Hooray—it’s finally, really, officially summer! Celebrate the start of season with all the outdoor festivals, garden visits, al fresco concerts and more happening this weekend around LA. It’s a little bit of culture and a whole lot of fun.

photo: Pixabay

Los Angeles

Odd Nights at the Autry
Looking for something for everyone that’s centrally located, fun-filled and free? Check out the gourmet food trucks, full bar, massive inflatables and more at this “odd” but awesome (so odd-some?) event. Mark your calendars: It happens every third Friday on 2.5 acres of lawn in Griffith Park. Fri. Event details.

Walk & Play LA
Putting the fun in fundraiser, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles hosts this massive event, which begins with a 3-K walk around the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park. Throughout the morning, there will be live music, games and sports clinics hosted by pro athletes. Sat. Event details.

Summer Solstice in the Garden
Celebrate the peak of summer at UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. Bring a picnic and enjoy family-friendly activities including story time and arts and crafts, along with extended garden hours. Sat. Event details.

Pasadena Model Railroad Club Open House
All aboard! Discover one of the largest model railroads in the world, covering almost 5,000 square fee, at this El Sereno institution. To celebrate its 80th year, the space will be open to the public for one special weekend. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Levitt LA Free Summer Concert Series
Head to MacArthur Park for the 2nd Annual Sonidos Salvadoreños, a free festival featuring traditional and contemporary Salvadoran music and dance. Be sure to check out the Kidzone offering art activities, games and more. Sun. Event details.

Family Garden Workshop: Tree Ecology
Join educators from the Garden School Foundation for an art activity centering around the ecology of trees. Using straws and Japanese ink, kids will make paintings on paper inspired by California native trees. Sun. Event details.

West Hollywood

Drag Queen Story Hour
Celebrate Pride Month with this kid-friendly event at the West Hollywood Public Library. It’s a fun-filled judgment-free setting where children will hear a story about self-love, empathy and friendship. Sat. Event details.

Summer Sounds
Introduce little ones to big band music courtesy of The Great American Swing Band at this free concert in Plummer Park. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and let kids get into the “swing” of things. Sun. Event details.

The Valley

Kids Club at Sherman Oaks Galleria
Convenience is key: Stop by this free a.m. puppet show, check out the Galleria’s outdoor fountain (bring pennies!), and maybe catch a matinee of Toy Story 4 (opening this weekend) at the onsite Arclight. Sat. Event details.

Topanga Vintage Market
With 170 vintage vendors, dozens of local artisans, great food trucks and live music, it’s a wonderful place to spend treasure hunting while your partner or pal entertains the little ones (hint, hint). Sun. Event details.


Summer Block Party at Palisades Village
Stop by this charming outdoor mall for a fun-filled summer celebration with live music, carnival games, crafts, face painting and more! Sat. Event details.

Discover Marina Del Rey
Coinciding with the two-day MarinaFest Boat Show, this free event at Burton Chace Park will feature live music, food trucks, arts and crafts, a marionette show and more. Sun. Event details.

South Bay

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” on Battleship IOWA
Hit the deck—for a free screening of this popular kids flick aboard an authentic WWII battleship. It’s all part of the Movies Under the Guns series happening throughout the summer at this San Pedro museum. Fri. Event details.

International Family Festival
Celebrate the diverse cultures of Los Angeles, while enjoying live music, a children’s area, cultural pavilion, and (because parents are people too) a beer and wine garden. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

—Shannan Rouss

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