Fun Things To Do in Los Angeles in Summer

Photo of the shoreline/beach from the Santa Monica Beach

While the first official day of summer is near (it's Friday, June 21st, if you’re curious), with the kids getting out of school and sights of tourist buses around the city, it feels like it’s already in full swing! And while we love living here in Los Angeles all year long, it’s a truly special place to be in summer. There’s nothing like spending a day at the beach with our girls, staying up late watching movies in the park, or eating ice cream as we wander down Larchmont Boulevard on a hot day. So as we plan out the weekends that lie ahead, we’d like to share a few of our favorite things to do in Los Angeles in the summer!


Photo of two people sticking
their feet out of the pool

As obvious as it may be, you really can’t beat a day spent at the beach or at a local pool. L.A. has plenty of beaches to choose from, whether you like the very accessible, busier spots like Santa Monica or Venice, or prefer to venture further for the natural beauty of El Matador or Zuma Beach. Or, we love to gather a group around a bonfire pit at Dockweilier State Beach and settle in for an evening of hotdogs and s’mores while watching the sunset. If sand between your toes is not your thing, there are plenty of pools to choose from, too! We’re lucky enough to have a pool in our neighborhood, but if that’s not the case for you, there are still plenty of options. We love the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica for its gorgeous views and splash pad - and for the fact that you don’t need a membership! Or, there are plenty of beautiful hotel pools in the city that offer day passes for purchase, ranging from the family-friendly to the super-glamorous

APhoto of movie viewing experience at Cinespia’s Hollywood Forever CemeteryPhoto courtesy Cinespia 

In the evenings, there’s nothing better than catching a movie or a concert under the stars. A classic spot that’s worth dealing with the crowds is the Hollywood Bowl - and with lineups like Jurassic Park in Concert and the Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, they’ve got something for everyone. Outdoor movie screenings can be found in nearly every part of town these days, so we’ve been referencing this handy calendar to keep track of them all! Or, pack a picnic and experience the ultimate outdoor movie viewing experience at Cinespia’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery screenings - it’s an unforgettable evening!

Long shot of Griffith Observatory

Summer is also the perfect time of year to experience L.A.’s wide range of museums and botanical gardens. We love exploring the (air-conditioned) galleries at LACMA during the day, and then enjoying one of the museum's wonderful music programs in the early evening. For a lovely day outdoors, Descanso Gardens is a great choice - especially on the third Tuesday of every month, when admission is free! Or, pack a picnic and check out their Summer Nights series. For those who love both science and the great outdoors, a day at the Griffith Observatory followed by a sunset hike led by a Park Ranger and a museum guide just can’t be beat!

Overview photo of Pacific
Park at the Santa Monica Pier

When the kids are restless, and you just can’t face the craziness of Disneyland, we love an afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier. Pacific Park is a charming spot to play carnival games, enjoy a corndog, or ride the Ferris wheel, all without an admission fee. Or, wander just below the historic Carousel to discover the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, where kids can participate in hands-on activities with marine life.

Someone picking
strawberries and baskets of strawberries

It’s well known that one of the best things about living in California is having year-round access to delicious, fresh produce. But the truth is, the absolute best time for produce in Southern California is summer. This time of year, the farmers markets are packed with juicy berries, tomatoes, melons, and sweet corn, and we make our best effort to take advantage of the markets as often as we can. If you want to get even closer to the source of your food, however, this is also a great time to go berry picking - we’ve been eyeing this list of U-Pick farms in the area for a fun family day outside.

Photo of someone
holding an ice cream cone

Finally, there’s one important element to summer in Los Angeles that we just can’t live without - and that’s really good ice cream. While it seems like cool new ice cream shops are opening on every street corner here, we have a few tried-and-true favorites that we’ll be hitting up over and over again this year. When we’re craving an ice cream cone, a trip to Salt & Straw is in order - we’re in love with their creative, seasonal flavors, and we love the high-quality, artisanal ingredients they use which includes our nut butters. For something a little bit modern and unusual, we head to Four Winters - not only do they have great taste in peanut butter (ahem, they use ours!), but they make their super-smooth ice creams right in front of you using liquid nitrogen! It’s all very futuristic. Finally, for the ultimate treat, we love a trip to Coolhaus for an ice cream sandwich. There’s nothing like a huge scoop of one of their amazing flavors sandwiched between two perfect, fresh cookies. And no matter where we decide to go, you bet we’ll be carrying along one of our single-serve nut butter packets to drizzle on top - they make for the perfect ice cream topping!

We can't wait for all the summer fun that lies ahead for us this year - what do you have planned this summer? Let us know in the comments below! 

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