The summer sizzle has arrived, so we’ve put the spotlight on several kid friendly evening and morning Los Angeles area events that showcase serious fun on either side of those peak rays. As Friday’s sun sets, Burbank gets celebratory for its 100th birthday, Altadena gets trendy with Fancy Food Truck Fridays, and LACMA gets just a teeny bit spooky with Tim Burton-inspired Stories Round a Flashlight Campfire. Drum Downtown gets Saturday morning off to a percussive start, while later in the day, families can take in some celestial sights when the Observatory hosts the always-educational Star Party. Two must-do festivals and a couple of shady gatherings round out our recommendations – take a look!

LOS ANGELES

Stories Round the Flashlight Campfire
Even kiddos who don’t know Betelgeuse from Edward Scissorhands will be captivated by the Tim Burton-inspired storytelling series at LACMA, which runs each Friday evening throughout July. This week bring your kids to hear Rebecca Martin regale visitors with ghost tales from ’round the world. Fri, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free although tickets from the LACMA Box Office are required. Event details.

 

Lotus Festival
The venerable Lotus Festival in Echo Park returns for its 33rd year, bringing a festive celebration of Asian and Pacific Island cultures. Besides featuring dance, music, art, authentic cuisine, and shopping opportunities, this family-friendly event gives Los Angelenos a chance to enjoy the historic lake before a two-year restoration and closure of the park. Sat and Sun, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

Drum Downtown: Senegal Rhythms
Bang away frustrations, lose yourself in the beat, and share in the joy of a community musical experience when The Music Center hosts a West African-themed Drum Downtown. The very young, seasoned veterans, and all skill levels in between are welcome to attend. Sat, 10:00 am – 11:30 am, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

Public Star Party (pictured)
Astronomers from two organizations lend their expertise, patience, and telescopes to visitors of all ages during the Star Party, which is held on the stunning front lawn of the Griffith Park Observatory. Sundown offers the best awe-inspiring vistas of the metropolis and just-as-impressive sights of the stars, Moon, and planets as they debut for the evening. Sat, 2:00 pm – 9:45 pm, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

WESTSIDE

Summer Family Fun
The LA Farmers Market has kids in mind this summer by hosting the Summer Family Fun series, an event that combines kiddie fun with educational concepts. This weekend’s offering is a garden of delights: flower pot painting, face painting, and The Sunflowers Family Show. Sun 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Los Angeles, Free. Event details.

A Faery Hunt
Find a shady spot under the trees at Crestwood Hills Park to watch a faery world come to life, thanks to beautifully costumed performers and enchanting stories that emphasize kindness, forgiveness, respect, and ecological responsibility. Sun 10:30am, Los Angeles, $12.50. Event details.

VALLEY

Happy Birthday, Burbank!
Burbank lets loose in celebration of its centennial. Downtown’s streets are closed to host stage entertainment, a mascot parade, a super-sized cupcake display and giveaway (yum!), and much more; the skies above are reserved for an aviation fly-by and the Grand Finale Fireworks, choreographed to Burbank-related movie and television soundtracks. Fri 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Burbank, free. Event details.

Sunday Concert in the Park
Kids can feel the grass between their toes, kick up their heels, and boogie the afternoon away during the family-friendly concert at Peter Strauss Ranch. On tap: the alt-country I See Hawks in L.A. and the 1930s-era swing of Dustbowl Revival. Sun 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Agoura Hills, Free. Event details.

 

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY

Fancy Food Truck Fridays
Altadena gets in on the foodie craze and hosts a charming, come-meet-your-neighbors evening at Websters Community Pharmacy parking lot. Scheduled food trucks include Ragin’ Cajun, No Reservations, and Shrimp Pimp; kids will only have eyes for Sugar Babies, a truck chock full of cupcakes. Fri, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Altadena, Free. Event details.

BEACH CITIES

Japanese Summer Festival
Torrance showcases the rich beauty of Japan with a festival that includes more than sixty booths filled with food, souvenirs, and crafts, as well as martial arts demonstrations, professional dancers, live music, and a traditional Mikoshi parade. Sun 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Torrance, adults $5, children $3. Event details.