Weekday Picks: Summerfest and Free Outdoor Movies, Concerts, and Gardens

Things to do with LA and OC kids every day this week

It's summer; let's celebrate!

Fountain Valley, smack dab in the middle of Orange County, celebrates itself (and its 60th anniversary) this week with Summerfest, and we're all are invited to the party. Families can enjoy carnival rides, food and entertainment, fireworks, and a parade over the four days of festivities.

But celebrating summer is not limited to the OC. Free outdoor movie and concert series have kicked off all over the Southland, including the Children's Performance Series in Canoga Park, Concerts in the Park in Orange, the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Dance Series, Playa Vista Movie in the Park, and Movie on the Lawn at Orange County Great Park. That's a whole lot of free evenings out in one week. But wait—there's more!

For a full guide to all things summer, check out our summer activities guide. And as summer ramps up, be sure to keep up with all the happenings with the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and monthly picks in our GoList. Here are some highlights for the week.

Monday, June 19

Children's Performance Series – Canoga Park
The Madrid Theatre begins its free Monday Morning Concerts series in which kids are introduced to world-class performers. This week's performer is Daddy Hop.

Grand Reopening of Hacienda Heights Library – Hacienda Heights
The renovated Hacienda Heights Library celebrates its reopening with events that include craft projects to celebrate the opening of the Children’s Area.

See all Monday events

Catch an outdoor flick at Playa Vista Movies in the Park. Photo courtesy of Playa Vista

Tuesday, June 20

Free Day at South Coast Botanic Garden – Palos Verdes
The South Coast Botanic Garden, which includes a Children's Discovery Garden, opens its gates for free on the third Tuesday of every month.

Free Day at Descanso Gardens – La Canada Flintridge
The public is admitted free of charge to Descanso Gardens on the third Tuesday of each month—but not all of those free days are beautiful summer days!

See all Tuesday events

Wednesday, June 21

Make Music LA – various locations
This one-day event, part of a global effort, features dozens of musicians of all types performing at venues throughout Los Angeles.

Concerts in the Park – Orange
The weekly series begins at the Hart Park Bandshell; families are invited to bring blankets and picnics and enjoy the show.

See all Wednesday events

Check out live performances at Santa Monica Pier’s Summer Twilight Concert Series. Photo by Justin Higuchi/CC BY 2.0

Thursday, June 22

Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series – Santa Monica
The popular weekly summer concert series launches a new season with a performance by Khalid. Families are invited to bring blankets and picnics to set up on the pier or on the beach below.

Summerfest – Fountain Valley
This year's event, which is part of Fountain Valley's 60th birthday celebration, kicks off with a food truck preview night. The fun continues through Sunday, with carnival rides, entertainment, fireworks (on Friday), and a parade (on Saturday).

Summer fun thrives at Summerfest. Photo by Lynn Seeden 

See all Thursday events

Friday, June 23

Playa Vista Movie in the Park – Playa Vista
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of this three-movie summer series at the Central Park Bandshell.

Movie on the Lawn – Irvine
The Orange County Great Park also plays host to a summer movie series, on its North Lawn on Friday and Saturday evenings. The free event offers plenty of room for picnicking before and during the movie.

See all Friday events

Top photo of Summerfest by Lynn Seeden