So you’re an eager ESL student who landed in sunny Los Angeles in order to improve your language skills in a native English-speaking setting. You’ve finished your classes for the day, you’ve bid your daily farewell to your lovely teachers and classmates. You’ve had lunch with some LASC pals, and you’ve even finished your homework! Since you arrived in California, you’ve already done the Grove, Hollywood & Highland, and Santa Monica pier more times than you can count. So what’s an adventurous yet thrifty study-abroad student to do?
There are many ways to explore and have fun, culturally rich experiences in the City of Angels on the cheap. Here are just a few suggestions I grabbed from my activities bag. Enjoy at your own risk (of having a blast), and tell me how it went!
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The second Tuesday of every month is a free day at LACMA. The museum is big and easy to get to from LASC on a single bus (the 720 or 20). You must still go to the ticket window to get a free ticket in order to enter the museum. However, this ticket will not allow entry to certain “special” exhibitions inside. Go run around and get arty with some new friends!
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
250 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This museum is free every Thursday evening from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. MOCA is smaller than LACMA, and the art here is pretty modern, hip, and cool. MOCA also has another location (The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., L.A., CA 90012) that has recently been closed for improvements. However, MOCA Geffen will be open and free for the LA Art Book Fair January 31 – February 2, with a special free opening the evening of Thursday, January 30, 6:00 – 9:00 PM. (For more information, check out their website.
Furthermore, this particular Saturday, January 25, happens to be “Museums Free-for-All” day, which means free entry to 20 Southern California museums, including LACMA and MOCA. For more information, visit their website.
Punky Reggae Party is a fun and friendly dance night that happens every Friday at a colorful bar in downtown L.A. The DJs spin an interesting and danceable mix of dub and punk style music that keeps the dance floor moving. You must be 21+ years old to enter. It’s free before 10:30 PM, and $5 after. Party on!
eager (Adj.) – excited, interested, curious
City of Angels (N.) – Los Angeles (translation from Spanish)
thrifty (Adj.) – careful about spending money; money-saving
bid farewell (V.) – to say goodbye
pals (N.) – friends
grabbed (V.) – took
blast (N.) – a great time
get arty (V. + Adj.) – to have an artful experience; to enjoy art
hip (Adj.) – trendy; fashionable; popular amongst “alternative” people
spin (V.) – to play (vinyl) music records
dub (N.) – a style of drum and bass music that comes from reggae
punk (N., Adj.) – a type of musical style that’s loud and rebellious