Top Los Angeles Things to Do in August

Hamilton photo courtesy of Hollywood Pantages, Photo by Joan Marcus | Los Angeles things to do in August
Hamilton arrives at the Hollywood Pantages August 11 and runs through the end of the year.

From acclaimed plays to sunset concerts and festivals all over town, here are the 45+ top Los Angeles things to do in August.

Edited by Christina Xenos.

Mixing It Up with Chef David Lentz and Mixologist Matt Biancaniello
Aug. 2. The Santa Monica Farmers Market will host The Hungry Cat chef and farm-to-glass cocktailer, David Lentz, and mixologist and author of Eat Your Drink, Matthew Biancaniello, for a demonstration of summer drinks made with local farmers’ herbs, vegetables and fruit. Chef Suzanne Goin and the Lentz/Goin children will be on hand to sell the farm-driven drinks as part of the L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Kids’ Campaign. All proceeds will go to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Third Street Promenade at Arizona Ave., Santa Monica.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Aug. 2-Sept. 10. Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel of the same name, follows brilliant but socially awkward 15-year-old mathematician Christopher, who sets out to find the real culprit when he is suspected of killing his neighbor’s dog. Along the way, he makes an earth-shattering discovery and sets off on a journey that changes his life forever. The acclaimed play won five Tony Awards in 2015, including best play, best direction of a play and best actor in a play. See for yourself what the buzz is about when the National Theatre’s production of the play, starring Adam Langdon, opens August 2 at the Ahmanson Theatre. See website for show times and pricing. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Above Sixty Movie Nights
Aug 2.-Sept. 20. Spend Wednesday nights watching your favorite flicks above Beverly Hills. The Sixty Hotel offers complementary movies on the hotel’s rooftop that includes E.T. (Aug. 2), Dirty Dancing (Aug. 9), Body Guard (Aug. 23) and Point Break (Aug. 30). Movie begins at 9 p.m. 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.

International Surf Festival 
Aug. 3-6. This summer festival, now in its 56th 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.

BOLD (Beverly Hills Open Later Days)
Aug. 3-31. Enjoy the best of Beverly Hills beyond regular business hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this month. Nearly 90 retail businesses such as Chanel, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, to name a few, will stay open until 8 p.m., and the city will feature live entertainment from popular DJs, style sessions with fashion influencers and luxury car test drives along Rodeo Drive. Opening weekend includes a fireworks show on August 3. View full schedule of events on website.

Grand Performances 
Aug. 3-6, 10-13, 18-20, 26. This free outdoor summer concert series spotlights global performing arts with a lineup of high-quality music, dance, theater and more in downtown L.A. This month’s highlights include Daedelus Grooves for COLA20, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band and two performances of Peter & the Wolf set to different musical styles. California Plaza, 300 & 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.687.2190.

Twilight Concert Series 
Aug. 3, 10, 17. Annual summer concert series at the Santa Monica Pier features contemporary up-and-comers and classic bands. This month’s highlights include Valerie June and Warpaint. 7 p.m. Free. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 310.458.8901. 

Concerts on Canon
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Relax in the middle of Beverly Hills during live performances at Beverly Canon Gardens, between Montage Beverly Hills and Bouchon Bistro. Each Thursday evening brings musical styles that range from Motown to Broadway hits and everything in-between. 6-8 p.m. Free. 241 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, 310.248.1015.

Brew at the LA Zoo photo by Jamie Pham
Sample over 50 types of beer at the seventh annual Brew at the LA Zoo.

Brew at the LA Zoo
Aug. 4. Spend an evening sampling beer from local craft and microbreweries while enjoying music, pop-up zoo keeper talks and close-up animal encounters. 7-11 p.m.; VIP 6-11 p.m. $25-$125. 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A., 323.644.6001.

Raiders of the Lost Ark—In Concert
Aug. 4-5. The classic swashbuckling adventure starring Harrison Ford is projected on the Hollywood Bowl’s big screen, as one of John Williams’ best-loved film scores is performed live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 8 p.m. See website for pricing. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Chinatown Summer Nights
Aug. 5. Part food event, part summer party, Chinatown Summer Nights takes over Central Plaza the first weekend of August. Taste the many culinary offerings of Chinatown and LA’s gourmet food trucks; shop the neighborhood’s wares; watch Chinese chefs perform cooking demonstrations; experience large-scale, outdoor video projections; take part in hands-on, Chinese cultural activities; sip on craft brews and dance in Central Plaza to tunes from KCRW DJs. Event occurs again Sept. 2. 5 p.m.-midnight. Free. 943-951 N. Broadway, downtown.

