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 plan ahead for a dozen July favorites.
4th of July Fireworks - Throughout LA, OC, & Ventura County
July 4, 2018
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!
Old Fort MacArthur Days - San Pedro
July 7-8, 2018
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.
Pageant of the Masters - Laguna Beach
July 7 - September 1, 2018
Laguna's signature annual event, in which costumed performers recreate tableaux from classic paintings, kicks off its 2018 season as the daily climax of the Festival of Arts.
There is nothing else like the Pageant of the Masters. Photo courtesy of www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org
Orange County Fair - Costa Mesa
July 13 - August 12, 2018
The OC Fair promises a day of carnival rides, animal encounters, live entertainment, and all things fair. Kids get in free on Thursdays!
Union Station Summer Train Fest - Downtown
July 14, 2018
DTLA's landmark train station hosts a day of vintage trains, model trains, toy trains, and food trucks.
CCPT Children's Theater: The Hysterical History of the Trojan War - Culver City
July 14 - August 5, 2018
Culver City Children's Theater offers its annual bums-on-blankets treat in Carlson Park on weekend afternoons. Plenty of giggles and a touch of culture are promised.
Summer is for enjoying life the Banana Splits way. Photo courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center
Camarillo Fiesta and Street Fair - Camarillo
July 19-22, 2018
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.
5th Annual Beach House Community Picnic - Santa Monica
July 19, 2018
Santa Monica families 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
San Clemente Ocean Festival - San Clemente
July 21-22, 2018
This OC beach celebration has its roots in the lifeguard community with a focus on athletic competitions such as dory boat races, SUP championships, and surfing contests, as well as kids' events and a fishing derby.
Family Sandcastle Building Day - San Pedro
July 28, 2018
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.
The best summer memories include sandcastles. Photo via Bigstock
Midsummer Scream - Long Beach
July 28-29, 2018
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 2, 2018
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. You can picnic while watching the classic for a park setting, Midsummer Night's Dream, and starting July 28 the much darker Titus Andronicus is added to the repertoire.