Get Your Summer On in LA!
What's the connection between mud bricks, crawfish and yoga? That's a tough one, isn't it? But the answer is simple: They all feature in outdoor events in the greater Los Angeles area this month.
In fact, there are hundreds of events on now and throughout the summer, celebrating our fabulous climate, our multi-culture, and love of the outdoors. No matter what your tastes, there truly is something for everyone.
Here's just a sample from online listings of July events in Los Angeles:
Music & Dance
July 12 – 26: Dance Downtown for three successive Fridays at Grand Park. No dancing experience required but look forward to learning how to hip-hop, tango and disco dance, with live bands. Let yourself go, from 7pm each Friday. Free.
July 13 & 14 – Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium, Echo Park. It's the music event of the month, featuring the 77-year-old ex-Beatle, whose tour has earned rave reviews. Need we say more?
July 27 – 28: Central Avenue Jazz Festival, between King Boulevard and Vernon Avenue, 11am to 7pm. Tenth annual event, with four stages, four pavilions and lots of vendor booths. Admission is free but there'll be plenty to spend your $$ on!
Festivals and Fairs
July 12 – August 12: Orange County Fair at Costa Mesa. It's one of the oldest in the state, celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.
July 13 & 14: Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake for a fabulous celebration of floating flowers and Asian culture, including food, dragon boat races and good music.
July 11 – August 29: Night Market at The Bungalow, Santa Monica, every Thursday. Dancing, food and fun at this free, family event.
July 13 & 14 – 10th Annual Juneteenth Festival at Leimert Park Village. LA's contribution to this worldwide celebration of Black Independence Day. Live music, vendors and kids' area. Free admission.
July 18 onwards: Hollywood Night Market – every Thursday night, at Yamashiro Restaurant. Offering live music, an outdoor pagoda bar, gourmet street food and craft-ware.
July 20 – 21: Venice Beach Music Festival at Windward Plaza Park. Now in its 14th year, the free event offers two days of live music, art and literature.
July 26 – 28: Long Beach Crawfish Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park. Master chefs prepare Louisiana-style crawfish and other Southern dishes for your delectation. Friday 5pm to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday noon to 10pm. Admission is free – but not the crawfish, jambalaya or frogs' legs!
Now – August 31: Rooftop Cinema Club. Starlit cinema at its best, with provided seating and blankets. Various venues – offering entertainment, food and drinks.
July 27: Street Food Cinema at LA Exposition Park. LA's largest outdoor movie series, plus food trucks and live music. Tonight's feature: Crazy Stupid Love. Low or free admission for kids. $14 upwards for adults. But, at the time of writing, big discounts were available on Groupon.
July 13: Lucas Museum Family Art Day at Leimert Park Village Plaza from 10am to 2pm. Kids can create their own "creature mask" and learn more about Star Wars and Walt Disney animations. It's free.
July 17: Kids Yoga on the Green at Americana Way, Glendale. This event runs every Wednesday from 11am to 11:45am. Ideal for ages 3 to 6. It's free.
July 22: Flamingo Mingle at Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. A chance for youngsters to learn about and feed these beautiful, graceful birds. 11am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3pm. Also available on other days. Check with the zoo.
July 14: East Los Angeles Art Walk. Every second Sunday of the month, sponsored by local small business owners. 10am to 2pm, starting out from 3501 East 1st Street.
July 18: El Segundo Art Walk from 5pm to 9pm, featuring 35 artists, live music, food, beer garden and studio tours. Downtown El Segundo. Also on August 15.
July 20: OLIPOP Rooftop Meditation Class at Grand Central Market, Downtown LA. A class from 10:30am to 1pm. Learn about yoga breathing techniques, movement and meditation. Free but you must book in advance.
July 21: Flow + Flavor Rooftop Yoga at 777 Alameda Street. 10:30am to 4pm. Admission is $18 upwards but you get a 70-minute yoga class. Then, if you want, treat yourself to a brunch from 50 vendors.
Food & Wine
July 12 – September 6: Friday Night Wine Tastings at Barnsdall Art Park & Hollyhock House, Los Feliz. Boutique wines, beautiful sunsets, and your home-made picnic on the west lawn. House tours also available.
July 26: Final Friday Food Truck Festival at the Rose Bowl's The Greens. From 4pm to 9pm, with local vendors, outdoor games, moon bounces and tours of the stadium.
July 28: A Taste of Peru. Peru Village Festival at Hollywood Rec Center from 12 noon to 8pm. Peruvian gastronomy and farmers' market. Free admission.
Where To Get More Information
There are lots of really useful and searchable sites for pinpointing what's on in Los Angeles -- individual events, dates and locations.
These include www.timeout.com.los-angeles , www.eventbrite.com,www.welikeLA.com/events. www.discoverlosangeles.com and, of course, the search engine at Google which produces its own comprehensive list of events. Just key in "Upcoming outdoor events in Los Angeles".
For events that cater specially for youngsters, try www.momsla.com,www.laparent.com/events/ and www.mommypoppins.com, which has a list of 55 free things for kids to do this summer.
We're indebted to some of these sites for the information provided in this blog.
Make it Memorable – For the Right Reasons
With more choices than you probably have time for, when you make your selections from what's on in LA, make sure you take account of who's going to be in your party, traveling time and likely parking arrangements. Map out your route in advance if you can and use a mobile traffic app to help you steer clear or trouble spots. Try to get to busy events early.
Find and check the website for the event, so you know admission costs if not free, start and finishing times and any other special requirements.
Also, since we're talking about outdoor events, ensure your party – especially kids – are properly dressed and sun-screened. Take water and, if it's really hot, take frequent rest stops. Also agree a meeting spot so if anyone gets separated from your party they'll know where to find you – and vice versa!
The other important safety ingredient is insurance. If you have homeowners or renters coverage, any personal property you take with you that's lost, stolen or damaged will likely be insured.
Protection for your car depends on the level of coverage you have. Damage to or theft of your vehicle while it's parked requires that you have comprehensive auto insurance
If you want to check on your insurance protection, please speak to the friendly professionals here at Aldrich Taylor Insurance.
Now, put those shades on and go enjoy yourself!
Note: While we have tried to list dates, times and locations as accurately as possible, we're not responsible for any errors or omissions. Always check with the venue.