Dog Film Festival 
Aug. 5. This festival combines Angelenos’ love for film with their love for their four-legged friends. Choose from two programs of short films (Outdoor Adventure With Dogs at 5 p.m. and Who Rescued Whom at 7 p.m.). $15 each program. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills.

Angel City Brewery Avocado Fest
Aug. 5-6. Celebrate all things avocado at Angel City Brewery with the debut of their Avocado Ale, a Kölsch-style beer brewed once a year from avocados hand picked from family owned King & King Ranch. Festivities also include live music, an artist bazaar, avocado beer cocktails, a cake from Charm City Cakes, local food trucks, games and more. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. 216 Alameda St., downtown.

Aug. 5, 12, 19, 25. Traveling outdoor movie-event series, presented by Showtime, boasts the largest outdoor inflatable screen on the West Coast, as well as food trucks and live musical performances. Venues include the Autry Museum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles State Historic Park and Rose Bowl Stadium. This month’s highlights include Mean Girls, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Depeche Mode: 101—a concert film recorded at Rose Bowl Stadium in 1988. See website for a full schedule and starting times. $7.20-$27; under 5 free. 213.267.4393.

Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26. Watch favorite films of yesterday and today projected on a mausoleum wall during this popular Amazon Studios-sponsored film series at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Also on hand are pre-movie DJs and themed photo booths. August highlights include Some Like It Hot and a slumber-party movie marathon featuring The Big Lebowski, Half Baked and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. See website for full schedule. Gates 7:15 p.m.; movie 9 p.m. $16; marathon $20. Parking $12-$20. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., 877.435.9849.

Street Food Cinema
Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26. Outdoor summer film series hosts screenings every Saturday night at various locations across L.A. Enjoy live music and food from the city’s top trucks. Highlights this month include Deadpool, Monsters, Inc. and Silver Linings Playbook. See website for full schedule. Doors 5:30 p.m.; band 6:30 p.m.; movie 8:30 p.m. $6-$21; under 6 free. 323.254.5068.

Sundance NEXT FEST photo courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Ryan Kobane.
Newly announced talent for Sundance NEXT FEST include Ava DuVernay, Kate Micucci and America Ferrera.

Sundance NEXT FEST 
Aug. 10-13. Festival presented by the Sundance Institute includes L.A. premieres of independent films paired with musical performances by the likes of Sleigh Bells and Electric Guest. The fest kicks off with a 25th anniversary screening of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs followed by an afterparty. See website for schedule. $15-$25; opening night $35-$500. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown.

Opening Aug. 11. The wait is finally over for Los Angeles theatergoers: The phenomenon that is Hamilton arrives at the Hollywood Pantages and will run through the end of the year. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning, Grammy-winning and even Pulitzer Prize-winning musical (which single-handedly made history hip) has graced stages in New York, Chicago and San Francisco before arriving in LA—the latest stop on its national tour. Playing the titular founding father and treasury secretary is Michael Luwoye; Tony nominee Joshua Henry is portraying Aaron Burr; and The Book of Mormon actor Rory O’Malley steps into the role of King George III. Hear them take on the show’s groundbreaking soundtrack, which blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap and R&B with historical accuracy. To snag one of the hot tickets, visit or call 800.982.2787. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770.

Summer Nights
Aug. 11, 25. KCRW collaborates with Metro Art Presents for musical evenings at historic Union Station in downtown LA. Stop by for luscious, danceable grooves, games, food and drink in one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. 5:30 p.m. Free. 800 N Alameda St., downtown.

626 Night Market
Aug. 11-13. The original and largest Asian-themed night market in the country features hundreds of food and merchandise vendors, games, music and entertainment for the whole family. Tickets $3-5; Under 6 free. Event also happens Sept. 1-3. Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia.

Long Beach Jazz Festival
Aug. 11-13. Listen to a stellar lineup of jazz musicians that includes Poncho Sanchez, Ramsey Lewis and Urban Knights, Marcus Miller, Boney James, among other. The annual festival set in Rainbow Lagoon Park also features food, art and more. Tickets start at $65. 400 Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach.

The B52s at Pershing Square
Aug. 12. The legendary band will be brining their cosmic funplex to this wild planet with a whammy of a night of dancing and fun. Hear all your favorite hits from “Love Shack” to “Channel Z.” Also find food trucks and more. 8-11 p.m. Free. Pershing Square 500 S. Hill St., downtown.

Feline lovers unite in Pasadena for CatCon, one of the largest cat related conventions in the world.

CatCon 2017
Aug. 12. Pop culture and cat culture collide at the convention that showcases some of the world’s top cat-centric merchandise, along with conversations with those at the epicenter of the cat world, incredible activations and one of the biggest adoption lounges ever. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $15-$100. Pasadena Convention Center, 300 Green St., Pasadena.

