset Rhapsody and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Also, SMC Applied Music Program student Chika Nobumori will give a rendition of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto #1.

Pricing: Free

8. Royal Wedding Celebrations

Where/When: ; Friday and Saturday

Why Go: Stroll over to this British restaurant/pub if you're looking to follow the royal wedding hoopla outside the confines of your house or apartment. On Friday and Saturday, Royal Afternoon Tea will be served from noon to 2 p.m. in the Crown Room; and on Friday at 8 p.m., a Beatles tribute band will play in the main bar.

Pricing: N/A

9. Leon Redbone Concert

Where/When: ; Sunday, 7 p.m.

Why Go: At 61 years old, the vaudeville-informed legend is still going strong. Expect lots of music and laughs at McCabe's, the perfect venue for this engaging performer.

Pricing: Sold out

10. Global Street Food

Where/When: The Broad Stage; Sunday, 11 a.m.

Why Go: Six of LA’s best food trucks will be giving tastings outside the Broad Stage for this event, which will also feature live music, raffles and a discussion led by KCRW host Evan Kleiman. If you've been wondering what sparked LA's food truck fad, your lingering questions should be answered here.

Pricing: $40 to $42.50

11. Landscapes of Santa Monica

Where/When: Various; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Why Go: "Visitors will find inspiration from this rich variety of landscape environments, including several gardens which focus on water conservation," said the Santa Monica Conservancy, which is hosting the second edition of this event. "Highlights include sustainable native plants and drought-tolerant exotics; outdoor rooms, pathways, and creative adornments; a 90-year-old landmarked Eucalyptus tree; gardens by well-known Santa Monica landscape designers; and a California native plant sale sponsored by the Theodore Payne Foundation."

Pricing: $35 (general admission); $25 (Santa Monica Conservancy members)


Where/When: 's Studio Stage; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.

Why Go: The titular Italian restaurant comes to life in this comedy that depicts "the dysfunctional relationships of the restaurant's infamous customers, warring family owners and inept screwball serving staff," according to the college.

Pricing: $10 (general admission)

13. Beth Shir Shalom Musical Performance

Where/When: ; Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Why Go: World-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell and violinist Helen Nightengale—who are husband and wife—will perform at their temple's Shabbat service along with Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels and Cantor Ken Cohen.

Pricing: Free

14. Space Shuttle Swan Song

Where/When: John Drescher Planetarium, SMC; Friday, 8 p.m.

Why Go: Following the weekly "Night Sky Show" at 7 p.m., a second program will recap the history and politics of the shuttle program since the return to flight after the Challenger accident. Also to be discussed is what will happen to the surviving shuttles and what comes next for American human spaceflight.

Pricing: $5 ($4 for children under 12 and seniors; $9 with "The Night Sky Show")

15. Ranelin Concert

Where/When: ; Friday, 7 and 9 p.m.

Why Go: The trombonist and former Freddie Hubbard collaborator will trot out his combo for an affordably priced performance. Ranelin's music is of the jazz and experimental-jazz variety, and he has been praised by John McEntire of Tortoise.

Pricing: $10

16. Becloud Screening

Where/When: SMC's Humanities & Social Sciences Building (Room 165); Friday, 7 p.m.

Why Go: The Santa Monica College Global Citizenship Council kicks off its new "Global Film Series" with a screening of the 2009 Mexican movie Becloud (Vaho). A discussion led by SMC Film Studies Professors Josh Kanin and Salvador Carrasco will follow the screening.

Pricing: Free

17. Silhouette Portraits Event

Where/When: ; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Why Go: Renowned silhouette artist Karl Johnson will be creating hand-cut silhouette portraits by appointment for one day only. Johnson's work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, People, Parenting and more.

Pricing: $30

18. Artistic License Awards

Where/When: The William Turner Gallery at ; Sunday, 4 p.m.

Why Go: The California Lawyers for the Arts hosts the fourth annual installment of this awards show and benefit celebration, which will commemorate 36 years of service to the arts.

Pricing: N/A

19. Domingo-Thornton Young Artists Event

Where/When: MLK Auditorium at the Main Library; Saturday, 3 to 4:45 p.m.

Why Go: The LA Opera troupe will perform a free recital to call attention to the 25th anniversary of the opera. Tickets will be available at 2 p.m. on Saturday, but each prospective attendee will only be able to get one.

Pricing: Free

20. Vintage Fashion Expo

Where/When: ; Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Why Go: Eighty-five vintage-clothing dealers are descending upon the auditorium for the expo, which will also feature items of all price ranges.

Pricing: $10 to $20

21. Santa Monica Teen Film Festival

Where/When: Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m. (); Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. (MLK Auditorium)

Why Go: Films crafted by students in grades 7 to 12 will be unveiled at this two-day fest. Awards—including Audience Choice, Best of the Fest and Santa Monica Budding Filmmaker—will be presented to the filmmakers after the screenings.

Pricing: Free

22. Sand in the Air

Where/When: ; Fridays and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

Why Go: Inspired by a Texas court case, this production—seeing its world premiere this weekend—revolves around a young doctor accused of sexual misconduct. "With satirical humor, the play explores the ever-increasing limits and distortions of personal freedom in a world manipulated by corporate and political controls," the theater said.

Pricing: $18 (reserved seats); $15 (seniors and students)

23. Compost Giveaway

Where/When: ; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why Go: Looking for compost? Look no further than the City Yards on Saturday morning and early afternoon. First come, first served.

Pricing: Free


Where/When: 212 Pier Coffeehouse; Friday, 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Why Go: Go here for more info.

Pricing: Free

City News Service contributed to this report.


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