Things to Do on a Summer Night in Los Angeles

If you're looking for something to do on a summer night in Los Angeles, we've got you covered. Here are some ideas of what to do in L.A. on a summer evening when the long, sunny days wind down into balmy nights. 

01 of 06

Go to a Drive-In Movie

Rooftop Cinema Club

Rooftop Cinema Club

Going to an outdoor movie at night was once a rite of summer, but drive-in theaters are a rarity these days. Luckily, Los Angeles still has several places for this summer night activity. 

Cinespia: An outdoor film series happens at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they screen a series of films, most Saturdays all summer.

Eat | See | Hear: It's a food truck fest, an outdoor movie series, and a concert, all rolled into one. It happens in a different location every summer Saturday.

Vineland Drive-In: It's the last real, old-fashioned drive-in movie left in the L.A. area, in the City of Industry east of downtown. And they show first-run movies, too.

Street Food Cinema: This one happens in parks around town, with outdoor movies, tasty food trucks, and live music every Saturday all summer long.

Roof Top Cinema Club: Held on the rooftops of some of the coolest buildings in Los Angeles. It offers comfy seating, wireless headphones, iconic movies, and spectacular views.

02 of 06

See a Show Outdoors

Concert Crowd at the Hollywood Bowl
Margaret Napier/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

A summer evening concert or theater performance is one of the pleasures of the L.A. area's dry summer weather and balmy evening temperatures.

Hollywood Bowl: The Bowl is an L.A. classic and many residents' favorite place for a summer evening concert.

Greek Theatre: Often rated as North America’s Best Small Outdoor Venue by entertainment industry magazines, The Greek features a summer-long schedule of musical performances.

Ford Amphitheater: The Ford is both affordable and fun, with lots of great, innovative shows and prices that won't break your budget. They also host many family-friendly performances.

Grand Performances: Held outdoors on an outdoor stage surrounded by beautiful fountains—in the middle of downtown—this concert series is free.

Theatricum Botanicum: This small theatre company puts on annual performances of Shakespeare, the classics, and new works in a beautiful outdoor setting in Topanga Canyon.

Summer Theatre Festivals: Shakespeare festivals and other outdoor dramas also take the stage in L.A. during the summer.

03 of 06

Stay Up Late at a Summer Night Festival

L.A. Food Fest

L.A. Food Fest 

They don't happen every week, so you'll have to look ahead to make it to one of these, but it'll be worth the extra effort.

626 Night Market: The night market was the first Asian night market in California held in Pasadena (whose telephone area code is 626), and it runs for a few weekends from early July through early September.

LA Food Fest: Held at Santa Anita Park, this event may be the one that thrust L.A.'s street food scene into everyone's consciousness. Held on a Saturday in June.

Chinatown Summer Nights: It's both a food event and a Chinese cultural festival. It's held downtown over a few weekends between mid-June and early August, and Chinatown's glowing neon makes it seem especially festive.

Orange County Fair: The month-long event kicks off in mid-July. You could go during the day, but it feels much more festive at night. Besides indulging your taste for peanut butter, jelly and Siracha funnel cakes or deep-fried filet mignon you can check out the animals, enjoy the rides and entertainment.

Many LA attractions that traditionally opened their doors only during the day now also host summer evening events. They include Summer Nights in the Garden at the Natural History Museum, Night Garden at Descanso Gardens, and Jazz at LACMA.

04 of 06

Catch a Game

Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the third inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium on July 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
 Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Stringer/Getty Images 

Spend an L.A. night watching one of the home teams play.

Go to an LA Dodgers Game: Dodger Stadium is near downtown and a great place to watch a night game.

Go to an Anaheim Angels Game: If your allegiances go to the guys who wear the red uniforms down in the OC, they play at night, too.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

See the Red Tide Glow

 Kevin Key / Slworking/Getty Images

During the day red tides can be an unpleasant sight and smell. But at night it can be magical. Tiny organisms glow with an electric-blue color when they are moved. When a wave crashes at night, so many of them do that at once that you can see a brilliant flash of light lining the wave's crest. Learn everything you need to know about red tides here.

06 of 06

Hang With the Fish

Catalina Island View
©2014 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

Over on Catalina Island, just 26 miles offshore, the fish do fly. Catalina is a fun place to go anytime, but the flying fish are a summer phenomenon and something you won't soon forget.

Or watch the Grunion Run. They're fish, and they don't put on their Nikes and go for a run, but they do put on quite a show when they come ashore to spawn during the full moon (or the new one). At some Los Angeles beaches, you'll find "Grunion Greeters" on hand to explain and help you get the most out of being there.

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