South LA

A Trojan’s guide to spending spring recess in LA

From an apocalypse themed brunch to St. Patrick’s Day parade, here are ideas how to spend the break.

A person flies a kite at Redondo Beach during the 2022 Festival of the Kite. Photo by Mallika Singh.

Students staying in town for USC’s spring recess deserve a break, too. Our community team compiled a list of ways to enjoy the time off without having to leave Southern California.

Seasonal Events

Los Angeles and the greater Southern California region will host multiple pop-up events and festivals throughout the duration of spring break. Upcoming events range from desert art installations to an apocalyptic Los Feliz brunch.

Go fly a kite at the Festival of the Kite

The Redondo Beach Pier is hosting its 49th annual Festival of the Kite on Sunday, March 12 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. This free community event includes live music, a hot dog on a stick eating contest, giveaways and multiple prize categories for kite flying.

Immerse yourself in the Desert X art exhibition

Saturday, March 4 marked the opening of Coachella Valley’s Desert X international art exhibition, which will run until May 7. The exhibition includes 12 outdoor installations by global artists across 40 miles, including sculpture, painting, photography, writing, architecture, film and music.

“Desert X 2023 presents a compelling opportunity to connect communities around the globe, especially when it comes to how we survive in a world with increasingly volatile environmental conditions,” said newly appointed Co-Curator Diana Campbell in a press release. “For my first project of this scale in the United States I am driven to draw translocal connections across contexts of extreme weather — from the droughts of the California desert to the floods of Bangladesh.”

Eat your way around the 10 Days RE:Her L.A. Food Festival

National nonprofit RE:Her’s annual “10 Days” food festival supporting women-owned restaurants kicked off on Friday, March 3 and will end on Sunday, March 12. RE:Her, short for “Regarding Her,” works to “advance women-identifying and nonbinary food and beverage entrepreneurs and leaders,” according to their mission statement.

This year, the festival includes a casino night in North Hollywood on Friday, March 10 and a drag king brunch downtown on Sunday, March 12.

Get lucky at the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The 27th annual Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade is set to take place on Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a free pre-parade party on Friday, March 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with food provided at Patrick Molloys, a local Irish pub.

Channel your inner Pedro Pascal at a brunch inspired by “The Last of Us”

Emmanuel Cadengo, the executive chef behind elevated Los Feliz restaurant Atrium, designed a unique, fungi-forward brunch inspired by the HBO post-apocalyptic drama series “The Last of Us.” The themed meal is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. and will feature a wide variety of fungi sourced from Smallhold’s local organic urban mushroom farm. For an idea of cost, Time Out ranks Atrium two out of five dollar signs. Reservations are available on Atrium’s website and OpenTable.

Timeless Activities

Some activities transcend the seasons. Look no further than L.A. for a variety of intergenerational spring break activities that stand the test of time.

Go touch grass

No, really. Whether it’s the Runyon Canyon Loop or Eaton Canyon Trail, the great outdoors make for a memorable solo or group activity. For a serene night hike, try the classic Griffith Park for unmatched views of the city of stars.

Entertain your inner thrill seeker at an amusement park

Spend the day in Hollywood at Universal Studios to check out their new Super Nintendo World or make the drive down to Anaheim for a magical day at Disneyland. For more cost-friendly options, we recommend Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, or Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. The USC Ticket Office offers discounted theme park tickets.

In true Oscars-season fashion, head to the movies

The USC Ticket Office offers discounted movie tickets for AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, Laemmle Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group. Scream VI revives the iconic meta horror franchise, Creed III boasts a pair of Hollywood hunks and Cocaine Bear begs to be meme-ified. Plus, several theatres are screening films nominated for the 95th Academy Awards.

Food to Eat

South L.A. local businesses conquer students’ taste buds, from Spudnuts Donuts on 30th Street and Figueroa to La Barca on Vermont Ave. But for students seeking a change of scenery, here are our top eats beyond the free Lyft zone.

Read the writing on the wall at Koreatown’s Dan Sung Sa

Open until 2 a.m., Dan Sung Sa rose to Koreatown nightlife fame for its endless small plates, intoxicating soju drinks and graffitied wooden walls you can leave your mark on. This Korean tavern does not take reservations, so come not only with an empty stomach and eager wallet but also a willingness to wait.

Michael’s recommendations: the dumbbells, kimchi pancakes, ginkgo nut skewers and spicy tuna hand rolls.

Spend happy hour at Same Same in Silverlake

Silverlake’s Same Same wine bar and Thai street food haunt offers a happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Their menu includes noodles, curries and fried rice dishes. Colorful paper parasols hanging from the ceiling will make you feel like you’re in tropical paradise.

Michael liked the pad se ew with tofu.

Settle your insomnia at Fairfax’s historic Canter’s Deli

Famed 24-hour Jewish diner Canter’s Deli offers matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches and golden-brown potato pancakes. Plus, their menu has a rich selection of vegetarian and vegan options. Canter’s makes a great late-night destination after your night out doing, well … whatever it is college students do at night during spring break.