Latino Heritage Month is here, and the Southland features all kinds of family-friendly fiestas in the next several weeks – we’ve profiled three lively events here. It’s also National Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19 (who knew?), and Long Beach takes the day to heart with its two-day, wildly playful Pirate Invasion.  The weekend is not all about play, however – kids have the opportunity to build a little sweat equity with two events: Coastal Clean Up Day, during which families can participate in greening our coastline and important watersheds throughout LA County, and Malibu’s Tiny Tot Olympics, which lets little athletes try their skills at all kinds of fun sporting events. What else is on tap? Take a look!

Los Angeles

Latino Heritage Day
Specialty crafts, hands-on demonstrations, storytelling, fun-filled games of Loteria – it’s all in store at The Autry’s Latino Heritage Day. Kids can even grab a ball of masa (dough) and take part in hands-on tortilla making. Sat., 11:00 am-5:00 pm. Free with museum admission. 3 & up. Event details.

Fiestas Patrias California
Mexican Independence Day is reason to party at Olvera Street, which hosts live music, dancing, carnival games and rides, art exhibits, historical displays, traditional foods, and community exhibit booths. Thursday features special programming to commemorate the holiday. Thu., 12:00 pm-8:00 pm; Fri-Sun 10:00 am-10:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Hollywood ArtCycle
The free street festival brings together artists, musicians, performers, and the whole community in a celebration of art, bicycling, and sustainable living. Kids will love participating in hands-on workshops, contributing to several public art murals, or enjoying the bouncy castle, live stage entertainment, and puppet shows. Sat., 2:00 pm-10:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pre Emmy Awards Parenting Gifting Lounge
Join Style Guru Jayneoni Moore as she rolls out the red carpet for celebrity moms with her Pre Emmy Event. Check out everything from the perfect stroller (Orbit and iCandy) to nursery furniture to the top products for toddlers and preschoolers. Ultimate giveaways of an Orbit Stroller System, iCandy Stroller, KidKraft wooden kitchen, the new LeapPad, and sooo much more! Tickets at the door $45 portion of the proceeds raised will go to Love Hope Believe AFRICA! RSVP by emailing: Fri., 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm. $45. Adults. Event details. 


Scandinavian Autumnfest
The Scandinavian Autumnfest and Marknad celebrates Swedish and Nordic heritage with authentic foods, craft vendors, and cultural performances. The kids will love the huge 274-foot waterslide and pool, family games and prizes, train rides, a ropes course, rock wall, and petting zoo. Sun., 9:00 am-6:00 pm. Free, parking $8/car. All ages. Event details.

West Side

Coastal Clean-Up Day
Even the littlest Angelenos can take part in Coastal Clean-Up Day, which gets Californians involved in greening our coasts, watersheds, and inland creeks with events in 60 locations throughout LA County. It’s a great way to show children how important our water ecosystems are to the health of our city. Sat., 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Free. 5 & up. Event details.

A Slice of Pie at LACMA
Dessert is the main course of the day at LACMA’s event, which celebrates baking, creativity, and everything pie! Visitors can enter a pie, cheer on competitors, enjoy a slice, and take in lots of family-friendly activities, including the artful inedible pie-making workshop, an apron fashion show, and more. Sun., 12:30 pm-4:00 pm. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

Tiny Tot Olympics
With visions of gold, silver, and bronze, Malibu’s Tiny Tot event brings the Olympic spirit to life for kids, who can participate in a variety of events that include an obstacle course, t-ball, soccer, and a moon bounce. Everyone’s a winner – each child receives an award for his/her efforts. Sun., 12:00 pm-3:00 pm. Free. 2-6. Event details.


Pasadena Greek Fest
The vivacious Greek Fest features live music, folk dancing, arts and crafts booths, and a Kid’s Fun Zone with carnival games, rides, and prizes.  The amazing cuisine is reason enough to make the trip –baklava and spanakopita, anyone?  Fri., 5:00 pm-11:00 pm; Sat., 12:00 pm-1:00 am; Sun., 12:00 pm-10:00 pm. $5. All ages. Event details.

Generations Day at Kidspace
Kidspace Children’s Museum invites beloved grandmothers and grandfathers to spend the day with the grandkids and make apple cider, play board games, create family trees, and join in lively rounds of bingo. Sun., 10:00 am-5:00 pm. 2-8. Free with museum admission. Event details.

Beach Cities

Mexican Independence Day in Carson
South Bay Pavilion gets in on the fun of Latino Heritage Month by hosting a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. Visitors can enjoy live mariachi band performances, folkloric dance performances, art displays, and kids’ activities. Sat., 12:00 pm-4:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Pirate Invasion of Rainbow Lagoon
Pretend it’s circa 1711 and the wily buccaneers of the high seas have landed in downtown Long Beach to wow crowds with mock sword fights and pirate battles, treasure hunts for children, storytelling mermaids, kids’ costume contests, pirate-themed arts and crafts booths, musical and dance performances, and live theater. Sat-Sun., 10:00 am-6:00 pm; Free. All ages. Event details.

– Sarah Hilbert