The Best Los Angeles Things to do in July

la things to do

American Ballet Theatre returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion three nights this month. Among the featured artists is ABT principal dancer, Southern California native and shining star Misty Copeland. Photo by Gene Schiavone; courtesy LA Philharmonic Association.

Summer heats up in LA this month. Check out our roundup of the best things to do in Los Angeles.

Edited by Christina Xenos

Dinner In The Sky
July 1-31. Feast over sweeping views of the LA skyline, 150 feet above downtown. During month-long experience, diners, chefs and servers are suspended by a crane above the city while they enjoy internationally inspired lunch, brunch and dinner menus from Chef Keven Lee. The concept began in Brussels, Belgium in 2006 and has traveled to far flung destinations like Dubai, Rome and Cape Town. $399/pp.

626 Night Market
July 1-3, 22-24. The original and largest Asian-themed night market in the country features hundreds of food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment attractions for the whole family. Taste everything from shot glass shaped cookies filled with milk at Dirty Cookie, to Kobe-Wagyu hot dogs at Kobe Wagyu Freaks. 4-11 p.m. (extended to 1 a.m. on Fourth of July weekend). Also happens Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 2-4. Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia.

A Prairie Home Companion
July 1. Celebrated American humorist Garrison Keillor returns to the Hollywood Bowl stage for his final appearance as host of the beloved radio show A Prairie Home Companion. The show features the unique blend of music, comedy and storytelling that audiences have loved for over forty years. Special guests include vocalist Christine DiGiallonardo and singer-songwriters Sarah Jarosz, Heather Masse, Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Hollywood Bowl July 4th Fireworks Spectacular
July. 2-4. At the Hollywood Bowl’s annual extravaganza, one of America’s most popular rock bands, Chicago performs hits like “Saturday in the Park,” along with patriotic music, and spectacular fireworks. 7:30 p.m. each night. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs
July 3-Oct. 2. Soar to the Natural History Museum’s Pterosaurs exhibition to explore flight in the age of dinosaurs. This is the the largest exhibition in the United States dedicated to exploring the incredibly diverse winged reptiles, and the first back-boned animals to evolve powered flight. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., downtown, 213.763.DINO.

‘Merica Fest 2016 at Angel City Brewery
July 3. Celebrate all things ‘Merica at Angel City Brewery. On the eve of Independence Day you can toast the nation’s freedom over barbecue, food trucks, live music, lawn games and frozen treats. Dress patriotically to win prizes. Noon. 216 South Alameda St., L.A., 213.622.1261.

Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party
July 4. Celebrate over music, food and one of downtown LA’s largest fireworks shows. The event showcases two high-profile stages—one in Grand Park and one on The Music Center Plaza—featuring LA-based artists who represent diverse musical styles. Children can enjoy games like tag, soccer and parachute play on the Grand Park Event Lawn. The evening concludes with fireworks set to patriotic and contemporary music. 2-9:30 p.m. Grand Park and The Music Center, downtown.

July 4. One of the biggest and brightest fireworks displays in Southern California  can be found at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. Food and entertainment offerings include live motorcycle stunts and a performance by Beatles tribute band, Liverpool Legends. A special salute to America’s space program honoring Jet Propulsion Lab’s Juno mission, which arrives at Jupiter on July 4, precedes the explosive finale. 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, 800.745.3000.

10th Annual Fourth of July Parade
July 4. Celebrate the Fourth of July in Santa Monica with a patriotic parade that features bands, cyclists, vintage cars and more. 9:30-11 a.m. Parade begins at the intersection of Pico Blvd and Main St. in Santa Monica, the parade proceeds south on Main St. to Marine St. and heads west along Barnard Way to beach parking lot 5.

Redondo Beach Fireworks
July 4. See a wide variety of fireworks synced to patriotic music broadcast. Eat from Ruby’s special menu or pack a picnic (alcohol is not permitted). Events throughout the day include swimming in the warm water Lagoon, arts & crafts, inflatable slides and party music from the live DJ. 2 p.m.; fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach.

