The Family Barn Dance is a traditional all-American hoedown, with a fiddler, dancing, games (horseshoes, water balloon toss, relay races), a pie-eating contest, a cake walk, and food for sale (BBQ, beer, and wine) on the wooded grounds of Theatricum Botanicum.
Fourth of July resort style
July 4, 2019
Newport Beach (47 miles SE)
Pay $50 per car for 4th of July on the Beach [formerly Independence Day on The Back Bay], which has live music, food trucks, a beer garden and bar, and 9 p.m. fireworks at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. Free to stand and watch, or get a VIP ticket for table seating.
July 4 - 7, 2019
(pre-show July 3)
Downtown (0.2 miles south)
Billed as the largest Japanese popular culture event in North America, Anime Expo screens films and music videos and has panel discussions, games, manga, and cosplay galore at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Classical music festival
July 5 - 20, 2019
iPalpiti Festival features a youthful and critically acclaimed orchestra plus soloists from around the world performing in Los Angeles venues.
Orange County fair
July 12 - Aug. 11, 2019
Costa Mesa (42.2 miles SE)
OC Fair offers farm exhibits, a petting zoo, pig races, carnival rides, a rodeo, a sports arena, wine tasting, fried food, and big-name music concerts at the OC Fair & Event Center.
Mac & cheese beer festival
July 13, 2019
Downtown (0.9 miles NE)
A ticket to Los Angeles Mac & Cheese Beerfest includes free samples of 50 craft beers, live bands, and a dozen chefs selling their mac & cheese creations for $3 to $5 each at the Globe Theatre.
Salsa food festival
July 13 - 14, 2019
Downtown (1.2 miles NE)
Salsa Festival features tasty salsas to sample in a tent, local food vendors, live music, dancing, and a beer & margarita bar in Pershing Square.
Comic Con in San Diego
July 18 - 21, 2019
(preview July 17)
San Diego (127 miles south)
Focused on comic books but also encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and popular culture, giant Comic Con International has panel discussions, screenings, costumes, celebrities, and vendors at the San Diego Convention Center. Tickets sell out fast.
Art & food festival
July 21, 2019
(11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Downtown (1.6 miles NE)
Shop from 40 artisan makers, hear live music, sip craft cocktails, drink beer, and eat hamburgers (or vegan burgers) on Sunday Funday at Civic Center Studios.
Modern pop festival
July 26 - Aug. 4, 2019
L.A. & North Hollywood
International Pop Overthrow (IPO) is a cutting-edge pop and rock music festival that brings dozens of the latest bands to Los Angeles and North Hollywood with low ticket prices.
July 27, 2019
Cypress (30.1 miles SE)
Cypress Community Festival has a pancake breakfast, a running event, a chili and salsa competition, a car show, live bands, and kids’ activities at Oak Knoll Park.
July 27 - 28, 2019
Long Beach (26.5 miles south)
Watch dragon boat races, visit food vendors, and see stage shows (Chinese acrobats, art, dance, music, and martial arts) at Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival [website has sound] at Marine Stadium. Bring a blanket or chair. Free admission. Parking map.
July 27 - Aug. 4, 2019
Huntington Beach (39 miles SE)
Watch top surfers, skateboarders, and BMX bikers compete at the U.S. Open of Surfing, which includes a lifestyle festival and movie nights south of Huntington Beach Pier.
July 28 - 29, 2019
Oxnard (62.8 miles NW)
Celebrate salsa (the food, the music, and the dance) at Oxnard Salsa Festival, which features salsa and Latin jazz bands, salsa dance lessons, a salsa-tasting tent, a salsa recipe challenge, a dance competition, a food and crafts marketplace, and a kids’ zone at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. Free, except concert seats.
KCRW public radio presents Summer Nights, “a series of outdoor shows featuring live band performances and DJ sets” in Southern California venues. Free.
Los Angeles area
Eat See Hear screens crowd-pleasing films with food trucks, local bands, and high-definition audio visual projection on a 52-foot screen.
Get a special price on a 2-course lunch or a 3-course dinner at 300 restaurants during Dine L.A. You don’t need a ticket, but you may want a reservation. Repeats in January.
Downtown & Hollywood
Watch classic and contemporary films under the open sky on a deck chair at Rooftop Cinema Club either downtown at Level (age 18+) or in Hollywood at NeueHouse (age 21+ because it has a bar).
Shakespeare by the Sea
Los Angeles & Orange County
Choose between two plays by William Shakespeare (The Merry Wives of Windsor & The Winter’s Tale) during Shakespeare by the Sea at 25 locations. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Free.
Downtown (0.9 miles east)
Dessert Goals promises 23 dessert vendors who have “treats available for purchase with an average price point of $5 per dessert” at Cooper Design Space.
Hear an eclectic mix of music on summer weekends at Grand Performances in the Grand Performances outdoor amphitheater at California Plaza. Do not bring pets, glass containers, or alcohol. Free.
Downtown (1.8 miles NE)
Join the crowd dancing under the stars at Dance DTLA in Grand Park. Free.
Downtown (2.3 miles NE)
Attend 20 events, including tastings, workshops, and a tour of the Little Tokyo neighborhood during Delicious Little Tokyo. Examples include sake tasting, flower arranging, cocktail mixing, and ramen demonstration.
