While there is never a shortage of things to do in Los Angeles, it is easy to get trapped within the “Oxy bubble” during the school year. The summer months provide the opportunity to stray from campus and experience what America’s second largest city has to offer. From May to August, there are ample occasions to enjoy LA’s thriving arts, food and music scenes. Here are just a few of this summer’s highlights for those sticking around the city:
The Pancakes and Booze Art Show, Downtown Arts District, May 1–2
This massive exhibition provides visitors the opportunity to view the work of over 150 LA area artists while enjoying all-you-can-eat pancakes and a variety of beers. The exhibition features live body painting, a free photo booth and performances from many local musicians. The cover charge is $5.
The Echo Park Craft Fair, Silver Lake, May 9–10
Mack Sennet Studios provides this opportunity to support some of LA’s local craftspeople. Artisans will display a variety of creations, including hand-dyed clothing, bath oils, ceramics, weavings, jewelry and more. One day tickets cost $5, while two day passes go for $8.
Fiesta Hermosa, Hermosa Beach, May 23–25
This annual festival is fun for people of all ages. Over 300 artists and crafters will participate, and the multiple genres of music, food from all over the world and a diversity of alcoholic drinks will satisfy any attendee. Fiesta Hermosa also includes a variety of carnival rides and is located next to one of LA’s most popular beaches. Admission is free.
Make Music Pasadena, Pasadena, June 6
This annual event showcases 150 different bands, including local talent and performers from across the country. Bands play on five outdoor stages and in 30 additional venues across Pasadena’s downtown region. Make Music is the whole package: good food, music and atmosphere. Admission is free.
LA Pride Festival, West Hollywood Park, June 12–14
LA’s pride event is one of the largest in the country, attracting 400,000 people annually. The festival spans three days with musical performances on the first two days and a lengthy parade on Sunday. Kesha, Tamar Braxton, Fifth Harmony and Anne Barbara will all perform. Tickets start at $20 per day.
Last Remaining Seats, historic theaters throughout LA, June 10–27
The LA Conservatory offers several classic films at some of the local historic theatres this June. “Psycho,” “Raiders of the Lost Arc,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and others will be shown. Tickets cost $20 and must be purchased in advance.
Fourth of July Americafest, Rose Bowl, July 4
This patriotic festival embraces all things America, including food, carnival rides, a motorcycle show, arts and an impressive fireworks display. Afternoon tailgating outside the Rose Bowl is also popular. Tickets cost $20.
J. Cole and Big Sean concert, Staples Center, July 19
Two of hip-hop’s biggest names hit Los Angeles this July as part of J. Cole’s Forest Hills Drive Tour. Special guests YG, Jeremih, Bas, Cozz and Omen will perform. Tickets start at $30.
Hard Summer, The Pomona Fairplex, Aug. 1–2
The EDM-based music festival is back again this summer and highlights standouts in the electronic music genre such as headliners Porter Robinson, Dillon Francis, Zed’s Dead, RL Grime and Jack U. Hard Summer will also present some major hip-hop and R&B artists like the Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, Rae Sremmurd and Young Thug. A two-day weekend pass goes for $160.
Outdoor Movies, parks around LA, May 1–Oct. 1
Every Saturday night, from early May through October, the Street Food Cinema screens classic films in parks across Los Angeles. “Forrest Gump,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty Woman” and many others are scheduled for this year’s event. Before the films, attendees can enjoy live music and a multitude of food trucks. Tickets are $10.