After two years of virtual and small-scale socially distanced events, summer fun reminiscent of the pre-pandemic days returns this year with countless in-person gatherings, entertainment and activities. From concerts and films to food festivals and sporting events, our guide offers a taste of what to expect this season to help get you started on planning your excursions in and around the city.
Endless Summer Feasts
Feast on the latest and greatest fare at these outdoor food markets and events.
Weekly food market Smorgasburg L.A. at ROW DTLA is home to innovative pop-ups that put fresh spins on old favorites, with a diverse selection of bites including oysters, hand-rolled rotis and “porkstrami” sandwiches. Sundays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
At the weekly Vegan Exchange L.A. in North Hollywood, you’ll find a rotating list of vendors serving up plant-based versions of fried hot chicken sandwiches, birria tacos, elotes and more. Sundays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
The 626 Night Market at Santa Anita Park brings Asian and fusion flavors to foodies in an epic large-scale market. Feast the night away on street food like yakitori, kimchi burgers, boba and crêpes while enjoying live music and entertainment. Select weekends in July–September.
The Tequila & Taco Music Festival in Ventura features top-shelf Tequila tastings, margarita and craft beer booths, and, of course, gourmet tacos. Sip and sample your way through the festival while listening to live music. July 9–10.
From Krispy Kreme ice cream chicken sandwiches to watermelon taco “Dole Whips,” the food at the O.C. Fair is always next-level. Indulge in an out-of-the-box food experience as you enjoy carnival rides, games, animal showcases and more. July 15–August 14.
Outdoor Cinematic Escapes
Warm summer nights beckon moviegoers to sit back, relax and experience cinema outdoors — on rooftops, in parks and even by the pool.
The Rooftop Cinema Club lets you enjoy a night out at the movies with the downtown L.A. skyline as your backdrop. Arrive early to take in the view, grab drinks and snacks, and play table games before the start of the show.
Over in Hollywood, Rooftop Movies at the Montalbán provides an all-in-one experience located near the Walk of Fame. Films are screened on the theater’s rooftop oasis, which is outfitted with an on-site bar and kitchen and features activities like cornhole and giant Jenga.
West Hollywood’s Melrose Rooftop Theatre offers views of the Hollywood Hills. Grab a handcrafted cocktail at the open-air bar before sinking into a bean bag and enjoying the show. Craving more than just popcorn? Opt for the pre-theater three-course dinner at E.P. Restaurant downstairs.
For a nostalgic experience, head to the Electric Dusk Drive-in, L.A.’s longest-running pop-up drive-in. Hosted at the old Sears parking lot in Glendale, it lets you enjoy films and concessions from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Get out your picnic blankets and head to Street Food Cinema’s “moveable cinema feast,” which invites movie and food lovers to watch classic and recently released films at 50 events at venues across L.A. Through October.
Eat See Hear is another picnic-style option that features screenings of timeless classics and blockbusters. There are also famous L.A. food trucks and pop-ups, as well as different bands at each event. Through October.
Or skip the lawn completely and cool off with Poolside Cinema at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica. Enjoy food and drinks from the hotel’s neighborhood bistro, FIG, and watch family-favorite films by the pool at sunset. Saturdays, June–August.
Adventures in Art, History And Science
Special exhibits and events make museums and cultural institutions exciting and enlightening places to chill out during the dog days of summer.
The Broad’s latest exhibition, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, invites visitors to step into the colorful world of Takashi Murakami, whose works and immersive installations explore themes such as globalization and pop culture. Through September 25.
The newest addition to L.A.’s Museum Row, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, is the largest museum in the nation dedicated to filmmaking. This summer, check out Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971, a first-of-its-kind exhibit that explores the achievements and challenges of Black filmmakers in the U.S. Opens August 21.
Catch the final First Friday of the season at the Natural History Museum on July 1. The event features educational discussions and an exclusive look at the museum after hours, along with live music, DJs and signature cocktails. Also, check out the Butterfly Pavilion (through September 5), where you can walk among 30 different species of butterflies in an enclosed area filled with colorful native plants.
The family- and pet-friendly Odd Nights at the Autry is a monthly indie bazaar featuring 80 vendors selling crafts, vintage items and home goods, as well as more than a dozen food trucks, live music, a full bar and exclusive access to select Autry Museum galleries. Every third Friday through September.
The L.A. Zoo’s Sustainable Wine and Dinner series offers a unique dining experience in different areas of the zoo. Enjoy a gourmet farm-to-table four-course meal paired with sustainably made, locally sourced wines while hearing educational talks about sustainability and conservation. Select Thursdays, June–August.