7th Annual Slumber Party
Aug. 12-13. Cinespia’s annual all-night movie marathon features screenings of The Big Lebowski, Half Baked and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The evening also includes DJ tunes, a Photo Booth, special surprises and more. Bring blankets and pillows to watch movies until 4:20 a.m. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., 877.435.9849.

Aug. 12-13. The LA Convention Center becomes the focal point of all things beauty. The annual conference connects you to top beauty influencers for a day that explores what’s trending in culture, fashion and beauty. Network with your favorite beauty personalities, discover top products, participate in panel discussions, watch performances and more. Tickets start at $49.99. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown.

BrunchCon Los Angeles
Aug. 12-13. Devour the most important meal of the weekend at this event that features brunch fare from over 50 different food and drink vendors. Also find unlimited mimosas, six bars on site, a marketplace and DJ tunes. $65-$90. The Reef LA, 1933 S. Broadway, downtown.

All-American Summer Rib Fest
Aug. 13. Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne present their annual feast of slow-cooked ribs, hot wings and sides that has become a Lucques tradition since 2000. A week of preparation goes into the smoking of pork, beef and lamb ribs to turn them into dishes like St. Louis-style pork ribs, braised beef back ribs and spiced lamb spare ribs. Also find sides like cole slaw, baked beans and buttered corn on the cob. Warm peach cobbler with strawberries and buttermilk ice cream completes the menu. Cowboy hats welcome. Noon-9 p.m. $55/pp. 8474 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.655.6277.

Echo Park Rising
Rain or shine, local favorite Echo Park Rising brings together creativity and small businesses.

Echo Park Rising 
Aug. 17-20. This free, all-ages music festival focuses on the music, creativity, diversity and small businesses of Echo Park. Enjoy music on multiple stages and activities throughout the weekend. Check website for lineup and set times. Th 7 p.m.; F-Sa 2 p.m.; Su noon. Free. Stages located on the main routes of Sunset and Glendale boulevards, Alvarado Street and Echo Park Avenue, L.A.

Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks
Aug. 18-19. Witty conductor Bramwell Tovey commands the stage during this annual tradition of classical and cannons. The USC Trojan Marching Band joins the LA Phil for the “1812 Overture,” complete with thrilling instrumentation and pyrotechnics. Show starts at 8 p.m. See website for pricing. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000.

Taste of Brews 
Aug. 19. Seventh annual craft-beer festival offers unlimited tastes of more than 100 styles of microbrews and hard ciders from both popular and startup breweries at an oceanfront venue. Noon-5 p.m. (alcohol service ends at 4 p.m.). Advance purchase $28–$40. Shoreline Aquatic Park, 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 714.375.1132.

Art Deco Festival
Aug. 19-20. “Cruise” back in time to the Golden Age of Travel for a weekend aboard one of the greatest Maritime Monarchs in history. Drink, dine, dance and discover the opulence of this by-gone era immersed among the largest collection of Art Deco in the World. TIckets start at $25. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach.

Northern Stars: An Evening with Rufus Wainwright
Aug. 20. Giving his only U.S. performance of Northern Stars in honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary, and first performance in Los Angeles in three years, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright sings an intimate evening of curated songs by Canadian musical icons Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, among others. 8 p.m. See website for pricing. The Ford Amphitheater, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., L.A., 323.461.3673.

Red Bull Soapbox Race Los Angeles
Aug. 20. LA’s most innovative and creative teams of amateur drivers of non-motorized homemade soapbox crafts will race each other down the twists and turns of Angels Point Road in Elysian Park. 9 a.m. Free. Elysian Park, 929 Academy Rd. L.A.

White Party
Aug. 20. Celebrate the end of summer by donning your finest whites and spending the afternoon sipping cocktails on the Viceroy Santa Monica’s chic Cast Patio. 1-4 p.m. $30-$45. 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 
Aug. 24-27. This four-day epicurean event showcases the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, as well as culinary personalities from throughout the nation. Previous years’ events offered tastings, cooking demonstrations, special events across LA and more. See website for this year’s schedule, locations and ticket information.

DJ Nights in Grand Park
Aug. 25. Spend the night dancing under the stars at Grand Park. The summer event features DJ tunes curated by influential artists and tastemakers who give voice to Los Angeles’ dynamic and vibrant culture through music, dancing, arts and aesthetics. 9 p.m.-midnight. Free. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown.

Friday Flights at The Getty
Aug. 25. The monthly 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. This month artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle presents Exploring the Nowannago: Kentifrican Modes of Resistance, a provocative performance that abstractly explores the effect of the past on contemporary identities. Los Angeles-based visual artist Scott Benzel presents a new site-specific piece, and New York-based psych-rock band Psychic Ills performs. 6-9 p.m. Free. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A.

