For many kids in L.A., this is the last weekend of summer before school starts up!  If you’ve got school-age kiddos, that just might provide the perfect excuse to stay up a little late star gazing and sneak in a few extra treats. The night sky is a bit of a theme this weekend with meteors streaking, a Shakespeare-Star Wars show playing, and a Close Encounter under the stars… There are also family festivals of many flavors (Ecuadorian, Japanese or Kid’s Arts), a benefit concert, a Dinosaur Train extravaganza and a trip over the rainbow.  So get out there and soak up every last drop of summer vacation madness this weekend!

Los Angeles

Dinosaur Train Day
Fans of dinosaurs, trains or Jim Henson will all have a wonderful time at the Natural History Museum on Sunday for an exclusive look at a new episode, concerts, a chance to meet and greet Buddy and explore the eye popping Dino Hall. Sat., 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Exposition Park. Free-$12. Ages 2-6. Event details.

Ecuadorian Festival & Parade
Ecuador has the Andes, the Galapagos, fabulous food and gorgeous clothing, so the  Fiestas Patrias is a parade and celebration you won’t want to miss! Sun., 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.

Children’s Festival of the Arts
Play with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on a studio lot as part of a celebration featuring live world music and dance, family art workshops, and face painting. Sun., 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Hollywood. Free. Ages 1-12. Event details.

The Japanese American Olympics
London may have the Summer Olympics but JANM has the JA Olympics with medals in basketball, origami, trivia, Jan Ken Po (rock-papers-scissors) and more… Sat., 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Little Tokyo. Free. All ages. Event details.


Tempest (Star Wars Style!)
There is only one Shakespeare show in town kids actually beg to see over and over: The Tempest, done in the style of Star Wars.  Never has the bard been so contemporary – or so concise!  Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am. Culver City. Free. Ages 3+. Event details.

Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz
The Santa Monica Playhouse knows that your piggybank has been tapped this weekend shelling out for all those new back-to-school supplies, and that’s why this weekend the retelling of the classic tale that takes place over the rainbow is completely free.  Sat. & Sun., 3:00 pm & 12:30 pm. Santa Monica Free. Ages 3+. Event details.


Melissa Green & Friends Benefit Concert
Snack & sing, dance & do good!  Molly Sims and Melissa Green present a rocking show for families as a benefit for an orphanage across the border. Fri., 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Pasadena. $20-$25. Ages 2-10. Event details.


Close Encounters
It’s the film that ushered in our generation’s dreams of extra-terrestrials; see it with the next generation exactly where the movie should be seen – gazing up at the stars! Sat., 7:00 pm. Woodland Hills. Free. Ages 8+. Event details.


Perseid Meteor Shower
Watching these bright meteors streak across the sky is a great way to send off summer, and a fabulous (and educational) reason to stay up super late! Sun., Late night. Everywhere. Free. All ages. Event details.

— Meghan Rose