The Top 10 Los Angeles Summer Bucket List

From Sparrow Mart to Fleet Week, it's going to be a hot time in L.A.!

Vintage pirate ship from Peter Pan's Flight at That's From Disneyland! | Instagram by @alexis.t.alejo
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For generations of Angelenos, summer means afternoons by the pool, trips to the beach, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Dogs and July 4th fireworks. Go beyond these perennial favorites with our Los Angeles end-of-summer bucket list.

Beyond the Streets (through Aug. 26, 2018)

Run, don’t walk to see Beyond the Streets, a stunning street art and graffiti survey in Downtown L.A. Not just another opportunistic maze of Instagram backdrops, Beyond the Streets is a bona fide contemporary art show. Yes, this will definitely improve the ‘gram feed, but the astounding 40,000 square-foot collection of new, museum and museum-worthy artwork will boggle the mind. Meant to be a continuance of MOCA’s 2011 Art in the Streets show, curator Roger Gastman has pulled together over 100 artists with new or never before seen works from everyone from Gordon Matta-Clark to Zeser MSK, with some of the installations exclusive to the Los Angeles exhibit. Special "Summer in the Streets" events like screenings and artist panels are taking place through the final weeks of the exhibit. For more info, visit www.beyondthestreets.com.

SPARROW MART AT THE STANDARD DTLA (Aug. 1-31, 2018)

Lucy Sparrow
Lucy Sparrow | Photo courtesy of Livia Smith @liviasmith01

British artist Lucy Sparrow will make her West Coast debut with her fifth fully-felted art installation, Sparrow Mart at The Standard, Downtown LA. Sparrow Mart will take over the hotel's Paddle Room throughout the month of August. Presented in partnership with The Standard, Downtown LA and supported by Discover Los Angeles, this felt fantasyland will be supercharged and serviced by Sparrow Mart shop assistants who will preside over shelves overflowing with everyone’s favorite groceries. Every single one of Lucy’s 31,000 handmade felt artworks is signed by the artist and available to buy in-store. 

That's From Disneyland! (Aug. 1-26, 2018)

Charles Phoenix in a vintage Skyway bucket at That's From Disneyland!
Charles Phoenix in a vintage Skyway bucket at That's From Disneyland! | Instagram by @_charlesphoenix

Presented in partnership with Van Eaton Galleries, That's From Disneyland! welcomes the public to view Richard Kraft's legendary collection of Disneyland historical artifacts. Located in Sherman Oaks next to Westfield Fashion Square, That’s From Disneyland! takes over the former Sports Authority store with a 40,000 square-foot pop-up exhibit of one of the world’s largest private collections of Disneyland memorabilia, featuring more than 15 ride vehicles; audio-animatronic figures from several beloved attractions; original attraction posters; and rare vintage props, souvenirs, and signage from the park. At the end of the exhibition run, Van Eaton Galleries will hold an auction of over 900 lots from Kraft's collection on August 25-26. Admission to this family-friendly, interactive museum is free. For the special event schedule, visit www.thatsfromdisneyland.com.

Independent Shakespeare Co. 15th Anniversary (through Sept. 2, 2018)

15th Anniversary Independent Shakespeare Co. at Griffith Park
Photo courtesy of Independent Shakespeare Co., Facebook

Founded in 1998, the Independent Shakespeare Co. has presented its summer festival at Griffith Park since 2010. Taking place through Sept. 2, the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival is performed on a stage that’s built on the slopes of the Old Zoo’s natural amphitheater. This 15th Anniversary season features Titus Andronicus and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Arrive early to picnic and enjoy pre-show performances by local artists, the Salon Series (conversations about the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary culture), Family Fairy Nights and more. All of these summer events are free.

Nisei Week (Aug. 11-19, 2018)

Nebuta float at the Nisei Week Grand Parade
Nebuta float at the Nisei Week Grand Parade | Instagram by @niseiweek

Taking place in historic Little Tokyo, the 78th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival is one of the longest running cultural festivals of its kind in the country. Nisei Week showcases free Japanese cultural events and activities, including music and entertainment, food and fun games spanning two weekends. Highlights include the Grand Parade, World Gyoza Eating Championship, Taiko drummers, bonsai and calligraphy exhibits, martial arts demos, and Ondo street dancing.

