The Best Los Angeles Things to do in August


10-time Grammy Award-winning, foot-stomping British songstress Adele plays six nights in August at Staples Center. Photo by Simon Emmett.

From twilight concerts and food festivals to outdoor movies and more; find the best Los Angeles things to do in our August 2016 events roundup.

Edited by Christina Xenos

Los Angeles things to do in August

Boozy Milkshakes at Westbound
Aug. 1-30. The new arts district bar and eatery downtown is partnering with Van Leeuwen Artisanal Ice Cream to offer three boozy milkshakes this month. Selections include: London Fog with Earl Grey ice cream, paired with Westbound’s house-made lemon sorbet, Beefeater gin, and garnished with lemon curls; Matcha Madness with Vegan Matcha ice cream, Rittenhouse rye, honey syrup, Amaro Montenegro and matcha powder; and Grasshipster, with Mint Chip ice cream, Fernet Branca, crème de cacao and menthe, and served with mint (a play on the 70’s favorite “Grasshopper” cocktail). 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown, 213.262.9291.

Peninsula Beverly Hills
Aug. 1-30. Celebrate the 25th birthday of the luxurious Beverly Hills hotel with two treats this month. Enjoy an afternoon tea—brimming with buttery scones, savory tea sandwiches and exquisite pastries—Mondays-Thursdays throughout the month and enjoy free-flowing champagne with the service. Those who want to stay awhile longer can book the recently refurbished Silver Suite, and when they do they’ll get the keys to a striking new convertible coupe: The Rolls-Royce Dawn. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.551.2888.

626 Night Market
Aug. 5-7. 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. Also happens Sept. 2-4. Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia.

Brew at the L.A. Zoo
Aug. 5. Sip craft beer and frolic with the animals while you enjoy live music and pub-style grub at the zoo. Grab a 4.5 oz beer mug and enjoy tastings from local craft and microbreweries, while you listen to live music from ‘80s arena rock band Wayward Sons and choice rock cuts from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s by the Black Canyon Band, among others. A new VIP lounge offers offers early entry, exclusive access to all breweries and complimentary food. 7-11 p.m. $25-$75; $125 VIP. 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A., 323.644.6001.

Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks
Aug. 5-6. Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel commands the stage during this annual tradition of of classical and cannons. The USC Trojan Marching Band joins the LA Phil for the “1812 Overture,” complete with thrilling instrumentation and pyrotechnics. Dancers from American Ballet Theatre also perform. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Saturday Nights in August
Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27. One Colorado’s Saturday Nights in August concert series offers a crafted pageant of up-and-coming musicians for free concerts in the courtyard. Featured performers include NY-based singer-songwriter Ari Hest (Aug. 6); San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Rivvrs (Aug. 13); LA-based duo Jim and Sam (Aug. 20) and multi-cultural mash-up Night Lights (Aug. 27). Free. 7:30 p.m. 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena, 626.564.1066.

International Surf Festival
Aug. 4-7. Summer festival, now in its 55th year, celebrates the South Bay beach cities and includes volleyball tournaments, swim races, surfing contests, a beach run and youth events. Check website for schedule and event locations. Free.

An Evening on the Beach
Aug. 4. The seaside celebration showcases tempting bites from LA’s top chefs, curated vintner tastings, and carefully crafted specialty cocktails – all without needing to step off the sand. This year’s lineup include Gino Angelini (Angelini Osteria), Genevieve Gergis (Bestia), Ken Concepcion (CUT Beverly Hills), among others. Dress is casual, shoes are optional, and proceeds will help provide over 4,000 meals needed to feed homebound seniors and other vulnerable residents across the Los Angeles area daily. 6-10 p.m. $185 (includes parking). Jonathan Beach Club, 850 Palisades Beach Rd., Santa Monica.

Twilight Concerts
Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25. 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. 7-10 pm. Free. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 310.458.8901.

Aug. 5-6, 9-10, 12-13. Record-breaking, 10-time Grammy Award-winning, foot-stomping British songstress Adele is back on the road after a five-year touring hiatus and set to perform six nights at Staples Center, downtown. Her return to the concert stage follows the release of her hit album 25—a tour de force that’s sold more than 15 million copies and cemented Adele’s status as one of the world’s most popular recording artists. The shows sold out within minutes, but rumor has it that tickets are still available on the resale market. 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 213.742.7100.

Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27. Outdoor film series at Hollywood Forever Cemetery features cult and classic films projected on a mausoleum wall. Also: pre-movie DJs and themed photo booths. See website for schedule. $16. Parking $12-$15. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 877.435.9849.

Moves After Dark
Aug. 8, 15-17. Dance animates the Music Center’s nooks in Moves After Dark, featuring four contemporary dance companies that will provide compelling and inventive performances in a variety of non-traditional performance spaces around The Music Center campus. See performances from Blue13 Dance Company, Decadancetheatre, Invertigo Dance Theatre and Viver Brasil Dance Company. $30. Various locations around The Music Center and Grand Park, downtown.

The Bar Collective at Otium
Aug. 9, 23. The guest bartender series at the downtown hotspot features themed nights drinks and bites on Otium’s patio lounge. August kicks off with a Havana Nights-themed affair complete with Cuban bites and cocktails from guest bartender Karen Grill; while Yael Vengroff hosts an Under the Sea-themed evening on Aug. 23, with Poolside as a guest DJ. Your ticket includes entry and bites. Cocktails are sold a la carte. $20. 222 S Hope St., downtown, 213.935.8500.

Sundance Next Fest
Aug. 12-14. Festival presented by the Sundance Institute includes L.A. premieres of independent films paired with musical performances or conversations with cultural icons. See website for schedule. $15-$25. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown.

L.A. Craft Beer Crawl
Aug. 13. Sip tastings of craft beers from some of the top artisnal brewers in the country across eight bars and restaurants in downtown Los Angeles. Beers are curated by the best ladies in the business: The Beer Chicks Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune. Participating stops along the crawl include Casey’s Irish Pub, Seven Grand, Honeycut, Golden Gopher, Cole’s, Las Perlas and The Varnish. Festivities kick off with Brewer’s Workout, hosted by 213 Hospitality and Goose Island Beer Company, taking you through a fitness class inspired by a day in the life of a brewer. $10-$79. Brewers workout, 10 a.m.; early admission 2 p.m., general admission 3 p.m. Check in at Casey’s Irish Pub, 613 S. Grand Ave., downtown.

Dodger Stadium Movie Series
Aug. 13. Celebrate the Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, by catching a special screening after the Dodgers vs. Pirates game. Fans sitting in the Left Field and Right Field Pavilions are invited to sit on the field to watch the movie. 1000 Elysian Park Ave., L.A., 323.224.1507.

Nisei Week Japanese Festival
Aug. 13-21. The 76th Nisei Week festival celebrates Japanese-American culture with food, music, a parade (Aug. 14) and more in Little Tokyo, downtown. 213.687.7193.

Guns N’ Roses
Aug. 18-19. Reunited Guns N’ Roses has a ball playing Dodger Stadium this month when they hit the venue for their Not in This Lifetime… Tour. 1000 Elysian Park Ave., L.A.

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Aug. 19. Three-time Grammy winner Ben Harper and his recently reunited band perform for the first time with full orchestra. The soulful singer-songwriter, who has achieved worldwide acclaim along with his stellar band, will perform songs from their celebrated career and new album Call It What It Is.

Long Beach BBQ Festival
Aug. 19-21. Feast on endless barbecue fare like ribs, pulled pork, tri-tip, sausages, chicken and more from top American pit masters. For those who want to taste them all, make your way to the VIP Rib Village for a special AYCE options. Also expect non-stop live music and children’s activities. Rainbow Lagoon, 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach.

Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings at The Broad
Aug. 20. The series of nighttime events happening through September at The Broad museum gives you an enriched opportunity to visit the collection and special exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life. Art viewing is coupled with live performances. This month, Jeff Koons’s metallic balloon animals and the graphic paintings of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein spring to life with an evening of pop music, Footwork and yoga; including a performance by Rostam from the band, Vampire Weekend. $35. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.232.6200.

Taste of Brews
Aug. 20. Craft-beer festival features local, regional and national craft breweries. Noon-5 pm (alcohol service ends at 4 pm). Advance purchase $30–$40. Shoreline Aquatic Park, 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 714.375.1132.

