9 Best Things to Do for Labor Day Weekend in Los Angeles

Low angle view of silhouette palm trees against sky
Jen Pollack Bianco / EyeEm / Getty Images

When it comes to ideal destinations for the last bit of summer fun, Los Angeles is a great place to visit over Labor Day weekend, offering plenty to do for visitors of all ages. From the Los Angeles County Fair to music, food, art, and film festivals, you can send off the summer in style this year.

If you want to spend the last official weekend of summer at the ocean, stop by one of the beaches of Los Angeles or cool off at one of the city's many water parks. You can also take advantage of your day off to check out some of the things to do that are available year-round, or even take a short road trip to escape the crowds in nature. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance, though, as spaces are likely to fill up closer to the holiday.

01 of 10

Attend the Aloha Beach Festival

Ka Hale Hula 'O Pilialohaokalani O Hilo performs at the Aloha Beach Festival

Ka Hale Hula 'O Pilialohaokalani O Hilo

Address
Shoreline Dr, Ventura, CA 93001, USA
Phone +1 805-658-4726

Typically held on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend at Surfer's Point in Ventura, the Aloha Beach Festival is a family-friendly celebration of Hawaiian music and dance, featuring performances by the Ka Hale Hula O Pilialohaokalani O Hilo hula dancers, Hawaiian music by Warren Takahashi and Friends, and traditional Tahitian dance and drums showcases by Aloha Hula Studio, among other cultural presentations.

Bring your appetite, as there are plenty of food vendors serving up Hawaiian-style favorites, and everything from pizza to barbecue. After your feast, shop for locally made arts and crafts to remember your trip by.

02 of 10

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend at the 626 Night Market

626 Night Market at sunset in L.A.

626 Night Market

Address
285 Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007, USA

Whether you drop by Saturday, Sunday, or Monday—or treat yourself to a three-day weekend pass—the 626 Night Market at the Santa Anita Racetrack is sure to impress foodies of all ages, with more than 120 food vendors and trucks serving up every culinary offering imaginable.

Treat yourself to everything from dumplings, Hawaiian-style mochi malasadas, ramen, lobster rolls, crepes, and bubble tea to pork buns, churros, kebabs, tacos, mussels, burgers, ube desserts, cake pops, and kettle corn. You'll also be able to enjoy live musical entertainment and a singing competition while you chow down on all your favorites.

03 of 10

Catch Some Free Shakespeare in the Park

Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival in L.A.

Independent Shakespeare Co.

Address
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Phone +1 323-913-4688

On Labor Day weekend, enjoy the final performances put on by the Independent Shakespeare Co. through Sunday as part of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. Note that while tickets are free, you will have to register ahead of time through the website as there is limited seating at the venue. Check the website to see which of the Bard's legendary plays will be showcased each Labor Day weekend, as they change annually—in 2022, Macbeth was a major highlight.

04 of 10

Listen to Free Jazz on Fridays at LACMA

Jazz at LACMA

Ian Irving / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Address
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
Phone +1 323-857-6000

All summer long through fall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—more commonly known as LACMA—puts on free jazz events each Friday night, and Labor Day weekend is no different. Jazz at LACMA features some of the area's best jazz musicians, with performances taking place at 6 p.m. in Smidt Welcome Plaza, so don't miss out.

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05 of 10

Jam Out at the New Blues Festival

Artists performing at the New Blues Festival in L.A.

New Blues Festival

Address
200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA
Phone +1 562-570-3100

The New Blues Festival returns to Long Beach for three days of performances by modern blues artists. Typically taking place on two stages at Shoreline Aquatic Park, the festival welcomes more than 30 acts as well as a variety of corporate, food, and merchant vendors to southern Los Angeles. General admission passes are available, as are upgraded Gold and VIP level tickets, which include more perks like merchandise discounts, stage-front seating, catered food and beverages, and meet-and-greets with the performers.

06 of 10

Get Your Greek On

Greek flag

 Friedrich Schmidt / Getty Images

Address
5761 E Colorado St, Long Beach, CA 90814-1900, USA
Phone +1 562-494-8929

Southern California has a rich cultural heritage and a robust Greek population, so it may not surprise you to learn that there are plenty of Greek festivals and parties throughout the region all summer long, culminating in the biggest event of them all: the Long Beach Greek Festival By the Sea. Festivities take place on Saturday through Monday of the holiday weekend, and a modest admission price supports the festival's production team.

Live music, dancing, videos about the beloved country in southeastern Europe, authentic Greek food, product booths, and children's games all complete the experience, held at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Long Beach.

07 of 10

Party by the Beach at Fiesta Hermosa

Sunbathers on Hermosa Beach
Ian Logan / Getty Images
Address
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254, USA

A three-day arts and crafts festival featuring more than 300 vendors, live music, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, and a kiddie carnival, Fiesta Hermosa has taken place over Labor Day weekend since 1972. It's actually a biannual festival that takes place each year during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, so if you miss one holiday weekend, you can always try and catch the other.

Located at the picturesque Hermosa Beach, the Fiesta is free to attend. This family-friendly carnival is one of the biggest events in this quintessential Southern California town, and as a result, parking is notoriously difficult. Use public transportation or a car service like Lyft or Uber to avoid the headache of hunting for a spot to leave the car.

08 of 10

Enjoy the Orange International Street Fair

International flags for festival

 Jason Hosking / Getty Images

Address
Old Towne, Orange, CA 92866, USA

Four city streets are blocked off around the traffic circle in Old Town Orange each Labor Day Weekend for the annual Orange International Street Fair, which has taken place here since 1973. The fair features nine stages, including an Irish stage, a Greek stage, a German stage, a Mexican stage, a Polynesian stage, an English stage, and an all-American stage, as well as a children's stage with daily kid-friendly activities.

The event is free to attend and takes place from Friday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Note that while this is a very family-friendly festival during the day, it can get very crowded in the evening and many of the people who have been drinking all day are frankly bothersome by dusk.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Check Out the Cinecon Classic Film Festival

Movie theater

Hero Images / Getty Images 

Address
2035 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068-3238, USA
Phone +1 323-792-7625

Cinephiles from around the world have gathered in Los Angeles every Labor Day weekend since 1965 to celebrate classic cinema by attending a five-day series of screenings of "rare, unusual, and unjustly forgotten movies from the silent and early sound era" of film.

Featuring many classic film screenings, celebrity guests, and film, book, and movie memorabilia shows, the Cinecon Classic Film Festival takes place at the Hollywood Legion Theatre. The majority of films are screened in 35 millimeters and the silent films include live piano accompaniments, so you can enjoy them just as they were originally seen back in their day.

10 of 10

Admire Art at One of Laguna Beach's Festivals

Festival of Arts

 Greg Doherty / Contributor / Getty Images

Address
Laguna Beach, CA, USA

The community of Laguna Beach hosts a variety of art festivals throughout the summer, many of which celebrate their closing weekend during the Labor Day holiday. Three shows that are always a hit are the Pageant of the Masters, the Festival of Arts, and the Laguna Art-A-Fair Fine Arts Festival. Whether you're an art aficionado or just looking for something different to do to enjoy the long weekend, any one of these fairs is sure to be a delight.

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9 Best Things to Do for Labor Day Weekend in Los Angeles