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7 ways to spend your SoCal weekend—with or without Pokémon Go

If you are one of the seemingly few people who isn't planning to surrender your weekend to catching Rattatas and Pidgeys on Pokémon Go, we've got several ideas for things to do — everything from a Hello Kitty Café to a hot sauce expo. (If you are into the popular game, we suppose these could make for potential PokéStops.)

1. Hello Kitty Café 'pop-up' opens

Photo of a cup from Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul, South Korea.
Jirka Matousek via Flickr
Photo of a cup from Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul, South Korea.

The popular cartoon character is getting a café of her own at the Irvine Spectrum this weekend. The opening of the Hello Kitty Café Pop-Up Container will be celebrated with lots of giveaways. Sip on a strawberry mint lemonade or coffee and munch on sweet, baked treats. 

When: Friday, July 15 - Sunday, July 17, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Where: Irvine Spectrum Center | MAP

Price: Free

2. Body Art Expo

Why go to a regular tattoo shop when this behemoth of an expo will have all things related to body art? Whether you've been itching to get a new tattoo or you've just been curious but what it would be like to face the needle, this weekend could be your chance to get inked. Should you decide you're not ready yet to make the commitment, there'll be plenty of non-body-altering activities to enjoy. 

When: Friday, July 15 - Sunday, July 17 | Event Schedule 

Where: Pomona Fairplex | MAP

Price: Free

3. California Hot Sauce Expo

A warning: this event is for those who have been training much of their lives by carrying a bottle of Tabasco everywhere they go. An insane spice tolerance will be needed to fare well in the "spicy burrito challenge" and the "Ghost Pepper Spicy Pizza Eating Contest of Doom." Participation isn't mandatory — you might prefer being an observant bystander, far away from the chili.

Pro tip: Bring a gallon of milk or loaf of bread? 

When: Saturday, July 16 - Sunday, July 17, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Event schedule

Where: Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach | MAP

Price: General admission is $10 | Get tickets

4. Go out and catch.them.all.

Once you look up from your Pokémon Go app after unintentionally walking three miles in search of a monster, you might decide you need to up your game. Groups of trainers are popping up all over the Southland, and we’ve picked just a few you might be interested in — but we won't judge if you decide to hit up all of them.

When and where:

Santa Monica Pier, Saturday, July 16, 1 - 4 p.m.; and Sunday, July 17, 7 p.m.   

Chinatown on July 16, 5 p.m. - midnight. 

Downtown Disney, July 16, 8 p.m.

Price: Free

5. 38th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival

File photo.
BRJ INC. via Flickr
File photo.

Aloha! Gather for Polynesian entertainment, arts and crafts, food and drawings at this annual event that commemorates the Ku’e petitions, which were organized in 1898 in opposition to the U.S. taking over Hawaii. You can see the original petitions at the event while celebrating Hawaiian tradition and learning about its history.

When: Saturday July 16 - Sunday July 17, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Where: Alondra Park, Lawndale | MAP

Pro tip: Parking is $2 for the day at El Camino College if the streets are full.  

Price: Free

6. Chinatown Summer Nights

Los Angeles Chinatown 70th Anniversary Celebration.
jshyun via Flickr
Los Angeles Chinatown 70th Anniversary Celebration.

There's something about glowing red lanterns that really make a summer evening in L.A.  You'll have no problem finding something to do at Chinatown's Central and West plazas, which will feature live music, food trucks and a craft beer garden.

Pro tip: Take advantage of the Metro Gold Line station that's within walking distance and avoid any parking hassles.  

When: Saturday, July 16, 5 p.m. - midnight.

Where: Chinatown | MAP

Price: Free

7. Manhattan Beach Summer Concerts in the Park: Blue Breeze Band

Grab a blanket and a picnic basket and head to Manhattan Beach to enjoy an evening concert featuring the Motown, R&B, funk and jazz stylings of the Blue Breeze Band. 

When: Sunday, July 17, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Where: Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach | MAP 

Price: Free

What'd we miss? Let us know @kellie_gal, @lizmoonyoz and @leohasacat