Los Angeles Dodgers
July 4. Cheer on the Boys in Blue as they face off against the Baltimore Orioles. The festive 4th game welcomes a special bald eagle pre-game performance by Chinook and Anami of the LA Zoo and a post-game fireworks show. 1000 Elysian Park Ave., L.A., 323.224.1507.

4th of July Fireworks Celebration
July 4. The showy fireworks display over the water in Marina del Rey is set to synchronized patriotic music played over loudspeakers. 9 p.m. Free. Viewing at Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way; Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way; Marina Beach, 4101 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.

All-American 4th of July
July 4. Family-friendly Independence Day festivities aboard the Queen Mary; carnival games, dancing, live music, entertainment, fireworks. 2 p.m. $24-$49; VIP $99, under 4 free. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738.

Summer Barbecue and Visiting Chef Series at Hotel Bel-Air
Experience one of summer’s most popular pastimes like never before and enjoy a variety of different barbecue preparations at dinner events on July 4, Aug. 14 and Sept. 7. Whether enjoying traditional Texas-style slow-cooked meats, savoring the sweet and spicy flavors of Kansas City’s signature sauces, or discovering the unique smoky flavors of an authentic Argentine asado, this is the perfect way to celebrate summer. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd., L.A., 310.909.1644.

The Walking Dead
Opening July 4. Universal Studios Hollywood’s new The Walking Dead attraction unleashes its frights. Come face-to-face with sophisticated animatronic “walkers” as you navigate your way through a post-apocalyptic world. You will need to battle your way through nightmarish landscapes that bring the hit television show to life. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377.

Wine & Jazz Summer Concert Series at Hollywood & Highland Center
Hear live music from jazz greats every Tuesday night in the Hollywood & Highland Center’s central courtyard from June 28-July 26. Highlights of the season are Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side Allstars (June 28), Angel Town Combo (July 5), Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band (July 12), Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet-Lickers (July 19) and New Breed Brass Band (July 26). Also, enjoy two glasses of wine and an appetizer box from Wolfgang Puck Catering for $10. All proceeds will directly benefit Project Angel Food 7-9 pm. Free. Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 323.467.6412.

Summer Concert Series at The Grove
July 6, 13, 20, 27. Pair your shopping with concerts from a variety of celebrated musical artists ever Wednesday this month. Performances include Plain White T’s (July 6), Surprise TBA (July 13), Smash Mouth (July 20) and Cher Lloyd (July 27.) 7:30 p.m. The Park at The Grove, 89 The Grove Dr., L.A., 323.900.8080.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—In Concert
July 6. The Harry Potter film series is a cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ score. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Grey Gardens—The Musical
Opening July 6. This highly acclaimed Broadway musical—based on the cult-classic documentary about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric relatives—has its LA premiere at the Ahmanson. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Twilight Concert Series at Santa Monica Pier
Spend Thursday evenings ocean-side at one of the top LA tourist spots, the iconic Santa Monica Pier, for the 32nd annual Twilight Concert Series sponsored by KCRW. The weekly celebration kicks off just before sunset. This month, see acts like Mayer Hawthorne with Alina Baraz with KCRW DJ Jason Bentley (July 7), BØRNS with Porches hosted by KCRW DJ Valida (July 14), The Psychedelic Furs with Day Wave hosted by KCRW DJ Marion Hodges (July 21) and Protoje with Raging Fyah hosted by KCRW DJ Anne Litt. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica.

Disappear Here: Music Made in L.A.
July 7, 14, 21, 28. KCRW and the Hammer Museum present Disappear Here: Music Made in L.A., four free nights of live concerts by Los Angeles musicians in the Hammer’s courtyard. The museum’s gallery hours will be extended to 9 p.m. so guests can enjoy Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, the third iteration of the Hammer’s biennial exhibition of emerging art from Los Angeles. Enjoy acts: Poolside, Carlos Niño & Friends with KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd (July 7); Peanut Butter Wolf, Mndsgn with KCRW DJ Mathieu Schreyer (July 14; Ceci Bastida with KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez (July 21); and TOKiMONSTA, Ambré with special guests and KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe (July 28). A happy hour with food and cash bar starts at 6:30 p.m., KCRW DJ sets start at 7:30 p.m., and live music starts at 8:15 p.m. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 310.443.7000.

