If you’ve got LAUSD kiddos, this is your last weekend of summer with no homework, soccer practice or early Monday morning to take into account.  We’ll pause while you let that sink in.  Back?  So, here’s the good news – you’ve got this weekend, and the city and the weather are fully cooperating by providing a million amazingly offbeat/cool things and some spectacular summer weather.  Sock puppet theater, Japanese cultural celebrations, wild west and dino days, stars, Shrek, mud and sand – go carpe summer and have some fun!

sand castle kids

Downtown

Sock Puppet Cinderella
Hand it to Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater, the tubular troupe behind re-imagining the  classic tale into a sock puppet sitcom-style extravaganza, complete with laugh tracks, foley artist, and commercial breaks.  Sun., 3:00 pm & 4:30 pm. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.

Nisei Week
Nisei Week is the perfect time to explore Little Tokyo, as there will be an abundance of delicious food, a variety of traditional and contemporary music and dance, athletic and marshal arts demonstrations and more.  Our picks?  Don’t miss the Grand Parade or the Natsumatsuri Family Festival for kids at JANM. Sat. & Sun., Various times and locations. Little Tokyo. Free.  All ages. Event details.

Eastside

American Girl: An Afternoon of Horses
If you have a horse lover in the family, or an American Girl fan, this event is a can’t miss.  If you have both, just line up now.  The Autry Museum is partnering with American Girl for an afternoon of art, horses, a scavenger and even see the new American Girl movie. Sun., 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Griffith Park. $4-10. Ages 5+. Event details.

Hollywood

Children’s Festival of the Arts
Bring the kids to the Paramount lot for a day of art, music and fun.  With plenty of live music and dance from around the world as well as art workshops, face painting and meet and greets with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, it’s fun filled day-long celebration of the arts and culture of Hollywood. Sun., 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Hollywood. Free. Ages 1-12. Event details.

Pasadena

Dino Days
Budding paleontologists can explore a treasure of hands-on activities and experiences to tickle any fossil bone; they can build dinosaurs, dig for fossils, learn all about dinosaurs, create Dino Masks, make a fossil, or have their faces painted to match a favorite dinosaur. Sat. & Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Pasadena. $10. Ages 1-10. Event details.

Valley

Summer Star Festival
Don’t forget naptime and flashlights for this late night excursion. Astronomers will have their telescopes pointed at the skies and naturalists will be looking to the earth (to talk about nocturnal animals). Sat., 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm. Agoura Hills. Free. All ages. Event details.

Beach Cities

Shrek the Musical
Join Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona and a whole gang of fairytale misfits for a fun musical for the whole family. Fri. – Sun., Various times. Redondo Beach. $25-$65. Ages 3+. Event details.

Everywhere

Perseid Meteor Shower
The sky isn’t falling, but it will look like it is this weekend with these bright meteors streaking across the sky.  It’s a great way to send off summer, and the year’s best shower is a fabulous (and educational) reason to stay up super late. Sun. – Tue., Late night/Early morning. The Night Sky. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Mud Mania
Every kiddo loves to make a mess, and this is the place to do it with impunity!  Kids (and grownups) can squish a little history between their toes at this delightfully muddy festival where you’re not supposed to stay clean. Sun., 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Long Beach. $4-$6. All ages. Event details.

Sand Sculpting
We’re not talking basic sand castles here, people – this is true art. Kids love watching amazing creations take shape throughout the day and there are also arts and crafts, live music, food and a fenced-off kid zone. Sat. & Sun., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Long Beach. Free. All ages. Event details.

What do you do to get ready for back to school?  Any fabulous traditions or shopping adventures planned?  Let us know!

-Meghan Rose

Photo credit: Dru Bloomfield and sneakerdog via Creative Commons