September is bitter-sweet. The relief of having back all those hours in the day is tinged with the loss of long, balmy summer evenings without homework or lunches to prepare. And who among us is ready to hear the word "Halloween"? No, better to look to the September weekends as an opportunity to pretend that summer is still with us. Luckily the weather and the SoCal fun generally cooperate! Read on for the best of September in LA, Ventura, and OC. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletter in time for each weekend, but here's your chance to plan ahead for these September favorites.
LA County Fair - Pomona
September 1-23, 2018
All's fair in Pomona this month, where chickens hatch, pigs race, and Twinkies are deep fried. Live music, carnival rides, and ride-on elephants are only the tip of the entertainment iceberg.
Fiesta Hermosa - Hermosa Beach
September 1-3, 2018
The South Bay beach community tops and tails every summer with this weekend-long street festival, toasting the season with three days of entertainment, food, rides, games, cuddly critters, and sea breezes.
Broad Fest - Santa Monica - FREE!
September 2, 2018
The Broad's free community festival returns, inviting the neighbors over to check out the facility and the highlights of the season. Music, food, hula hooping, and tango lessons are part of what make this a great family day out.
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Fair
Tall Ships Festival - Dana Point
September 7-9, 2018
The tall ships pay their annual visit to Orange County, and family activities are scheduled on and around them all weekend, including a sunset pirate parade on Friday, and mermaid swim encounters (yes, real mermaids) all weekend.
Rubber Ducky Races - Pasadena
September 8-9, 2018
Kidspace's famous annual rubber ducky event brightens up the post-Labor Day doldrums with some marvelous, bobbing silliness in the museum's waterways.
Coastal Clean-up Day - Throughout Southern California - FREE!
September 15, 2018
Billed as the biggest volunteer day on the planet, Coastal Clean-up Day is a great way to start kids off on a life of caring for and about the environment. Pick the nearest or dearest of 50 local volunteer sites and help it to look like it should.
Mexican Independence Day - Downtown - FREE!
September 15-16, 2018
In case you missed the memo, Mexican Independence Day is not Cinco de Mayo. If you want to experience a real, traditional celebration of Mexico's separation from Spain, check out the festivities on Olvera Street all weekend.
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Ahoy matey! Photo from the Tall Ships Festival courtesy of the Ocean Institute
Irvine Railroad Pumpkin Patch - Irvine
September 15 - October 31, 2018
Irvine Park Railroad is always first out of the gate with the Halloween celebrations, complete with pumpkin patch train ride, harvest carnival, the works.
Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day - Everywhere - FREE!
September 22, 2018
Museums all over the country open their doors for free on the same day each year, sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine.
Sing-A-Long Sound of Music - Hollywood
September 22, 2018
This annual event at the Bowl is definitely one of our favorite things; book tickets in advance to be sure of singing high on the hill with the lonely goat herd.
The Abbot Kinney Festival has a Kidsquad tent full of activities for kids like tie dying t-shirts and musical performances. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.com
Abbot Kinney Festival - Venice - FREE!
September 30, 2018
The annual Venice street festival gets better every year, with more kids' activities, family entertainment, great food, and festive music than anyone could take in on a single day.
LA Phil 100 x Ciclavia - DTLA to Hollywood - FREE!
September 30, 2018
LA Phil kicks off its centennial season with an epic festival showcasing LA’s creative spirit, with 1800 musicians, artists, and dancers performing at six hubs along an eight-mile route from Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.