Throw this weekend’s to-do list aside and make a new one of family fun in the sun. Head to Ventura for the fair or celebrate summer’s favorite fruit: the watermelon! Catch an old school flick, learn some new dance moves or turn your eyes to the sky and stargaze with the pros. Plus, there’s plenty of musical happenings to get you moving, sand castles to be built and fish to be caught! And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that this Saturday is the fantastic Family Zoo Snooze at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Pack your sleeping bags, s’mores and fall to sleep while listening to the wild things roar! Read on for more events:
Westside (Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Westwood, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Cheviot Hills, Culver City)
Pop and Lock Antics Performance The dance group breaks it down at the Skirball Center’s Family Amphitheater. Kids can shake their thangs and learn a new move or two from this urban dance group. Sat., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., West L.A., Free with admission, $10 adults, $5 children ages 2-12. Read More.
Flying Cars, Oh My! Family Flicks at the Hammer Museum: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang The classic kids film about inventor Caractacus Potts and his flying car. While you can bring younger kids, the film is more suited towards kids ages 5 and up. Sun., 11 a.m., West L.A., Free. Read More.
Downtown (Silverlake, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Downtown)
Just a Spoonful of Sugar Nanny McPhee Returns Sneak Preview The historic Orpheum Theater hosts this sneak peek at this heartwarming film about a nanny who saves the day—and the farm. Sun., 2 p.m., Downtown L.A., $8 children, $10 adults. Read More.
Celebrate! Summer Festival on the Courtyard The Japanese American National Museum is throwing a bash to celebrate 25 years. There’s plenty of fun and entertainment with magicians, ventriloquists, face painters, airbrush tattoos, arts and crafts and more. Also worth checking out is Little Toyko’s Nisei Festival which boast a grande parade on Sunday and street fair through the weekend. Sat., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Downtown LA., Free. Read More.
Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood)
Starry Eyed Surprise Public Star Party Gather the crew and head to the Griffith Observatory to learn all about the sun, moon and stars galore. Astronomers and educators are on hand to explain the sky and its visible planets as well a variety of telescopes and other astronomical objects. Sat., 2 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., Free, Los Angeles. Read More.
Flower Power Garden Concert for Kids with Elizabeth Mitchell and Family Folksy, homespun music written by singer Elizabeth Mitchell with her daughter Storey and husband joining in on lyrics, harmonica, and guitar. It’s a nice way to pass a few hours in the afternoon while overlooking Los Angeles from atop the Getty Center. Sat., and Sun., 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Free, Los Angeles. Read More.
Santa Monica (Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Malibu)
Feel Like Dancin’ Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series Nothing feels more like summer than hitting the Santa Monica Pier to watch the sunset while listening to music. Happening every Friday night, it’s the perfect way to get an early start on the weekend. This Thursday it’s Soullive, a cool funk jazz group. Plus, there’s always the arcade, amusement park, and merry-go-round to keep the kiddos happy. Thurs., 7 p.m., Santa Monica, Free. Read More.
Shop, Eat and Play SunSets at Santa Monica Place This weekend the spot to be is the newly opened Santa Monica Place. Completely renovated and remodeled, the doors are finally open for shoppers to get their long-awaited fix. Kick off the weekend by taking the family to experience a DJ-hosted Happy Hour on the Dining Patio. Watch the sunset while sipping Shirley Temples, why not?! Fri., 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Santa Monica, Admission free but food and drink is on you. Read More.
Beach Cities (Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach)
King of the Castle 77th Annual Great Sand Sculpture Contest Grab a shovel and pail and get set building your beachfront home, that is until the tide washes it away. If you’re little one is feeling particularly crafty, there’s the Grunion Gazette Sculpting Contest. If you’re sand engineering isn’t your family’s thing, hang out and admire the handiwork as well as live music, a kid’s zone and BBQ courtesy of Alfredo’s Beach Club. Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Belmont Shore, Free. Read More.
Go Fish! Huck Finn Fishing Derby Put on your best Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher outfit and get ready to reel in the big one. Prizes are awarded for best costume, but that’s just half the fun. Bring your pole, tackle, bait and go fish. Sat., Registration 8 a.m., Fishing 9:30 a.m. to Noon, Huntington Beach Pier, Free. Read More.
Valley (Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Glendale, Pasadena)
Melon Mania Watermelon Festival Nothing says summer like watermelon. The Kids Zone is packed with activities from waterslides and laser tag to tumbling around in kid-sized hamster balls. Plus there’s a petting zoo, clowns, carnival rides, arts and crafts, and more. Don’t miss out on contests like seed spitting, watermelon eating, and greased melon relays. Fri., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sat., Noon to 11:30 p.m., Sun., Noon to 10:30 p.m. Sunland, $2. Read More.
All’s Fair Ventura County Fair It’s closing weekend for the Ventura County Fair, so head out for good old family fun. This weekend the rodeo is in full swing with shows twice a day (2 p.m. and 7 p.m..) plus there’s all the usual amusements, carnival games, plenty of food stands, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and more. Sat., and Sun., 10 a.m. to Midnight, $7 to $10, Ventura, Free for children 5 and under. Read More.