You know how you can tell it’s summer in LA? Not by the weather (they call it June gloom for a reason!), but by when the sheer volume of amazing things to do with your kids triples overnight. So many favorites are back: Zoo nights, Levitt Pavilion kids shows, the sing along Sound of Music at the Bowl, grunion runs, the biggest of the “Visit the Garbage Truck” days, the Great American Campout and even a pig-nic!

photo: Farm Sanctuary’s Facebook Page


Kiddle Karoo at the Levitt Pavilion
Kiddle Karoo leads her Silly Monster Band of costumed characters and Monster puppets to combine rock, pop and hip-hop with comedy and dancing at this show in the park’s natural amphitheater. Sun. Event details.

Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks at Leimert Park
Celebrate African style with art, artists, snacks and exotic punches all from across the African Diaspora. Sun. Event details.

Griffith Park

Shakespeare at the Old Zoo
It’s back! This weekend ISCLA returns to the Old Zoo with Measure for Measure. Bring a picnic and bug spray & warm clothes, as it gets buggy & chilly when the sun goes down.  Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Zoo Night: A 60s Summer Safari
A different kind of wildlife takes over the zoo for Roaring Nights. Dance to live bands & DJs, meet-and-greet the Minions From Despicable Me 3, enjoy pop-up zookeeper talks, special animal encounters, delish food trucks, lawn games and more. Fri. Event details.


Sing Along to The Sound of Music
This weekend, the Hollywood Hills are alive with The Sound of Music. Don’t forget to wear your best drindl for the costume parade! Sat. Event details.


Seussical the Musical
Meet all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including The Cat in the Hat; Horton, the elephant; the irresponsible and lazy Mayzie; the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz; and Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Sanitation Day: Meet the Garbage Trucks
Meet the dynamic duo “Mr. Recycle,” sidekick “Robo Blue” and ride in a giant garbage truck to practice picking up and dumping garbage cans. You can get free trees, too, if you get there early. Sat. Event details.

South Bay

Grunion Run
Spend a night sitting on Southern California’s sandy shore waiting for the “grunion run.” Watch the silvery ones come up on the beach to spawn and learn all about this fascinating fish. Sun. Event details.

Long Beach

Long Beach Bayou Festival
Time for a bit of the Bayou, SoCal style! Cajun, Zydeco and Blues artists play on three stages, one of which is a kids fun stage with plenty of surprises.  There will be dancing lessons, crawfish and watermelon eating contests, a Mardi Gras Parade, arts and crafts, storytelling, magic, sing-a-longs and more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Santa Clarita Valley

Great American Campout
Pop up a tent and enjoy the summer night under the stars with your family and friends. This overnight event is full of family games & crafts, a flashlight hike, a movie under the stars, stargazing and a traditional campfire with s’mores. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Ventura County

Wildwood Trail Run
This is the only official race allowed in Wildwood Regional Park, which is home to 250 plant species and loads of, birds, reptiles and animals. There are 5 & 10 K races for grown ups, as well as a 1 mile fun run for kids. Sat. Event details.

Worth the Drive

A Family “Sea-Over”
Join the crew of a historic ship at this totally unique overnight adventure. Raise sails, hoist cargo and after you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a home cooked meal by the cook around the campfire. Learn sea chanties, legends and lore, and the secrets of celestial navigation. In the morning, embark on a whale watching cruise. Sat. Event details.

Pig-nic Time!
At the annual Pig-nic at the Farm Sanctuary, kids get sanctuary time with rescued animals, crafts and a delicious vegan picnic feast. Give a pig a belly rub, nuzzle with a sheep and enjoy your favorite summer foods. Sun. Event details.

Campouts and trail runs, animal picnics and grunion hatchings—summer is a great time to get out in nature. What’s your favorite plant or animal interaction in the city?

—Meghan Rose