American Ballet Theater
July 7-9. American Ballet Theatre returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion three nights this month with a program choreographed by ABT artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky. Among the featured artists are ABT principal dancers, Southern California natives and shining stars Misty Copeland and Stella Abrera, who will also take the stage in a special benefit performance of Ratmansky’s Firebird for the Music Center’s inaugural Summer Soirée honoring Rita Moreno. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.0711.

L.A. Food Fest
July 8-10. Huge, affordable food festival features more than 100 of the city‘s top chefs, award-winning restaurants, gourmet trucks, old-school carts and stands. Craft cocktails, wine and beer gardens, a live culinary stage, games on the lawn, “food porn” cinema and live music. Choose from MRKT, VIP Golden Hour and Rose Garden options. Check website for schedule. Tickets start at $15. 800 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park, L.A.

Into the Night: Summer SOULstice
July 8. Party into the night at this “block party” featuring outdoor music by a lineup of critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based soul acts. Catch pop-disco phenomenon Gavin Turek and indie rapper Open Mike Eagle live on stage, plus an all-vinyl soul set from Southern Soul Spinners. Also enjoy rare late-night gallery hours for the summer exhibitions, throwback games, a taste of soul food, and signature cocktails. 8 p.m. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500.

HAM: A Musical Memoir
July 9-10. Adapted from Tony Award-nominee and multi-platinum recording artist Sam Harris’ New York Times best-selling book, HAM: Slices of a Life, this musical comedy follows Harris’ life from a conflicted childhood in Bible-Belt Oklahoma to the dizzying roller coaster ride of a life in show business and the precarious balancing act of fatherhood. All performances will be filmed before a live audience, by attending a performance you consent to being filmed. $27-$82, use code SAMHAM20 to receive 20% off tickets. Pasadena Playhouse, S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626.356.7529.

Sound in Focus
July 9, 16, 23. KCRW returns to Century City this summer for three FREE all-ages outdoor concerts in Century Park, held in conjunction with the Annenberg Space for Photography’s latest exhibition, REFUGEE. The lineup include Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (July 9), TBA (July 16), Nas with Wild Belle (July 23).

Renegade Craft Fair
July 9-10. Renegade Craft Fair, a curated showcase of the very best in modern craft and design, returns this summer for its eighth consecutive year to Downtown Los Angeles’s majestic Grand Park with over 270 carefully selected makers and artisans. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Grand Park, 200 N Grand Ave., downtown.

Star Trek – The Concert
July 8-9. Director J.J. Abrams re-exhilarated the iconic Star Trek franchise (now 50!) with Star Trek (2009). Experience it as never before, shown in HD on the Bowl’s big screen, and reach warp speed as Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score is performed live-to-picture. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Family Jam at the L.A. Zoo
July 9. Enjoy family entertainment for all ages featuring live music, dancing, food trucks, up-close encounters with some of the Zoo’s smaller residents, a rare opportunity for youngsters to experience after-hours viewing of popular animal exhibits and more. 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park, L.A., 323.644.4200.

The Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure
July 9. Now in its third year in LA, this wine festival—a gathering of over 60 high-quality, limited-production, commercial winemakers from all over California—brings some 200 artisanal, handcrafted wines, paired with complimentary cheese and charcuterie, to the Wiltern. 3-6 p.m.; early access 2 p.m. General tickets $69; early access $99; VIP backstage seminar access $129; groups of six or more $60 each. Event is 21+. 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

Summer Beer Garden & Whole Pig Roast
July 10. Head to Tender Greens in Hollywood where Executive Chefs Oliver Plust and Jason Prendergast are getting together to slow roast a Berkshire whole pig in a La Caja China. Menu highlights from the extensive family-style all-you-can-eat feast include housemade jerky, Susie Farms squash ratatouille and stone fruit cobbler. Local favorite, Ohana Brewin, will be pouring two surprise beers that evening. $45. 6290 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.382.0380.