Manhattan Beach Open (Aug. 16-19, 2018)

The world-famous Manhattan Beach Open is the longest running, continuous tournament in beach volleyball. Every summer, the most talented men and women in the sport gather at the birthplace of beach volleyball to compete for a share of the prize purse and to have their names enshrined on the historic Manhattan Beach Pier. An official stop of the AVP tour, the Manhattan Beach Open will take place August 16-19 and feature a full festival village, MBO Legend’s match, kid’s clinic, athlete signings, movie night, interactive games and the annual MBO Walk of Fame Pier Ceremony. The Manhattan Beach Open is a free event and takes place just south of the pier.

ALL MY FRIENDS (Aug. 18-19, 2018)

 

The inaugural All My Friends festival is taking place at ROW DTLA on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19. Founded by Gary Richards (aka Destructo), All My Friends spans three stages of performances over the weekend. Headliners feature RL Grime, Gucci Mane, Jhene Aiko, M.I.A., Jamie xx and Armand Van Helden, plus dance and hip-hop performances from Anna Lunoe, Yo Gotti, Justin Martin, Barclay Crenshaw, Chris Lake, Moon Boots and many more. General Admission for the 18-and-over festival starts at $79. The 21+ VIP ticket is priced at $249 and includes two-day festival access, expedited entry, and VIP specialty cocktails, wine and beer, as well as private restrooms.

Scare LA (Aug. 25-26, 2018)

Scare LA
Photo courtesy of Scare LA, Facebook

Why should October get all the frightening fun? Now in its fifth year, ScareLA™ premiered in 2013 as the first fan convention dedicated to Halloween. Taking over South Hall K at the Los Angeles Convention Center the weekend of August 25-26, Scare LA combines the city's top talent and a unique setting with a twist! "Summerween" celebrates California’s scariest faire with attraction unveils, workshops, classes, industry panels, haunt tours, screenings and activities. "Share, inspire, play – ScareLA."

L.A. Fleet Week (Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, 2018)

Fireworks at Battleship IOWA during L.A. Fleet Week
Fireworks at Battleship IOWA | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Fleet Week, Facebook

Now in its third year, LA Fleet Week® is a celebration of U.S. armed forces at the nation’s #1 port, the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The four-day festival will host active military ships along the L.A. Waterfront and feature public ship tours, military exhibits, aerial demos, live music and entertainment, food and fireworks, educational programs, and more.

L.A. Fleet Week is taking place at various locations along the L.A. Waterfront, including the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal, Battleship IOWA, and Downtown Harbor. Hosted by the Port of Los Angeles, event partners include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Coast Guard, Bob Hope USO, and Battleship IOWA.

Fleet Week is an annual patriotic tradition where active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a major U.S. city for one week. Popular Fleet Week destinations include San Diego, San Francisco and New York.

L.A. County Fair (Opens Aug. 31, 2018)

"Get Your Kicks" at the L.A. County Fair
"Get Your Kicks" at the L.A. County Fair, Facebook

Opening on Aug. 31, the L.A. County Fair is hitting the Mother Road with this year's theme: "Get Your Kicks," named in honor of the famed Route 66. The historic "Main Street of America" connected Chicago to L.A. and right to the gates of the L.A. County Fair, which is uniquely situated just off Route 66 in San Bernardino.

The Get Your Kicks on Route 66 attraction replicates iconic sites from the 2,448-mile trek through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona, featuring famous landmarks like the world’s largest rocking chair, the Cadillac Ranch, and the Wigwam Motel. At a recreation of the historic Mt. Baldy Drive-In, guests can enjoy a vintage movie while snacking on popcorn and old-fashioned candy from the snack bar. The mini road trip ends at a replica of the Santa Monica Pier, complete with seaside snack shacks and aerial entertainment. The Route 66 value menu will feature $6.60 meals and classic Fair/Route 66 food items at each concession stand. Perennial Fair favorites include the carnival, the End of Summer Concert Series, farm animals, food, shopping and more. All attractions, except for the Carnival and reserved seats to concerts, are included with the price of admission. For tickets and concert schedule, visit lacountyfair.com.