Although Los Angeles has the particularly attractive benefit of being a temperate city year round, it’s probably at its most delightful in the summer.
With tons of festivals, events, musical performances, theme parks, and top-notch museums, there’s no shortage of fun things for visitors and locals alike to enjoy this summer.
If you’re planning a visit and looking for things to do in Los Angeles in the summer 2017, check out our list of the top attractions and activities going on this year, including…
- Knott’s Berry Farm
- Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
- Roaring Nights at the LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens
- First Fridays at the Natural History Museum
- and more…
Heading to the area to celebrate Independence Day? Then check out our post on things to do in Los Angeles 4th of July Weekend.
Want some more summer time suggestions? Here are a few fun things to do in Los Angeles Labor Day Weekend.
Save on Summertime Activities
Regular admission to a number of these attractions are available on the Go Los Angeles Card.
Choose as you go from popular attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special Summer events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Go Los Angeles Card.Note: the below ads are not affiliated with SmartDestinations.com
Six Flags Magic Mountain
This classic installation of a popular chain is a great destination for the whole family.
Located conveniently in Valencia, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a 260-acre park featuring 19 roller coasters and over 100 other rides, slides, and attractions.
Be sure to check out the newest addition to their coaster lineup, the Twisted Colossus.
Getting In: Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Knott’s Berry Farm
A local favorite and longtime legend in the theme park business, Knott’s Berry Farm takes its name from the original, small-scale operation that was America’s first theme park.
This park is a great choice if you have kids of several different ages, as you’ll be able to find family rides, rides for little kids, and rides for older kids all in the same park.
Don’t miss their famous water slides, either! Visit their sister park Knott’s Soak City for a water-specific afternoon. They’re re-opening in summer 2017 after a renovation, so be prepared for their new and improved look!
Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier
Located in charming Santa Monica, Pacific Park is the perfect classic fairground-style theme park for the whole family.
Feel like a kid again as you enjoy classic rides like a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, tower rides, and more. Reserve a little time for their impressive variety of arcade games, too!
Getting In: Pacific Park tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
LEGOLAND® California Resort
Every kid’s dream park, LEGOLAND® California is where the best toys in the world come to life.
Enjoy the intimacy of playing with LEGOs and making your own LEGO creations, as well as the excitement of enjoying LEGO rides, slides, and other attractions.
Visit the beloved Heartlake City, scope out Miniland USA, and visit all the Star Wars-themed models and rides.
You should also check out their newest NINJAGO exhibits and attractions, which have been immensely popular since their opening.
Immerse yourself in the world of these stealthy warriors, and test your own ninja skills at multiple interactive attractions.
Getting In: LEGOLAND California tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
California Science Center
If you’re looking for educational fun for the scientifically-inclined kids, this is the place for you.
This free attraction provides quality, hands-on exhibits, interactive demonstrations, and more.
You can also enjoy an IMAX movie at the California Science Center, or stop into the new temporary exhibit, “BODY WORLDS: Pulse.”
Our other favorite exhibit is the “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour,” which brought the amazing Space Shuttle Endeavour all the way across the country to Los Angeles. Please note that due to the popularity of this exhibit, timed tickets are required to see the shuttle.
Getting In: Admission to the California Science Center is free. California Science Center IMAX tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
For those of you who love all things marine, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is the perfect destination and a great thing to do in Los Angeles in the summer time.
Meet specimens from over 100 species, from sea stars to swell sharks. If you happen to be in the area on a Sunday, be sure to stop by for their special shark events, including a feeding and a live presentation at their open tank exhibit.
Getting In: Santa Monica Pier Aquarium tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Conveniently located in Griffith Park near a number of Hollywood attractions, this charming little zoo is filled with animals exotic and domestic from around the world.
In fact, there are more than 1,000 different species of critter, including several rare or endangered species. The Botanical Gardens themselves contain well over 7,000 plants – quite the sight!
If you’re looking for something extra special, pop by the Zoo during select nights in June and July for their “Roaring Nights” musical event series.
On June 23 and July 21, 2017, spend some time at the LA Zoo after hours for everything from live bands to lawn games to food trucks.
Getting In: LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Huntington Library & Gardens
This namulti-faceted attraction is among our favorite almost-hidden gems in the area.
Enjoy lush, cultivated gardens, a world-renowned research library, an impressive art gallery, and a series of textual exhibits featuring a Gutenberg Bible, an original folio of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and more.
Special exhibitions are often fascinating, too. For example, there’s one this spring and summer highlighting the life and works of Octavia Butler.
The Huntington Library is a must see and great thing to do in Los Angeles in the summer.
Getting In: Huntington Library & Gardens tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
First Fridays at the Natural History Museum
Spend some time at one of L.A.’s most popular museums – the fascinating Natural History Museum in DTLA.
The first Friday of every month this summer, you’ll get to enjoy the truly fantastic combination of dinosaurs and DJs in an after-hours party that can’t be beat.
You’ll also be treated to scientist talks, guided tours, and special musical performances. And of course, spend some time with the resident dinosaur fossils! Events vary depending on the date.
Getting In: Regular Natural History Museum tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card. This event is separately ticketed and is not included with the pass.
626 Night Market
Santa Anita Park
Fridays in summer
Enjoy one of LA’s most unique culinary adventures at the 626 Night Market. It’s one of the country’s largest Asian food markets, featuring over 150 vendors serving up everything from pho to saki and more.
Plus, you’ll also get to stroll through live music, visual artists and their wares, film screenings, and much more. It’s the place to be after dark this summer!
Best of all? Admission is $3. It’s hard to find cheaper things to do in L.A. than that!
Getting In: The 626 Night Market is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Los Angeles Bread Festival
Grand Central Market
June 3 & 4, 2017
We know it sounds a bit specific, but trust us, you’ll love this free festival if you’ve got any love for carbs.
It’s designed to celebrate all things bread and bread-related in Southern California, so you’ll be able to participate in everything from butter-churning aerobics to tortilla making to bread kneading. And of course, there’s the tasting element, too!
This year is the third annual happening of this event, and it’s only getting more popular with locals.
Getting In: The Los Angeles Bread Festival is free to attend.
Lummis Day Festival
June 2 – 4, 2017
Another free event in June, this festival is in its twelfth year. It’s primarily a cultural festival, featuring everything from arts and crafts to poetry, music, dance, theater, and opera.
You’ll also find a diverse variety of food tents, musical performances, and even robots! The festival is held at five different locations, so consult the event website for more information.
Getting In: The Lummis Day Festival is free to attend, but donations are welcome.
Mariachi USA Festival
July 1, 2017
The first Mariachi Festival was held in 1990 and the event has been going strong ever since. The event showcases the best Mariachi bands from the U.S. and Mexico all on one stage.
Featuring traditional dancing and fireworks display that is well worth the price of admission, the Mariachi USA Festival is the only annual Latino-themed event at the Hollywood Bowl.
Getting In: The Mariachi Festival is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
So there you have it. Our picks for some of the top things to do in Los Angeles in the summer.
Please note, the summer events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Los Angeles Card.
Plan to visit some of these top attractions during your trip. Whether you are traveling with your family or a couple of friends, we’re sure you will have a great time.