If you detect a ripple in the force this weekend in L.A., it’s just those pesky Star Wars Stormtroopers, landing for a day at the Zoo with their pal Darth Vader. They greet visitors, pose for photos, and direct folks to stations throughout the zoo that feature “other-worldly” animals. Destination for the youngest of hipsters? Sunset Junction Fair, where they can spin ’round and ’round on the open-air disco floor or on several carnival rides. Culver City also offers a festival – we like the sounds of its Radio Disney Road Crew’s visit! Malibu’s delightful sea breezes might be very welcome in this heat; it hosts Malipalooza with games, bounce houses, a reptile tank, a kid’s archeology dig, and an evening screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Plenty more events round out the weekend offerings – take a look!

Los Angeles

Star Wars Day at the Zoo
Little Jedis and Storm Troopers can head to the Los Angeles Zoo and meet favorite Star Wars characters (Darth Vadar and R2D2 included!) and learn about creatures from other galaxies at special stations throughout the Zoo. Sat., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free with Zoo admission. 3 & up. Event details.

Museums Matter Night at Dodger Stadium
Take the kids out to the ballpark to see the Dodgers face off against the Colorado Rockies and help fund some of the cultural institutions we love most as families in Los Angeles, including The Autry, California Science Center, The Getty, LACMA, and many more. Fireworks end the night! Fri., 7:10 pm – 10:00 pm. $8-$150. 4 & up. Event details.

Sunset Junction Fair
Yes, the Sunset Junction Fair is hip and edgy, but it’s still lots of fun for all ages, given that the event features live music, midway rides, an open-air disco, and vendor booths with everything from tamales to artwork, and clothing to jewelry. Sat., 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sun., 11:00 am – 10:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Chinatown Summer Nights
Food festival meets summer party in Chinatown, which hosts chef cooking demos and gourmet food. Children can jam on the huge dance floor, watch outdoor video projections and theatrical performances, and participate in some hands-on activities. Sat., 5:00 pm -12:00 am. Free. All ages. Event details.

West Side

Latch on America at the Pump Station
Join Red Tricycle and The Pump Station as we bring you the final stop for the Milk For Thought 35+ city tour of the United States! The Pump Station & Nurtury will be hosting its own little “Latch on Los Angeles” event that includes panels, guest speakers, complimentary chair massages, free sling clinics, raffle prizes and giveaways and much more! Sun., 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Free. All ages. Event details. 

Fiesta La Ballona
Fiesta La Ballona serves up plenty for children and families, including live music on two stages, carnival rides and games, a petting zoo, pony rides, K-9 demonstrations, and yummy festival foods. Kids will want to catch the Main Stage visit from the Radio Disney Road Crew as they rock the stage with tons of games, dances, and contests. Fri., 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm; Sat – Sun 11:00 am  – 6:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details. 

Family Amphitheater Performances
Two fantastic shows take place at the Skirball’s Family Amphitheater Performance Series. Saturday features Antics, which wows the crowd with expert popping, locking, and break-dance moves. On Sunday, We Tell Stories regales the audience with folktales, myths, and literature from around the world. Sat-Sun., 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Free with museum admission. 3 & up. Event details.

Malipalooza
Malipalooza brings together all kinds of great activities for the family, including live music, food trucks, games, bounce houses, a reptile tank, and a children’s archeology dig. And, as the sun sets, visitors can celebrate the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark with a free screening of the film. Sat., 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pasadena

Celebrate Women’s Suffrage Ice Cream Social
Little ones may not appreciate the reason behind the celebrating, but they’ll love the always-amazing Carmela ice cream served up on the lawn of one of Pasadena’s beautiful Victorian landmarks. Live ragtime music and children’s activities and games help commemorate the anniversary of the 19th amendment. Sun., 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm. Adults $5, Children under 13 free. All ages. Event details. 

Montrose Film Festival
The film selections at Montrose’s annual Film Festival – Grease and American Grafitti – are probably geared for much older children, but the little ones are more than welcome to come early, watch some big screen Looney Toons, and grub on popcorn and yummy take-out fare from local eateries like Zeke’s Smokehouse, Black Cow, and Rocky Cola Cafe. Fri-Sat., 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Free. 3 & up. Event details.

– Sarah Hilbert