40 Ways To Keep Summer Going in Los Angeles after School Begins

Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Beach House
Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Beach House
8/4/19 - By Roberta B

Whether you're relieved by the quiet or disturbed by the abrupt ending, most LA families are using those three little words (back to school) a whole lot earlier these days. Of course, dropping our kids off at school doesn't change the weather; there might be no child left behind at the beach, but it's still summer until close to Halloween. So if your family is not yet ready for summer to end, pick a few items off our End of Summer Bucket List and go have some fun while the sun still shines!


  1. Annenberg Beach House & Pool has summer hours until September 2, and weekend pool hours until September 29.
  2. Pageant of the Masters in Laguna continues until August 31.
  3. Whale watching cruises go twice a day at the Aquarium of the Pacific, and blue whale season continues through September!
  4. Some free summer concert series continue into September.
  5. Culver City's free family Shakespeare in the park continues through the end of August (this year's is Toy Story Tempest ).
  6. The Hollywood Bowl Sound of Music Sing-along is September 21 this year.
  7. The Tall Ships Festival is September 6-8.

    Pirates battle at the Tall Ships Festival. Photo by Scott Schmitt, courtesy of the Ocean Institute
  8. Family Fundays at the Theatricum Botanicum continue through September 29.
  9. Some free summer movie series continue into September.
  10. Drive-in movies feel like summer all year long.
  11. The beach isn't going anywhere.
  12. Some beaches have epic playgrounds.
  13. Dinner and music at the Tuesday night food trucks are there all year.
  14. Most public swimming pools continue through Labor Day, or beyond.
  15. The Marina del Rey WaterBus runs through September 2.
  16. Griffith Park Free Shakespeare continues through September 1.
  17. Labor Day Weekend is LA Fleet Week in San Pedro.
  18. Baseball games with fireworks run deep into September—both Dodgers and Angels.

    Some things—like LA Fair—are just getting started. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Fair
  19. SoCal water parks' hours may change as summer wraps up, but they're still there.
  20. The LA County Fair starts Labor Day weekend.
  21. It's never too late to go camping!
  22. Santa Monica Pier's Twilight Dance Series doesn't even start until August 21st this year!
  23. Most splash pads have the water on through Labor Day.
  24. Some splash pads stay on all year.
  25. Check out one of the new rides at our local theme parks.

    Don't let the summer end without trying out the new Jurassic World ride! Photo by Mommy Poppins
  26. Fishing with kids feels like summer all year long.
  27. Kids can run the bases at Dodgers games through September 8.
  28. Nothing says summer quite like going on a picnic.
  29. Check out the revitalized Balboa Fun Zone.
  30. Bum around Laguna Beach for a day.
  31. The Star parties at the Observatory continue all year long.
  32. A family bike ride keeps the summer mood going.
  33. Go straight from school pick-up to the Santa Monica Pier for a scavenger hunt.
  34. Ride Angels Flight—just because.
  35. Or take a break from making dinner on a school night and head for a beachside seafood shack instead.
  36. Follow Route 66 all year long.
  37. Pick up from school then head to the Huntington for one of the "free Thursdays" events.
  38. The Butterfly Pavillion is magical for little ones and a great Insta-spot for teens.
  39. Speaking of teenagers, here are a few activities to make your teen like you for a minute... or two.
  40. Although the Hollywood Bowl "finale" is September 14, the Bowl offers concerts through October, including pre-teen favorite The Jonas Brothers

And, of course, you can keep the summer alive all year long in sunny SoCal with ideas from our summer guide posts!

Originally published August 14, 2012.