It’s hard to believe that it’s already been an entire year since the Covid-19 lockdowns began. Most of 2020 was spent hibernating indoors, but things are finally looking up. Restaurants, museums, movie theaters, salons, and other businesses are opening up again after being closed for months. While there will still be mask mandates and capacity limits to ensure everyone’s safety, I’m eager to return to a sense of normalcy. This means that springtime in Los Angeles will be the start of getting back to our lives pre-Covid, especially with the influx of vaccines becoming readily available. We still need to be careful when we’re going out but now we can have the freedom to do more activities and help support local businesses. Here are nine things I’m excited to do in L.A. this season.
Los Feliz Flea Market
I am super excited about the reopening of flea markets! IMO, they are the quintessential springtime weekend activity. There are a ton to choose from but I’ve been wanting to visit the Los Feliz Flea Market for quite some time. Also known as the Oddities Flea Market, it’s geared towards anyone who’s hunting for one-of-a-kind treasures, vintage pieces, and great bargains. Admission and parking are both free, and the flea market is pet friendly. Masks are mandatory, and there are socially distanced tables at the food truck areas. It takes place every Saturday (rain or shine) and it’s the ideal place to score art, vinyl, unique clothing, or anything vintage.
Taste of Universal
Universal Studios is one of my favorite places to visit in L.A. I’ve been going there since I was a child, so it holds a lot of nostalgia. Right now, they’re doing a limited-time Taste of Universal event where you gain admission to the shops and restaurants from the upper lot of the park. You’ll be able to stop by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Simpsons Springfield, Hollywood and Dine, and the new Minion Cafe. It’s currently running from Fridays to Sundays 12pm to 7pm and ends in April. Tickets range from $25 to $54 and will get you a choice of five food items with 70 to choose from. While you’re there, you can also shop along CityWalk.
Street Food Cinema
Movie theaters are just beginning to reopen at limited capacity. If you’re not ready to step into a theater right now (while wearing a mask for the duration of the film), a drive-in is a fun option. Street Food Cinema is being held in both Santa Monica and Malibu and they’ll be showing movies like Moana, Toy Story 3, Grease, La La Land, and more. Tickets cost $20 per car and $8 per person. All attendees are required to wear their mask when outside of their car.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trails are open again in Culver City. If you haven’t been, the trail features panoramic views of Los Angeles at a 500 foot peak. With over 260 stone steps to walk up, it’s also a great spot to get a workout in. Parking costs just $6 for the day, so it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy the beauty of L.A. The park asks you wear your mask if you cannot maintain a 6 foot distance from others while enjoying your hike.
At the Century City mall in West LA, Eataly is one of my favorite food spots and markets. They have a stunning rooftop area called Terra which has a wood-burning Italian grill. With an extensive list of wines and authentic Italian dishes, Eataly is a perfect romantic date night spot. I recommended the Bucatini All’astice; a delicious lobster pasta that I’ve been waiting patiently to feast upon.
Huntington Library Garden
I planned to visit the Huntington Library Garden in San Marino last year around this time, but then Covid happened. Unfortunately, the library part is still closed, but the botanical gardens are open again. There are over 16,000 species of rare plants, trees, and wildlife to see (they even have their own Huntington’s 100th special hybrid rose). I can’t wait to have a spring “day date” here and visit their Chinese and desert gardens. Tickets are $25 per person during the week and $29 on the weekends (parking is free).
Since restaurants have reopened in Los Angeles county, the foodie in me has been dying to go out to dinner. There are so many places that I’ve been wanting to experience (and also support) during these trying times. One of them is Padre in Long Beach (where I live). Right now, it’s the hottest restaurant/bar in downtown L.B.C. Their cuisine features a mix of Latin and Mexican cuisine along with cocktails, spirits, and a gorgeous outdoor rooftop space. As I look at their menu, The Tijuana Pharmacy cocktail sounds amazing paired with one of my favorites, chile relleno. On the weekends, there’s always a line, but the outdoor seating area is huge (with plenty of social distancing between tables), so the line moves quickly.
Echo Park Lake
Another outdoor excursion is spending an afternoon at Echo Park Lake in east L.A. It offers a relaxing oasis which is ideal for reading a book or meditating in the shade. If you’re looking for something more upbeat, it’s the perfect spot to take a jog, roller skate, or rent a swan boat to pedal around the reservoir. I love taking the boat by the fountain and lotus beds so I can take photos. You can book one for two people or multiple people depending on your plans. Because of Covid, tickets are limited and have to be purchased in advance.
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
The last must-do on my springtime in Los Angeles list is to spend a Sunday morning at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Main Street. While there you will find many fresh produce vendors, local restaurant booths, and businesses to support.They also carry nutritious and organic, pre-packaged foods to bring home. I love stocking up on them so I’m able to eat healthy (when I don’t feel like cooking) throughout the week. If you’ve never been, stop by Avila & Sons, Golden State Papaya, and Suncoast Farm which are my favorite vendors. I told myself that I’d start eating healthy again after I lost some momentum, and shopping at the farmers’ market is a great motivator.