Outfest: Under the Stars at the Ford
July 13-July 17. Don’t miss five films depicting the rich diversity of human identity and expression, part of Outfest, the annual Los Angeles LGBT Festival. Movie titles TBA.

RingLing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out of This World
July 14-19. The circus is back in town with its 145th edition and a brand-new family-friendly show—the first Ringling Bros. production ever to not feature elephants, marking a new era for the circus. The intergalactic adventure features gravity-defying acrobats, aerialists, majestic animals, daredevils and clowns. Tickets from $20. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 888.929.7849.

Friday Flights at The Getty
July 15, 29. The series at The Getty Museum brings together a wide range of Los Angeles-based creative thinkers working across artistic mediums for a vibrant evening of sounds and sights. An inter-disciplinary series of happenings spanning contemporary classical music, artist-made interventions, electronic music, sound-based installations, poetry, dance, film, and more spreads out across the Getty Center from galleries to gardens. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A.

East L.A. Meets Napa
July 15. Community health organization AltaMed hosts this “World Tour”-themed celebration of food and wine, which brings together the best Latino-centric restaurants in Los Angeles and Latino-owned wineries in Napa. Participants include Top Chef alum Katsuji Tanabe (Mexikosher), James Beard Award winner Socorro Herrera (Yuca’s) and Porto’s Bakery & Café. Live music from Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars. 6-9 pm. $225; celebrity-chef lounge $300. Event is 21+. Two California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown.

KCRW Summer Nights: Chinatown
July 16. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos this summer. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; sample the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities presented by local organizations and museums; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza with KCRW DJs Garth Trinidad and Jeremy Sole. 8 p.m.

California Hot Sauce Expo
July 16-17. This spicy summer festival returns to LA, bringing together a variety of hot-sauce proprietors sure to set your mouth on fire. Expect tastings, eating contests and mixology showdowns. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $10; craft-brew package $50; VIP $100. Rainbow Lagoon Park, E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach.

MUSE/IQUE Summer of Sound
Pasadena’s non-profit counter-conventional orchestra stages performances that span beyond music into the world of dance, theatre, literature and fine art. They typically build an outdoor music experience from the ground up, for Summer of Sound concerts it will be at the Beckman Mall Lawn at Caltech. This summer they celebrate the work of George Gershwin on three separate occasions PERFECT/UNION (July 16), AMERICAN/RHAPSODY (Aug. 20) and SUMMER/TIME (Sept. 10). All events open at 5:30 p.m. for casual mingling and dining in an intimate and friendly table seating environment. Food and wine are available for purchase, in advance, from Pasadena’s own The Kitchen for Exploring Foods. 7:30 concert. $25-$200.

dine L.A. Restaurant Week
July 18–31. Hundreds of restaurants across the county offer specially priced prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. New for this year, five “avocado ambassadors” including David LeFevre of M.B. Post and Ted Hopson of the Bellwether are curating menus around the much-Instagrammed fruit. See website for list of participating eateries.

Taste of Farmers Market
July 19. The eighth annual tasting event at the historic market features samples of some of the best offerings from Farmers Market chefs, restaurants, specialty-food merchants and grocers. 5-9 pm. $10-$45 (pre-registration recommended on website). Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.933.9211.

Opening July 19. Director Sam Mendes and choreographer Rob Marshall reunite for this direct-from-Broadway production of the classic musical set in pre-WWII Germany. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Weird Al Takes The Bowl
July 22-33. When the hilariously irreverent “Weird Al” Yankovic takes over the Bowl, with the backing of a full orchestra, all bets are off. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for his Mandatory World Tour, a wild ride through 30 years of pop culture parodies and original satire by the four-time Grammy-winning artist who turns mockery into witty modern art. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

White Light White Night
July 23. Tenth annual red-carpet, wear-all-white annual event at Top of the Plaza at Continental Park to benefit L.A.-based nonprofit Walk With Sally. More than 20 participating restaurants such as Baran’s 2239 and Simmzy’s, plus an open bar and live and silent auctions. VIP tickets include gift bags, access to special food and beverages and special seating. 5-11 pm. $200-$400. 870 S. Nash St., El Segundo, 310.322.3900.