Off the 405: Savoy Motel
Aug. 26. The monthly summer music series wraps when Savoy Motel takes the outdoor stage at The Getty Museum bringing their ’70s nostalgia that is an orchestrated hybrid of glam rock, soul, southern boogie and showmanship. Each show also features a cash bar with local beer, aqua fresca cocktails and epic sunset views. 6-9 p.m. Free. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A.

Summer Happenings at The Broad: Oracle
Aug. 26. This event is inspired by themes of globalization, surveillance and the underlying systems and forces at work in the world that make up the current exhibition Oracle. Oracle the Happening strives to reclaim that heightened experience and anxiety as artists pick up abundant stereotypes and play prophet, sage, historian and cheerleader. See performances by A Place to Bury Strangers, Xiu Xiu, Linda Mary Montano and Keijaun Thomas. 21+. 8:30 p.m. $25 advance/$30 door, includes access to the full museum. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown.

Summertime Square Dance Social
Aug. 26. Do-Si-Do at One Colorado’s Summertime Square Dance Social. Bring a partner or find one in the crowd and practice moves like roll aways and half sashays with a silent DJ spinning country-western tunes; then promenade to live music with their square dance caller. 3-6 p.m. $10. One Colorado, Pasadena.

Venice Beach Music Festival
Let your free spirit and creative juices flow at the annual Venice Beach Music Fest.

Venice Beach Music Fest
Aug. 26. The annual festival features a stellar lineup in music, art and dance. Strawberry Alarm Clock headlines with additional performances to be made by Barry “The Fish” Melton and The San Francisco All-Stars, Champa 51, among others. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Free. West End of Windward Ave., Venice.

Through Aug. 6. Visionary playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) explores human connection in this acclaimed play, which finds Georgie (Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds) pursuing a much older man, played by Denis Arndt (Basic Instinct). See website for schedule and pricing. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

King of the Yees
Through Aug. 6. This world premiere production follows playwright Lauren Yee as she sets out on a joyride across cultural, national and familial borders to find her missing father, and discover what it truly means to be a Yee. See website for schedule and pricing. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, 213.972.7231.

Pageant of the Masters 
Through Aug. 31. Enjoy 90 minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations by live models of classical and contemporary works of art, accompanied by live narration and orchestra. This year’s theme is “The Grand Tour.” Nightly, 8:30 p.m. $15-$230. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.1145.

City Highlights Tour at Skyspace LA
Continuing. Skyspace now offers a complimentary City Highlights tour with every general admission ticket. Fall in love with LA by learning more about the city’s history, pop culture, art, film and architecture. Daily tours last 35-40 minutes and depart on the hour beginning at 11 a.m. from the north-facing side of the 69th floor. 633 West Fifth St. #840, downtown, 213.894.9000. Tickets

Melrose Rooftop Cinema
Continuing. West Hollywood’s modern Asian eating and drinking house, E.P.&L.P., takes the concept of dinner and a show to new heights with the premiere of Melrose Rooftop Cinema. Playing weekly through October, the Melrose Rooftop Cinema—with a seating capacity of 200—will feature over two dozen cult classic movies and new releases. Highlights this month include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Aug. 1), Grease (Aug. 6), The Fifth Element (Aug. 8) and The Big Lebowski (Aug. 30). Su-W 8:30-11 p.m. $15-$59. 603 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, 310.855.9955. Tickets

Rooftop Cinema Club 
Continuing. The U.K.’s “Number One Outdoor Cinema Series” returns to the rooftop of the historic Montalban Theatre for its third season in LA. Enjoy street food and drinks while you take in views and watch classic (Casablanca), cult (Clueless) and contemporary (Beauty and the Beast, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) flicks. The series recently expanded to the terrace at Level in the heart of downtown. See website for full lineup and schedule. Ages 18+; Level screenings 21+. 8 p.m. $19-$35. 615 Vine St., L.A.; 888 S. Olive St., downtown.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Continuing. Universal Studios Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is already magical, but the immersive land’s new Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle show has cast a spell on the park. Multiple times nightly after sunset, muggles gather in Hogsmeade to hear the Sorting Hat narrate a spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts. Lights and projections of animals dance across the castle as a musical arrangement by John Williams fills the air. Grab a Butterbeer and prepare to be dazzled. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377.

Hamilton photo courtesy of Hollywood Pantages | Photo by Joan Marcus. Brew at the LA Zoo photo by Jamie Pham. Sundance NEXT FEST photo courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by Ryan Kobane.



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