What do freedom fighting elfs, wild sleepovers, Shakespeare, gallons of garlic, boogieing down, burping contests, video games and polo all have in common? Not a darn thing, except that they’re all so much fun and happening this weekend in LA. You won’t know where to start, but this list of our picks is a darn good jumping off point.

photo: The Hammer Museum

Everywhere

DineLA Restaurant Week
For parents who enjoy fine dining, this week is like Christmas, and it ends Sunday. LA’s best restaurants offer specially priced meals, so you can take kids along to try some new (fabulous) foods, all without a huge price tag. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Downtown

National Dance Day
So you think you can dance? See dance performances and take part in group dances, classes for all ages and interactive performances by some of the best and brightest young dance talent in Los Angeles. Sat. Event details.

Mid-City

National Velvet and International Velvet Double Feature
If your kids have never seen the Elizabeth Taylor classic about a girl and her horse, it’s time to fix it with this big screen double feature. Sun. Event details.

House Elf Liberation Tea
Wizards (and muggles) unite to free the House Elf! All Harry Potter fans will have a blast meeting each other and working for the betterment of a very special species (while eating tasty scones and playing games). Sun. Event details.

Eastside

A Pop-Drinking Burping Contest
This soda tasting event has music, entertainment and samplings of a wide range of unique and eclectic bubbly beverages. Kids can participate in a Burp-Off for prizes and carbonated glory. Sun. Event details.

Griffith Park

The Tempest at the Old Zoo
After an amazing run of Richard III, the Independent Shakespeare Company begins their run of The Tempest this weekend in a magical setting. Even the youngest kids are entranced by these engaging productions by actors who want kids to love the Bard as much as they do. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

A Sleepover at the New Zoo
Find out what happens at the zoo after dark, when you bring sleeping bags and commune with critters at night. (Hint: many are actually more active as they’re nocturnal or just done napping in the shade on a hot day!) Sat. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Sounds of Sinatra
You’ll love the timeless tunes that waft over your blanket as you lounge.  The kids will love a picnic at the Arboretum where they can run and seek out the peacocks and geese and turtles who live here. Everyone wins. Sat. Event details.

Westside

See a Polo Match
See a grand polo match; bring a picnic and relax while you watch the horses pound up and down the field, and when they’re done bring out kites and balls for more active fun. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Art Activism Rocks!
In this election year, art can be used to make powerful statements. Kids think about a cause they care about and create an activist campaign. Sun. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Play Video Games All Day
Royce’s was closed for renovations and just re-opened with their open warehouse days where you and your kids can play classic video games all day for a small donation. Sat. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Gilroy Garlic Festival
Everyone but vampires will love this stinky and tasty festival that’s totally worth a trip up the coast. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Do you have a favorite food festival of summer? We’d love to hear about your foodie delights in the comment section.

—Meghan Rose