The Getty Museum’s Off the 405 free outdoor summer concert series features emerging artists and DJs who perform at sunset in the museum’s courtyard. Select Saturdays, June–August.
The L.A. Conservancy hosts historic walking tours every Saturday that explore the history and architecture of L.A. through some of its most beloved landmarks, such as Union Station and the Bradbury Building. Docent-led tours include special explorations of downtown’s Art Deco structures, skyscrapers, the Broadway Theatre District and more.
Get Your Groove On
With no shortage of concerts and music festivals this summer, check out the wide array of music events around town to see if your favorite artists are performing nearby.
The Hollywood Bowl once again features a loaded summer schedule, including performances from Gwen Stefani, Ricky Martin and Diana Ross. You also won’t want to miss the July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular July 2–5, featuring Steve Martin and Martin Short.
A stone’s throw away from the Hollywood Bowl is the Ford Theatre, an outdoor amphitheater dedicated to showcasing the diverse range of local artistic expression. The Ford offers a package deal with discounts to those who purchase tickets to three concerts (any genre, date, section). June 12–October 23.
Toluca Lake residents don’t have to venture far to enjoy live music at Burbank’s Starlight Bowl. The intimate, open-air venue is bringing back its city concert series, featuring performances from several beloved tribute bands, and Fourth of July fireworks celebration. June–October.
Whether you’re a fan of ’80s rock ‘n’ roll or enjoy hearing music from up-and-coming artists, Valley Cultural Center’s Concerts on the Green has something for everyone at its free Sunday evening concert series. June 19–August 28.
The Grand Performances at the California Plaza has expanded its capacity and invites the community to picnic while enjoying a free curated selection of world music, dance, theater and more. June–September.
On select Friday nights, the Music Center’s Dance DTLA offers the chance to boogie the night away at the outdoor Jerry Moss Plaza. Top local DJs and bands play live while the crowd learns a variety of dance styles, from disco to salsa.
The Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park hosts 50 free concerts each summer, with artists performing music ranging from ’90s hip-hop and Afro-Cuban to dance-pop and folk. June–September.
Complete with multiple stages of house music, craft cocktails, food trucks and more, the Day Trip Festival will take over the scenic waterfront at Queen Mary Park in Long Beach June 25–26.
Brookside at the Rose Bowl will host two big festivals this summer. The Palomino Festival includes a jam-packed lineup of several of today’s biggest country stars and legends, including Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson. July 9. The This Ain’t No Picnic music festival will bring several rock and indie acts together for a big two-day event. August 27–28.
One of Europe’s most highly regarded music festivals, Primavera Sound, is debuting in L.A. this summer. The event will be held September 16–18 at L.A. State Historic Park.
Root for the Home Team
With the Lakers, Dodgers and Rams all winning championships in the last two years, L.A. has become a city of champions. Whether your favorite sport is on grass or hardwood, there’s plenty of action you won’t want to miss this summer.
With baseball season back in full swing, Dodger Stadium is buzzing with activities. Enjoy fireworks after every Friday home game, and check the season schedule for movie nights, special giveaways and more.
The Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) will be busy all summer long with concerts, L.A. Sparks basketball games and more.
There will also be plenty going on at Banc of California Stadium (home to the L.A. Football Club) and Dignity Health Sports Park (home to the L.A. Galaxy). In addition to two of the best teams in Major League Soccer this season, fans can also check out Angel City FC, a brand-new women’s professional soccer team playing its home games at Banc of California Stadium. Both stadiums will host concerts throughout the summer, and the Nitro Circus Good, Bad & Rad Tour will be stopping at Dignity Health Sports Park on July 30 for a night of extreme fun.
From a romantic date night to a fun way to get exercise, these local activities are perfect for any occasion this summer and beyond.
Stough Canyon Nature Center’s Moonlight Hikes let you get fresh air and enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors without wilting in the summer heat. This free staff-led trek rewards hikers with an amazing view of the moon at the end. Through October.
The trained guides at LA Horse Rentals take guests on a horseback riding adventure through the scenic chaparral-covered terrain of Griffith Park. Choose from tours ranging in length, with options overlooking downtown L.A., Amir’s Garden, the L.A. Zoo or the Hollywood sign.
The Chandler Bikeway, which stretches from North Hollywood to Burbank, is a 5.6-mile bike path with extensive landscaping that features public art displays. No bike? No problem. North Hollywood’s Metropolis Bikes offers a variety of affordable rentals.
Conveniently located on Riverside Drive, L.A. Kings Ice at Pickwick Gardens is a local ice-skating rink available to the general public every day of the week.
As the only off-leash dog beach in L.A. County, Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach invites two- and four-legged residents alike to play in 4 acres of sand and surf.