Things to Do in Los Angeles in Summer 2018 – Attractions, Activities & More

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 2018, check out our list of the top attractions and activities going on this year, including…

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • 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.

Check out all Los Angeles tourist passes, attractions and prices.

Please note, some of these special Summer events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Go Los Angeles Card.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis Six Flags Magic Mountain

unnamedThis 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.

Plus, you won’t want to miss the amazing JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis. This exhilarating experience puts you right at the heart of a battle between your favorite DC Super Heroes and their nemeses, the Super-Villains. Marvel at 4-D effects, epic gaming graphics, and intense battle scenes.

Getting In: Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets are included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Explore the world-famous Universal Studios and see real film sets from some of your favorite Hollywood movies.

Some of the top attractions there now include: Fast & Furious – Supercharged, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride-3D, and more.

New for Summer 2018: Kung Fu Panda comes to Universal Studios, featuring state-of-the-art visual effects and innovative technology to immerse you into Master Po’s journey.

Getting In: Universal Studios Hollywood tickets are included with the 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go Los Angeles Cards.

Knott’s Berry Farm

LAX knott's berry farm (2)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 recently renovated, so be prepared for their new and improved look!

Getting In: Knott’s Berry Farm tickets and Knott’s Soak City tickets are both included with the Go Los Angeles Card.

Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier

Pacific-Park-on-the-Santa-Monica-Pier-1Located 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

LEGOLAND-California-1Every 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

california-science-center-imax-2If 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, “KING TUT: TREASURES OF THE GOLDEN PHAROAH”.

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

Santa-Monica-Pier-Aquarium-1For 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

la-zoo-botanical-gardensConveniently 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 29th, July 20th, August 17th, anSeptemberer 14th 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

Los Angeles Art Museums

Arthur Dove, “Lattice and Awning,” 1941. oil on canvas.

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 Orbit Pavillion, from NASA themselves.

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

natural-history-museum-los-angeles-museumsSpend 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 science, history, 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.

Mariachi USA Festival

Hollywood Bowl
June 23, 2018

Image copyright Mariachi USA.

Image copyright Mariachi USA.

The first Mariachi Festival was held in 1990 and the event has been going strong ever since, now in it’s 29th year. 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.

Let’s Recap

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.

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The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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