Exposition Park (2.4 miles SW)
Bring picnic food (no beverages except water) or shop from food trucks and order “garden-infused cocktails” during Summer Nights in the Garden, which offers “science and nature experiences,” live music, and a garden to wander at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Free.
Echo Park (3 miles north)
Lotus Festival offers cultural displays, live music, food vendors, dancers from Bangladesh, a Japanese tea ceremony, Chinese tai chi classes, dragon boat races, and a kids’ area at Echo Park Lake.
Hear three reggae musicians (Beres Hammond, Alpha Blondy, and Protoje) on Reggae Night at the Hollywood Bowl.
Taste of the market
Fairfax (8.9 miles NW)
Taste of Farmers Market features samples from 50 restaurants, grocers, and eateries, plus beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages at the Original Farmers Market, with live music. Discount for children age 10 and younger.
Food & wine tasting
Culver City (9.8 miles SW)
Taste wines & spirits from 25 makers and food from 15 restaurants with live music at Westside Food & Wine Summer Festival at West Los Angeles College Westside Extension for age 21+.
LGBT film festival
Los Angeles & Beverly Hills
Outfest screens a wide variety of films made locally and internationally at 10 different venues.
Salsa & Latin dance
Griffith Park (10.1 miles north)
Dance to salsa and Latin fusion bands during Sizzling Summer Nights, with drinks and tacos for sale at 5:30 p.m., music at 6:30 p.m., a free dance lesson at 7:30 p.m., and access to the museum until 8 p.m. at Autry Museum of the American West.
Adults playing like kids
Pasadena (11.8 miles NE)
Sip signature cocktails, eat tasty bites, dance to a radio DJ, and play your way through the Kidspace Children’s Museum at Playdate for age 21+.
Taste 200 wines and meet the makers at The Garagiste Festival (named for small winemakers using a home garage) at Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club.
Block party in Venice
Venice (15.7 miles west)
A ticket to SamJam gets you “a day full of music from top and up-and-coming artists, live art, food trucks, drinks, and fun games” in the park and on the streets surrounding Oakwood Recreation Center. No pets.
El Segundo (15.7 miles SW)
Wear white to $225 White Light White Night to enjoy tastes from dozens of restaurants, specialty cocktails, beer and wine, entertainment, a silent charity auction, and views from the rooftop of The Plaza at Continental Park.
Free concerts at Skirball
Bel Air (17.8 miles NW)
Arrive early for Sunset Concerts in the beautiful hillside setting of Skirball Cultural Center. Free except $10 parking.
Love Long Beach Celebration has two stages of DJ dance music, arts and crafts, a food court, a bar, and yoga at Shoreline Aquatic Park. Children younger than age 16 are free. Bring no pets, food, or drinks.
San Pedro (24.2 miles south)
Watch 600 costumed actors recreate battles and demonstrate military equipment from the days of the Roman Legions, the Renaissance, the Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War during Old Fort MacArthur Days at Fort MacArthur Museum.
Sylmar (25.3 miles north)
California Watermelon Festival has weird watermelon games like “watermelon skiing,” food vendors, cooking demos, a BMX bike show, kids’ shows and activities, and bands at Hansen Dam Soccer Fields.
Topanga (26.1 miles NW)
Hear dozens of reggae stars on two stages, with craft beer and wine, gourmet food, 30 vendors, and free shuttle during Reggae on the Mountain at Topanga Community Club.
Pomona (31.3 miles east)
Body Art Expo bring 200 tattoo artists, live competitions, music, and vendors to the Fairplex.
Movies on the beach
Huntington Beach (40 miles SE)
Buy a ticket online to see popular films at BeachFront Cinema at Huntington State Beach. Read what to bring with you on the guidelines page.
Fireworks - Grand Park
Downtown (1.6 miles NE)
Hear live music on stage, play games, buy drinks and food, and watch 9 p.m. fireworks at 4th of July Block Party in Grand Park. Read the prohibited items. Free.
Fireworks - Rose Bowl
Pasadena (11.8 miles NE)
Enjoy entertainment by an American Idol winner and a Michael Jackson tribute artist, motocross stunts, a children’s zone, food vendors, and spectacular 9 p.m. fireworks at AmericaFest in Rose Bowl Stadium. Children age 5 and younger are free.
Fourth of July parade
Santa Monica (14.2 miles west)
4th of July Parade has bands, dancers, horses, kids, and cars starting at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and going south for a mile down Main Street. Video. Free.
Fourth of July on the Queen Mary
Long Beach (26.2 miles south)
Family-friendly All-American 4th of July aboard the Queen Mary includes carnival games, arts & crafts, tours, entertainment, and fireworks about 9 p.m.
Shop from hundreds of vendors selling food, merchandise, and crafts at the 626 Night Market, with performances and a DJ dance floor at Santa Anita Park monthly all summer. Open an extra hour on Friday and Saturday. No pets.
Free movies on the beach
Long Beach (27.3 miles south)
Watch popular films all summer on Tuesdays & Thursdays at Moonlight Movies on the Beach, beginning at sunset with food and snacks for sale at three beaches. Free.
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