Summer has crept in under cover of June Gloom, and there are so many ways to enjoy it, in town or out. Already free summer concerts are rockin'; free summer movies are rolling, and the beaches are beckoning. Read on for the best of July in LA, Ventura, and Orange County. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily, of course, and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to book ahead for some July favorites.
4th of July Fireworks - Throughout LA, OC, & Ventura County
July 4, 2017
There are a LOT of places to enjoy fireworks on Independence Day, and we've collected a list of a bunch of the best (confirmed) pyrotechnic displays. Several other locations generally launch unofficial shows (e.g. Hillcrest Country Club & some barges off the coast of Malibu), so look in all directions come 9pm!
Pageant of the Masters - Laguna Beach
July 7 - August 31, 2017
Laguna's signature annual event, in which costumed performers recreate tableaux from classic paintings, kicks off its 2017 season as the daily climax of the Festival of Arts.
There is nothing else like the Pageant of the Masters. Photo courtesy of Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert - Hollywood
July 8, 2017
The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays every note of the John Williams score while the movie plays on the big screen at the Hollywood Bowl. Could there be a better use for a summer evening?
Old Fort MacArthur Days - San Pedro
July 8-9, 2017
The West's largest multi-cultural living history event lures more than 600 participants to set up camps and demonstrate what life was like during their represented time period.
Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair - Camarillo
July 13-16, 2017
Thousands of people turn out to celebrate summer in the most classic of ways, with carnival rides and games that go all day and into the night.
Summer is for enjoying life the Banana Splits way. Photo courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center
Orange County Fair - Costa Mesa
July 14 - August 13, 2017
The OC Fair promises a day of carnival rides, animal encounters, live entertainment, and all things fair. Kids get in free on Thursdays!
Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival - San Pedro
July 14-16, 2017
Lobsters and battleships. Did anyone's heart skip a beat in your family? If so you know to take them to the Battleship Iowa for live music and a $25 Maine lobster dinner.
Lobsters, lobsters, and more lobsters: Photo by Xizi Hua/CC BY 2.0
Union Station Summer Train Fest - Downtown
July 15, 2017
DTLA's landmark train station hosts a day of vintage trains, model trains, toy trains, and food trucks.
Family Sandcastle Building Day - San Pedro
July 22, 2017
Another good reason to be in San Pedro this weekend: The sand on Cabrillo Beach is thoroughly wet down for serious castle construction, and the aquarium shop has all the supplies a builder could need. Let your creative juices flow; families go all out for this event.
4th Annual Beach House Community Picnic - Santa Monica
July 27, 2017
Families are invited to gather on the beach for crafts and games that include ping-pong, hula hoops, ladder ball, and spike ball, while enjoying a community-wide picnic.
The Annenberg Beach House Community Picnic is as summer as it gets. Photo courtesy of venue
National Dance Day - Downtown
July 29, 2017
The Music Center's annual celebration of dance brings LA families to their feet in a flash mob style dance extravaganza at Grand Park.
Midsummer Scream - Long Beach
July 29-30, 2017
Forget Christmas in July—this is Halloween in July! If you can't wait for the thrills, chills, and haunts of October, well, guess what: you don't have to.
Griffith Park Free Shakespeare - Griffith Park
Wed-Sun, through September 3, 2017
New Yorkers can get all hoity-toity about their free Shakespeare in the Park, but we Angelenos have that, too, as it happens—and without scrambling for tickets. Through July 23 you can picnic while watching Measure for Measure, and starting July 29 you can enjoy the antics of Two Gentlemen of Verona.