July 29. This Asian-food-and-culture festival, hosted by the trio behind Seoul Sausage, showcases more than 30 of the city’s best Asian and Asian-influenced chefs and mixologists. Participants include Hinoki & the Bird, JINYA Ramen Bar, Hanjip, Little Sister and Blue Ribbon Sushi and Grill. 8-10 pm; VIP entrance 7 pm. $88; VIP $150. Vibiana, 214 S. Main St., downtown.

Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo
July 29. Each evening features a live band, DJ dance party, food trucks, full-service bars, pop-up zookeeper talks, animal encounters, visits to Zoo animal habitats and an “Animal Artistry Paint Party” for guests to paint a favorite animal (or whatever inspiration strikes them) on a small canvas to take home as a souvenir. 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park, L.A., 323.644.4200.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters
July 31-Nov. 27. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s first museum retrospective. The exhibition explores del Toro’s creative process by bringing together elements from his films, objects from his vast personal collections, drawings from his notebooks, and approximately 60 objects from LACMA’s permanent collection. The diverse range of media—including sculpture, paintings, prints, photography, costumes, ancient artifacts, books, maquettes, and film—totals approximately 500 objects and reflects the broad scope of del Toro’s inspirations. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.857.6000.

Crab Cake 2016
July 31. Actor Ben Feldman (Superstore) and chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio and Duff Goldman host this fourth annual culinary fundraiser for nonprofit Chrysalis. The menu for the East Coast-meets-West Coast event features Maryland steamed blue crab, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, crab cakes, hush puppies, wood-smoked meats, corn on the cob and Smith Island cake—all served to the sounds of live jazz. 2-6 pm. $150; VIP $250. Maple Block Meat Co., 3973 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. crabcakela2016.

Through Sept. 17. LA’s premier outdoor movie, food truck and live music event series is back all summer-long featuring the highest quality projection and sound on the largest outdoor movie screen in the West coast. Watch your favorites while enjoying a fine selection of gourmet food trucks and live indie music. Expect a wide range of movies like 500 Days of Summer (July 23 ) and Purple Rain (Sept. 17). 100% dog friendly. Check website for locations and ticket information.

Continuing. Cinespia cemetery screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery find crowds jostling for spots to watch cult films projected on a mausoleum wall. Also on hand are pre-movie DJs and themed photo booths. See website for full schedule. 8:30 pm. $16. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 877.435.9849.

Street Food Cinema
Through Oct. 29. LA’s largest outdoor movie series, continues its 2016 season with over 60 screenings throughout through the end of October. Each even includes live music and a food truck fare. See website for show times and food offerings.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Continuing. The U.K.’s “Number One Outdoor Cinema Series” returns to the rooftop of the historic Montalban Theatre for its second season in LA. Enjoy street food from Farmer’s Belly while you take in Hollywood views and watch flicks from classic to cult to contemporary. See website for schedule. 8 pm. $17 plus booking fees. 1615 Vine St., Hollywood.

Check out more places to watch outdoor movies in Los Angeles

Beautiful—The Carole King Musical
Through July 17. Beautiful, the Tony-winning Broadway play about the early life and career of Carole King, heads to L.A. Hear classic songs from King’s catalog, including “I Feel the Earth Move,” “So Far Away” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Big Sky
Through July 17. This work by Pulitzer Prize-finalist playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, which deals with family fallout and fragility, has its world premiere here, helmed by Tony-winning director John Rando. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Through July 17. Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play deftly and wittily tackles issues like identity, big-city aspiration, cultural assimilation and the American dream. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.