Help kids enjoy their final weeks of “freedom” before back to school with our round-up of the best outdoor concerts, festivals and celebrations happening around LA in August. We’ve got Twilight on the Pier in Santa Monica, an open-to-the-public block party in Malibu, an awesome indie craft fair in Pasadena and more. Read on for all the details on these free family-friendly events that you’ll enjoy as much as your kid!

Getty Concerts for Kids

Sat. & Sun., Aug. 3 & 4: This concert series (which recurs on Aug. 10 & 11 and Aug. 17 & 18) is know for pulling in the best in kids music and entertainment. Bring a blanket to the Central Garden—the music starts at 4 p.m. This weekend, Elena Moon Park (of the band Rabbit Days and Dumplings) will will lead a fun and eclectic group of musicians in a cross-cultural musical fiesta. Expect to dance and sing tunes in Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Tibetan, Taiwanese, Spanish, and English! The concert recurs on Aug. 10 & 11, and Aug. 17 & 18. Event details.

1200 Getty Center Dr.
Los Angeles
Online: getty.edu

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Jackalope Summer Nights

Fri. & Sat, Aug. 2 - 3: Enjoy an afternoon of shopping in the heart of Old Pasadena with this artisan fair, featuring more 200 local vendors, food trucks, live music and more. Kids can enjoy the live acoustic music, outdoor games, and and a DIY craft project on Sat. Event details.

Central Park
275 S. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, Calif.
Online: jackalopeartfair.com

"Toy Story Tempest"

Every Sat. & Sun., Aug. 3-Aug. 25: The Bard meets Pixar with this Shakespeare in the Park adaptation, performed every weekend in August by The Actors’ Gang Theater (Tim Robbins is the group's Founding Artistic Director). Bring blankets or lawn chairs, find a spot on the grass and introduce your kids to Shakespeare. Added bonus: Each performance is followed by a celebration where you can meet and take pic with the characters. Event details.

Ivy Substation in Media Park
9070 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, Calif.
Online: theactorsgang.com

Beverly Hills Farmers Market PickleFest

Sun., Aug. 4: Who doesn't love pickles? The 7th annual PickleFest, sponsored by legendary Nate‘n Al Delicatessen, features family-friendly fun, entertainment and a mouth-puckering contest for the “Best Dill Pickle” in Beverly Hills. 

9300 Civic Center Dr.
Beverly Hills, Calif.
Online: beverlyhills.org

Star Party at Griffith Observatory

Take the family stargazing at this monthly celebration, from 2p.m.-9:45p.m. Kids can peer through a variety of telescopes, and get a glimpse of the moon, planets and constellation with help from local astronomers. 

2800 E. Observatory Rd.
Los Angeles
Online: griffithobservatory.com

Unique Markets: LA

Sat. & Sun., Aug. 10 & 11: Okay, so you have to pay $15 for a ticket, but kids 12 and under are free at this indie market where the motto is shop small, feel good. (And with a carefully curated selection of up-and-coming vendors, you really will feel good.) Plus, once you're insidre, there's free Jeni's ice cream, kombucha, a a macrame workshop, kids crafts, an art installations and fun photo walls where you can get silly.

The Barker Hanger
3021 Airport Ave.
Santa Monica, Calif.
Online: uniquemarkets.com

photo: Malibu Country Mart

Malibu Country Mart Block Party

Sat., Aug. 10: Make your way to Malibu for this totally free fete featuring Pacific Organic Pops, snow cones and cotton candy from Love Swirls, ice cream pops from Ginger's Divine Ice Cream, a hair braiding station, henna tattoo station, spin art station, animal petting zoo, face painting, caricature artist, DJ, steel drum trio and tarot card readings—whew!

3835 Cross Creek Rd.
Malibu, Calif.
Online: facebook.com/MalibuCountryMart

Nisei Week Festival

Sat., Aug. 10 - Sun., Aug. 18: A celebration of Japanese and Japanese American heritage throughout Southern California. LA’s festival takes place in Little Tokyo from Aug 10-18 with food, colorful displays in a variety of artistic mediums, traditional and contemporary music and dance, martial arts demonstrations and the Grand Parade in Little Tokyo on Aug. 17.

Online: niseiweek.org

Santa Monica Public Library at the Beach

Fri., Aug. 16: Talk about a beach read: Santa Monica Public Library is hosting it seaside pop-up library at Annenberg Community Beach House. Check out books, enjoy games and activities (like Seaside Storytime), or just relax and read in the shade. 

Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Santa Monica, Calif.
Online: annenbergbeachhouse.com

photo: istock

Pico Rivera Summer Street Fest

Fri., Aug. 16, 23 & 30: Get ready for August Nights in Pico Rivera as the Summer Street Fest returns to Mines Avenue. The event will feature a variety of concerts, exhibitors, food vendors, beer and wine garden, artisan booths, petting zoo, jumpers and slides, and much more.  

Smith Park
6016 Rosemead Blvd.
Pico Rivera, Calif.
Online: pico-rivera.org

CicLAvia's Meet the Hollywoods

Sun., Aug. 18: Join CicLAvia as they transform streets in West Hollywood, Hollywood, and East Hollywood into public recreational space for the day. From the Hollywood Walk of Fame to West Hollywood's rainbow crosswalk, this ride is taking over the town and offering free music and activities along the iconic route.

Online: ciclavia.org

Twilight on the Pier

Every Wed., Aug. 21-Sept. 25: With three stages, a festival-style art walk, games, restaurant specials and more, this Pier-wide celebration has something for everyone.

200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, Calif.
Online: twilightsantamonica.org

Fiesta la Ballona

Fri.-Sun., Aug. 23-25: Start with free admission and free parking. Throw in tons of live music, carnival rides and games, a petting zoo and pony rides, an aquacade and of course food trucks (and beer and wine gardens) and you get an end-of-summer fiesta party in the park you just can’t say no to! 

Veterans Park
4117 Overland Ave.
Culver City, Calif.
Online: fiestalaballona.org

Community Day at Lomita Railroad Museum

Sat., Aug. 24: Live music and dance, tour the museum, games, arts and crafts and more.

2137 W. 250th St.
Lomita, Calif.
(310)326-6255
Online: lomita-rr.org

LA's Birthday Celebration

Sat., Aug. 24: Celebrate the 238th anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles, with a birthday party on Downtown's Olvera Street—the oldest street in town. There will be historic re-enactments, artisan demonstrations, exhibits, food, entertainment and plenty of birthday cake.

125 Paseo de la Plaza
Los Angeles
Online: elpueblo.lacity.org

photo: Andie Huber

Beach Day

Any day: Before back to school, get in as much beach play as possible! Explore our favorite tidepools and beaches.

–Shannan Rouss

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