Labor Day Weekend generally marks the end of summer (kind of wacky in perpetually-sunny LA) but the three-day weekend is the perfect way to shake off the back-to-school madness and have a last-gasp of “summer” family adventure. Scroll down to check out our favorite activities all over town.

photo: civilhetes via Pixabay

  1. Pumpkin-flavored everything season is just around the corner, but for now ice cream still reigns supreme. Make the day magical and try the new Butterbeer ice cream at Universal Studios, hit up SmorgasburgLA for the last chance to hit Ice Cream Alley—dozens of the best LA creameries located all in one place—or try any of our other favorite sweet spots.
  2. The holiday weekend is your last chance to get up close and personal with the colorful butterflies at the Natural History Museum until next summer. Say goodbye to the fluttering friends and then head over to The Fields LA, the new food hall located right next door for some next-level grub that will have your kids asking for something other than plain pasta.
  3. Don’t feel like lighting up your own grill? Then make the most of those still-warm nights and grab a bite at the 626 Night Market at Santa Anita Park. Starting at 4 p.m. and running well past bedtime, you’ll find dozens of vendors to tempt your tiny foodies, as well as, an art walk and live performances.

photo: LA Philharmonic

  1. Talk about saving the best for last! John Williams visits the Hollywood Bowl and conducts his own music that everyone in the family will recognize. This year, the great maestro is celebrating 40 years with an extra special show all week to close out the season.
  2. If you’d rather avoid the crowds at the beach (or the sand—hey, you just got the car vacuumed in preparation for carpooling!), hit one of these super splashpads to keep cool.
  3. If the big kids want to dive all the way in instead of just splashing, take a dip in one of the best city pools before they close for the season or upgrade to a local resort pool that gives you access with a day pass.
  4. Grab your little beach bunnies and plenty of sunscreen for an epic end-of-summer beach bash at Fiesta Hermosa. The entire weekend you’ll find art, live music, food and a mini carnival for kids all just steps from the waves and ocean breeze.

    photo: Disneyland

  5. Hit a theme park, seriously! The summer crowds are heading home, and you can get in on some of the new-this-summer, or only-for-summer spectaculars, like the new Pixar Pier at California Adventure and Pixar Fest, which ends Sept. 3. Or head to Universal Studios where you can catch one last ride on Jurassic Park before it closes.
  6. Book a weekend beach getaway that’s just an hour away with a visit to Ventura. Or venture south for a medieval vacation in Buena Park.
  7. Get in touch with LA’s natural wonders and go for a kid-friendly hike at one of our favorite spots for tots under five or get splashed at one of these epic waterfall hikes.
  8. Well hello, sailor! Take the kids to the Fleet Week Celebration at the Port of LA to honor our troops and have a blast getting tours of the big ships, helicopters and other gear that the Navy uses.
  9. Round up your cowpokes and head to the fairgrounds in Pomona where the LA County Fair kicks off this weekend. All LA County residents get in for just $6.60 on the 2nd.

    photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

     

  10. Catch T-Rex and his Cretaceous pals in the Dinosaurs Around the World exhibit before it leaves the Discovery Cube on Sept 3.
  11. Summer concerts are winding down so grab your picnic baskets and catch some tunes before they float away until next year. Kick off the weekend with music and wine at LACMA’s Jazz Friday and Latin Sat. Or head to the Marina del Rey for a concert with a view on Sat night.

    photo: Andie Huber

  12. If you want a change of scenery without fighting traffic or the crowds at LAX, take a mini staycation at one of these kid-friendly hotels.
  13. Go apple picking to officially end summer by celebrating with fall’s favorite fruit.
  14. Unplug from technology for the weekend and head to Big Bear for days packed with mountain biking, hiking, zip lines, water slides and more.
  15. Get out of the heat and head inside to cool off in a blizzard thanks to the Yeti Village installation on Hollywood & Vine.

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