If you’re lucky, this is the start of a super long weekend that rolls right into the 4th of July! So we thought we’d better pack it full of enough amazing activities to carry you through. You can get a jump on your patriotic celebrations with founding fathers or fireworks, do some sweet cupcake decorating, meet the pirates, head to Chinatown, build a bug house for summer critter catching, see a movie or some Shakespeare by the sea and more.

photo: Courtesy of Barnsdall Art Foundation

Multiple Locations

Build a Bug House
This month at the Home Depot (free!) Kids Workshop, kids build a bug house to catch and house their summer critters.  Go home with the craft plus a free Kids Workshop Apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement. Sat. Event details.

Downtown

Chinatown Summer Nights
Chinatown Summer Nights is back! Along with so much amazing food, there are Iron Chef-style cooking competitions, interactive art, dancing and curated large-scale outdoor video projections. Finally, for kids there are plenty of hands-on, Chinese cultural activities. Sat. Event details.

Hip-Hop: First People, New Voices
Hear hip-hop from an indigenous perspective. With raw lyrics, urgent poetry and iconic dance, this is modern protest music from innovative artists. Sat. Event details.

See the Sparks
Even if Golden State made this the shortest basketball season ever, you can still catch some live b-ball. Come see the Los Angeles Sparks—LA’s WBNA team who is crushing it this year. Sun. Event details.

Eastside

Barnsdall Sunday Art Workshop: Make a Mobile
Every Sunday the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation offers a free art workshop. Bring nothing but yourselves and your imagination. This week make a Calder Mobile. Sun. Event details.

Mid-City & Hollywood

Decorate Cupcakes with Your American Girl
Summer is for crafting and sweets: today girls and their dolls can playing games, create cupcakes for a beach picnic and personalize a craft license plate. Sat. Event details.

Hollywood Bowl 4th of July Show
The annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at the Bowl is always one of the best displays in town, and since it runs for 3 nights, you can get your fireworks on early. This year the concert is headlined by Pentatonix, whose hits include arrangements of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and Daft Punk. Sun.-Tues. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

See The Sandlot at the Park
Join Street Food Cinema for a family movie night with a screening of the The Sandlot, the classic kids baseball movie.  Some of the stars of the movie will be there along with kid friendly food trucks and a band that plays before the flick. Sat. Event details.

Westside

Skirball Weekend Family Concerts
The Skirball’s Family Amphitheater Performances summer weekend series kicks off with International Connection, a ten-piece funk-jazz collective on Sat, and on Sun the Steady 45s, who play a mix of oldies, reggae and ska. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

South Bay

A History Lesson from Our Founding Fathers
Celebrate Independence Day with Ben Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who give a funny and thought provoking account of the creation of The Declaration of Independence and how our nation came to be. Perfect for Hamilton fans! Sat. Event details.

Taming of the Shrew with Shakespeare by the Sea
Shakespeare by the Sea is performing The Taming of the Shrew this summer at locations across the city in free, outdoor performances. This is a great intro to Shakespeare play for kids, where there’s plenty of silly humor and they can run around when they get antsy. Sat. Event details.

Long Beach

The Pirate Invasion and Mermaid Festival
Sword fights, treasure hunts, a kid’s costume contest, live music and even a pirate food court: this pirate-themed weekend festival is perfect for your baby buccaneer. Other highlights include a mermaid shell hunt, mermaids grotto storytelling, pirate training, pirate battles and belly & fire dancers. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Huntington Beach 4th of July Festivities
The Huntington Beach 4th of July celebration has grown for the last 100+ years, and now encompasses 3 full days of exhibitors, food, entertainment, family activities and more.  Sun.-Tues. Event details.

Looking for the perfect fireworks show, a family parade, pool parties, barn dances, sporting events and more ways to celebrate on the 4th of July? Look no further; click here to see our amazing and comprehensive list of ways to celebrate Independence Day with your kids.

—Meghan Rose