Summer is in full swing so it must be time to dig out your tents and go camping! This weekend is the perfect time to go again, or for the first time, for the Great American Backyard Campout. There’s also Shakespeare in the Park, movies on the beach, animals in portraits and to pet, pirates shivering their timbers and even a couple of birthdays you’ll definitely want to celebrate.

pirate kids


The Great American Backyard Campout
Turn off the televisions, computers and cell phones to connect with nature, family and friends. The Campout is a national, overnight event that encourages everyone to spend the night in their own backyard. Even the most dedicated glamper can manage that! Sat., Sundown. Your own backyard (or anywhere else you want to camp out!). Free. All ages. Details.

Griffith Park

Shakespeare in the Park
This weekend kicks off a summer of free, fabulous productions of Shakespeare at the Old Zoo. Play, explore, picnic and stay for the show – this summer Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night are in rep. Fri. – Sun., 7 p.m. Griffith Park. Free. Ages 5 and up. Event details.


Superman’s Birthday Celebration
You are invited to Superman’s super-fantastic birthday party. Decorate your own hero mask, star in your own comic strip, and meet the man of steel himself. Sun., 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Miracle Mile. $5-$8. Ages 2-8. Event details.

Beverly Hills

This day for our pals with paws includes cat and dog adoptions, a pet parade, pet entertainment and food trucks (for humans). Sun., 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Beverly Hills. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pasadena Area

Happy Birthday, Kidspace
Kidspace is having a party to celebrate 35 years of entertaining and educating kids with live performances, party games and crafts, and (of course!) birthday cake. Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pasadena. $11. Ages 1-10. Event details.

Family Night in the Chinese Garden
This summer evening of cultural discovery including music, art activities, a lion dance, and more at the recently completed Chinese Garden at the Huntington Museum. Fri., 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. San Marino. $10. All ages. Event details.


The Amazing Bubbleman
There’s plenty of audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep every kiddo (and grown up) mesmerized: square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes and even people inside bubbles. Sat & Sun. at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Santa Monica. $20-$25. All ages. Event details.

Stuffed Animal Portraits
Kids love their stuffed animals almost as much as they love you! Get a free portrait of their favorite stuffed animal by author and illustrator Salina Yoon after a reading of her new book, “Found.” Sat., 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 p.m West LA. Free. Ages 3-6. Event details.


Obon Festival
Come explore Japanese culture, cuisine, Obon Odori Dancing, taiko drumming and karate. Demonstrations will fascinate kids and little Jedis will recognize some of the moves in Naginata fighting. Sat. & Sun., 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Pacoima. Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

See “Frozen” on the Pier
It’s everyone’s favorite movie (OK, you’re sick of it – we are too – but it makes the kids soooo happy).  On the pier, under the stars.  Olaf would love this beachy way to kick off a summer weekend. Fri., Dusk. Redondo Beach. Free. Ages 3 and up. Event details.

Long Beach

Pirate Invasion and Mermaid Festival
Sword fights, treasure hunts, a kid’s costume contest, live music and even a pirate food court: this festival is perfect for your baby buccaneer! There’s also a Mermaid village for those who prefer to be ‘under the sea.’ Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Long Beach. Free admission. All ages. Event details.

Need more summer suggestions? We’ve got 50 things things for your summer bucket list and our staff’s picks for can’t miss summer fun!

-Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Josh Grenier via flickr and J.K. Califf via flickr