Summertime in Los Angeles is personally my favorite time of the year. The days last a little longer, the evenings are a little balmier, and there is no shortage of activities to do around the city. Since school is out, many try to seek out events and activities that are family friendly. Whether you have a few kids in tow, or are just some adults looking to do something “fun,” check out a few of my summer picks!
Just as its name implies, The Last Bookstore fills every inch of its space with new and used books, vinyl records, and evening graphic novels as though it truly was the last bookstore… ever. Started in 2005 as an attempt to focus owner Josh Spencer’s love for books and procuring the obscure for resale, The Last Bookstore quickly grew to be one of the largest independent bookstores still in existence. Take your kids and explore what might actually become one of the last independent bookstores. The famed book archway should not be missed!
#ConciergeTip: Check their site for a listing of weekly events. Also, head to the back room to discover hundreds of thousands of books for $1!
With over 1200 animals housed on 113 acres, the Los Angeles Zoo is a great place to spend the day. Interact with some of your favorite animals from chimpanzees, hippopotamus, and even koalas, and see the rare California Condor. Take your time and explore the Botanical Gardens, the Rainforest of the Americas, the Elephants of Asia, and even their famous area called The Lair—dedicated to endangered amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles. The Zoo has been active in over 30 conservation projects, so stop in on Endangered Species Day to find out a little more about what they are doing to help. A plus, parking is always free!
#ConciergeTip: Family Fun Fridays offer discounted admission to families of four!
Go ahead and explore LA this summer in one of the most unqiue ways possible—in a three wheel, two-seater scooter, aka Scoots! SunnyDay Scoot specializes in guided day tours around town where you get to drive yourself. Most of the tours are private or semi-private to keep numbers to a minmum, as the tours proceed as a caravan. Their various tour options include a Sunrise Tour, Movie Tour, Red Carpet Tour, and even a Romance package for those looking for something really outside the box. It’s one of the most interactive ways to scoot about town, and they guarantee a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will surely make you smile. You can’t beat that!
#ConciergeTip: Live in LA? No need to take a sightseeing tour, they offer adventure rides too!
It’s rare to experience culture on a budget, but in Los Angeles, it is totally possible. Imagine your favorite Shakespeare plays performed outdoors by some of the city’s most talented actors. All of this for free! The Free Shakespeare Festival is a great way to introduce your young ones to these theater classics like Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo & Juliet, in a fun and relaxed environment. It’s also a great summertime date night activity. Whatever your reason, this is a classic Los Angeles experience that you can’t miss. Shows run Thursdays through Sundays from June 25th through August 30th!
#ConciergeTip: Arrive at least two hours before the show to get prime seating and enjoy a picnic al fresco.
Duff’s Cakemix is LA’s coolest bakery hands down. Imagine a do-it-yourself cake and cupcake studio where “you make it, we bake it” is the motto! They bake up delicious flavors like confetti cake, marble, chocolate, and also offer a gluten-free chocolate option. It’s the perfect place for a party for your little one, or if you just want to drop in for an afternoon of fun, they usually have a few spots open for walk-ins too. This isn’t a kids-only studio, Duff’s is a great option for adults too! As they say, you are never too old to play with your food!
#ConciergeTip: Reservations highly suggested for weekend visits!
Located in the middle of Exposition Park, The California Science Center specialized in science and technology, but with a hands-on twist. Currently they are hosting the historic Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, complete with a Jerusalem 3D IMAX experience. For those more space inclined, they are also the permanent home to the incredible Space Shuttle Endeavor! Of course, around every corner there is something new and fascinating to discover. Take your kids to learn about how the world works, or come with your friends to remind yourself all the things you learned when you were a kid. Either way, the California Science Center is a great way to beat the summer heat!
#ConciergeTip: Make a day of it and also visit the Natural History Museum located just next door!
Who needs a drive through when you have a cemetery and a plush lawn to sprawl on while watching some of Hollywood’s most famous flicks? Cinespia’s movie night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary have been a success ever since their 2002 summer debut. And rightfully so, since every night is just a magical, fun, and unique experience for family and friends. Saturday evenings from the end of May until the middle of September, they feature classics like Dazed and Confused, The Wizard of Oz, and Animal House among many more. This year Cinespia wants you to share what you’re packing on social media by tagging your picnic spread with #cinespiapicnic. They’ll then repost the best spread of the week!
#Concierge Tip: Arrive shortly after doors open to claim your space, enjoy your picnic dinner, and get ready for show time!
Located in Van Nuys, Sky Zone is a huge indoor trampoline park. Open to all ages, Skyzone is the ultimate party destination for kids and a great activity for adults seeking a fun workout. Their’ “Open Jump” includes access to all the SkyZone activities from the Main Court for free jumping to the Foam Zone for freestyle jumping into a foam pit. Their Sky Slam is a popular option for those working on their dunking skills, they even host a College Night and an evening of Ultimate Dodgeball.
#ConciergeTip: Jumping with a young one? They have Toddler Time, specifically dedicated to allowing smaller kids to explore the park safely.