KCRW Summer Nights: Chinatown
Aug. 20. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights presents an exciting hot spot for Angelenos. 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.

Los Angeles Food & Wine
Aug. 25-28. Epicurean event features world-class chefs, including Emeril Lagasse and Otium’s Timothy Hollingsworth. With a home base in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Broad downtown, the festival offers tastings, cooking demonstrations, special events across L.A. and more. See website for full schedule. Individual tickets $50-$300. 855.433.5239.

Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo
Aug. 26. 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.

Cinema on the Street
Aug. 26. The Santa Monica outdoor movie screening is showing the classic Jaws this summer. Bring your favorite blankets and beach chairs.  See website for full details. Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica.

Sonic Submarine
Aug. 27. Downtown Santa Monica’s electronic music festival returns for its third year. Groove to tunes by KCRW DJs Anne Litt, Garth Trinidad and Anthony Valadez. 6-10 p.m. Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica.

FYF Fest
Aug. 27-28. Premier SoCal music fest features more than 50 indie-rock bands, ranging from up-and-comers to big-name headliners, performing at Exposition Park. Single-day ticket $125; Two-day ticket $199; VIP $339. 700 Exposition Park Drive, L.A.

Continuing: Music, Theater + More

Grand Performances
Through Aug. 21. The summer series at California Plaza downtown brings together music, dance, film and spoken word featuring top artists from around the world. This year, the 30th anniversary season features performances from daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, Sanubar Tursun and Disco Manila. Free. 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown.

Sunset Concerts at the Skirball Cultural Center
Through Aug. 25. Enjoy live music from around the world Thursday nights in the Skirball Cultural Center’s outdoor courtyard. Highlights of the 20th anniversary season include Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Thalma de Freitas and Shai Tsabari & the Middle East Groove All Stars. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500.

City of West Hollywood’s Summer Sounds
Sundays through Aug 21. The free concert series, which offers a variety of musical stylings on summer afternoons in West Hollywood’s outdoor public spaces. Highlights of the series include Beat Mosaic, Zetz Klezmer Ensemble, Mark Christian Miller and more. See website for specific locations.

Picnic on the Promenade
Through Aug. 26. Escape from the cubicle and enjoy lunch at downtown Santa Monica’s Picnic on the Promenade. This annual summer series eases locals and Promenade walkers into the weekend every Friday afternoon with classic board games, interactive challenges and free services from downtown merchants. This week, Santa Monica Bike Center will be offering free tutorials on tire changes, essential bike repairs and valuable maintenance instruction. Bring a lunch or grab-and-go from one of downtown’s eateries and soak in the sun. Noon-3 p.m. 1300 block Third Street Promenade (between Arizona and Santa Monica Blvd.), Santa Monica.

Sundays. The Brooklyn Flea food market arrives in Los Angeles to host food vendors like Little Spoon Frozen Pudding and Guerrilla Tacos alongside indie nonfood vendors, pop-ups and cultural events every Sunday. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 746 Market Court, downtown.

FIGat7th Downtown Festival
Through Aug. 19. The FIGat7th outdoor plaza is transformed into an intimate concert venue for six consecutive Friday nights with performances by leading pop, rock, jazz, soul and alternative artists. Past festivals have featured The Internet, Anderson .Paak, KING, Superhumanoids, Soulection, Jose James and The Belle Brigade. 735 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 213.955.7170.

London Calling: Bacon, Freud, Kosoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj
Through Nov. 13. While most of the art at the Getty Museum is focused on the rendition of the human figure and landscape up to 1900, their latest exhibition focuses on innovative figure works from a prominent group of London-based artists who worked from the ‘40s through the ’80s, rejecting abstraction and conceptualism. This is the first extensive U.S. exhibition—80 major works—to explore the paintings and drawings of the leaders of the “School of London” movement: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach and R.B. Kitaj. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A., 310.440.7300.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters
Through 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 and film—totals approximately 500 objects and reflects the broad scope of del Toro’s inspirations. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.857.6000.

Through Aug. 7. 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.

Recorded in Hollywood
Through Aug. 7. This critically lauded musical—a guest production at the Kirk Douglas Theatre—chronicles the life of legendary Los Angeles music producer and mogul John Dolphin. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Grey Gardens—The Musical
Through Aug. 14. 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.