Summer in Southern California is coming to a close, but rest assured the warm weather pretty much stays here all year long. What won’t remain though are those events that only take place during the summer. So, if you’re like me and you get all nostalgic and stuff about things coming to an end, be sure not to miss these Thursday through Sunday events. If you don’t they’re going to make like the Pacific Ocean and wave goodbye.
Can’t you just picture yourself with a margarita in hand, ocean breeze blowing in your hair as you mingle with other Angelenos while being serenaded by musicians, and I don’t mean the street performer type, I mean the staged type? This is a really LA thing to do, and it’s pretty cool. Located on the Pier’s park lot, it’s walking distance to the rest of the Pier’s restaurants and shops, so you won’t be without options for food or drinks. It is, however, very packed with people, so look forward to lots of foot traffic and street traffic and parking lot traffic, which I know that makes it sound a little bit like a nightmare, and that part kind of is, but, Santa Monica is one of those areas that you can walk or bike around ALL DAY, so you don’t really have to leave to once you’re there.
While you can kind of hear the music from the beach, it’s too far from the Pier to enjoy from the sand. But if you want a little sun first, get there early, lay out and take your tanned self to the Pier. There’s an area where drinking is allowed, and that starts at 6. After the concert, walk around the Promenade or Ocean Blvd, where there’s a plethora of places to go, including the popular Bungalow or Makai. Kids and dogs can attend, but if you want to soak up the SM nightlife, I’d leave them at home. (P.S. it will be sunny in the day, so bring a hat or SPF; nights by the ocean are chilly, so bring a sweater)
ALL WEEKEND LONG (This weekend/once a month)| 4p – 1a (Sun 11p)/$3-5 for entry
626 Night Market (Santa Anita/San Gabriel Valley) – Only 2 left
Near the Santa Anita Horse Race Track and right next door to the Santa Anita mall is this outdoor market that only happens one weekend a month per summer – and it’s happening this weekend! If you can’t make it, there’ll be another one next month. And if you really can’t make either of these, they will be in Orange County the weekend of 8/25-27. It’s $3 on Fridays and Sundays; $5 on Saturdays. What’s cool about it? It’s a leisurely outdoorsy thing to do on a weekend night, filled with fair food, crafts, toys, music, and mingling. Kids can go and service pets. Keep in mind, most vendors only take cash and that seating is sometimes hard to find, and the bathrooms are kind of far from the food areas. It is a nice way to spend a G-rated semi-energetic Friday night though.
Check out the link because they oftentimes have coupons for vendors, plus there’s a directory so you can go with a game plan. (P.S. it will be sunny until like 7:30 pm, so bring a hat or SPF if you go early)
FRIDAYS| 6p – 9ish/ FREE
Friday Night Jazz @ LACMA
Now this event is verrrry relaxing. Every Friday night at 6pm, you can roll out your blanket and picnic with friends as you sway to the jazz music playing. Each Friday until October, Jazz Nights is an environment where you’ll spend most of your time sitting while you listen to the performers. Unlike the Santa Monica concerts, Jazz nights is has a much more toned down energy to it. Bring your own food and wine and lounge chairs and just chill.
If you arrive early, check out the actual Los Angeles County Museum of Art, that closes at 8 on Fridays. Another thing you must do while you’re here is take a picture in from of those famous lamp posts out front. It’s so Instagram worthy.
SATURDAYS | 7:15p/$12-16
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Movie Nights
It’s both relaxing and eerie to be able to movie watch among the graves of some of the most famous celebrities – some of whom you may be watching on screen (eek!). This outdoor movie experience is fun, chill, but social. Like the LACMA Jazz Nights, you can pack up your picnic basket, roll out the blanket, and get cozy with friends as you watch movies picked by Cinespia (see the link for their movie schedule). This event is great if you wanna hang with friends/family without too much talking or spending too much money. And it’s a fantastic date night venue. Movies start at 9, but doors open at 7:15 – music plays before and after the show.
Other wonderful outdoor movie events and concerts:
Downtown LA’s Grand Performance
Just near the Disney Concert Hall, there’s a little outdoor area where there’s always a movie and/or dancing taking place. Each weekend of the summer it’s something new and it’s really cool to attend. High energy in most cases, and with a gorgeous view of Los Angeles. See the link for more details.
Pershing Square’s (Downtown LA) Outdoor Movies and Concerts
On concert dates the lawn will open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 8. On Fridays the movies will begin screening at sundown.
Rooftop Cinema Club
Venues vary for this one, so check out their schedule at the link above. But it’s basically what it sounds like – movie watching on some Los Angeles rooftops.