Big List of Things to Do in L.A. This September [2023]

Image via LA Beer Fest

Need a few items for your September to-do list? We’re on it.

For the month to come, you’ll find Return of the Jedi at The Bowl, the L.A. Times Food Bowl, Sunday Sessions at Grand Park, Day of the Dog in Santa Monica, a Train Fest at Union Station, the L.A. Beer Fest, CicLAmini in North Hollywood, a Canoga Park Block Party, the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party, L.A. Haunted Hayride, and MUCH more. Let’s get into the full list below.


Things To Do in September

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

KCRW Summer Nights at Descanso GardensFA TP > KCRW Summer Nights swings over to Descanso Gardens to kick off September, offering free admission to the garden plus evening includes sets from KCRW DJs Wyldeflower and Raul Campos, and a drop-in performance by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater puppets. Event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets must be booked in advance. More info here.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi at The Hollywood Bowl (September 1-2) -> Experience Star Wars Return of The Jedi at The Hollywood Bowl with an assist from David Newman and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who will perform John Williams’ iconic score live to picture. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets available for as low as $22.More info here.

Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (September 1-2) – M FA > Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles kicks off the final weekend of its 2023 summer concert schedule with a two-day festival celebrating the vibrant heritage of the Philippines, and featuring a marketplace made up of Filipino-American owned vendors, plus back-to-back days of performances by a diverse lineup of artists. Free to attend. More info here.

Cinecon Classic Film Festival (August 31- September 4) -> Cinecon celebrates its 59th year with a five-day showcase at Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo. The festival focuses on unusual, rarely seen, and otherwise out-of-the-public eye films interspersed with Q&A programming. A full festival pass runs $249, or you can grab a day pass starting at $65. Get more info here.

Fangs! (select dates from September 1 to November 12) – M > Heritage Square Museum transforms into a village engulfed in vampire-infested chaos and you’re right in the center of it. Presented by the Downtown Repertory Theater Company, known for last year’s sold out experience Witch!, this experience includes eerie haunted houses, an abandoned church, unique encounters with the class-divided residents of Strigoia and a mysterious stranger. Tickets cost $75. More info here.

Broad Humor Film Festival (August 31- September 3) -> The Broad Humor Film Festival returns with a four-day event featuring a packed slate of comedic shorts, features and web series–all created by women. Special panel discussions and talks fill out the schedule of events. Four-day passes cost $100, and individual day passes range from $25 to $40. Get more info here.

West Adams Jazz & Music Festival (September 1-3) – FA > The 20th installment of the West Adams Jazz Festival is back for another Labor Day weekend event all centered near the intersection of 7th Ave and Adams Blvd. Expect back-to-back-to-back nights of live performance, dancing, local vendors, and food trucks. Starts at 6 p.m. each night. Free to attend. More info here.

Cinespia Presents at Hollywood Forever (September 2, 3, 9, 16) -> Classic film screenings continue at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, with The Devil Wears Prada, The Goonies, The Royal Tenenbaums and Scarface. Seating is lawn style and tickets run $45 a piece for GA (and yes, parking is extra). Get more info here.

West Adams Block Party (September 3) – FA > The West Adams Block Party makes its highly anticipated return this year, uniting the community for a day of entertainment and fun. This free community fest boasts live musical performances, art installations, local businesses, food trucks and a Kid’s Zone. Delicious Pizza will also relaunch their Boomyard Party with a huge line lineup of artists including Arrested Development, D Smoke, Soulection & Friends, and numerous other exciting acts including a surprise appearance from a Hip Hop Legend. More info here.

Americana at the Park (September 3, 10, 17, 24) – M FA TP > Santa Monica’s Americana in the Park series is back for the whole month of September, offering free concerts on Sundays at Gandara Park. Starting things out, alt-country rockers Dead Rock West headline the September 3 event, with on-site food trucks to include Drizzle Funnel Cakes, Messi Burgers, and Salt n Pepper. McCabe’s Guitar will host a special pop-up show too! Each date runs 4 to 7 p.m., and is free to attend. More info here.

Santa Monica Airport Antique & Vintage Market (September 3 & 24) -> Every first and fourth Sunday of the month, antique collectors and vintage lovers head to the Santa Monica Airport for a special flea market featuring dozens of unique vendors. Admission is $5. More info here.

L.A. Times Food Bowl (September 6, 12-13, 22-24) -> The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl is back with a month-long celebration of the city’s culinary scene with special events including exclusive dinner collaborations, a launch party event at Lemon Grove, and a three-day night market at Paramount Studios. Prices vary by event. Get more info here

The Gospel at Colonus at The Getty Villa (September 7-30) -> The Getty Villa hosts performances of The Gospel at Colonus Thursdays through Saturdays from September 7 through September 30. Performed at the villas Outdoor Classical Theater, the production draws inspiration from Sophocles’s timeless work, “Oedipus at Colonus,” dating back to the 5th century BCE. Through a blending of Greek mythology and the rich traditions of Black spirituality, the show reimagines the narrative of Oedipus as the focal point of a redemptive and soul-stirring musical celebration. More info here.

Halloween Horror Nights (September 7- October 31) – M > Universal Studios’ fall horror takeover features the signature Terror Tram, plus a litany of scare zones, lives shows, and a bevy of different haunted houses, including The Exorcist: Believer and Universal Monsters: Unmasked. GA tickets start at $74, but VIP and express packages can push the price point well over $300 depending on the offer. Get more info here.

Movie Night at the Petersen Autmotive Museum (September 8) -> Join the Petersen Autmotive Museum for the 40th Anniversary of the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about an unhinged car named Christine (1983). Free to attend with snacks and drinks available for purchase. The evening will also include an appearance by the evil car herself. More info here.

Summer of Salsa (September 8) – M FA > LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’s monthly summer concert series concludes with a performance by salsa orchestra TROMBOR. Runs 6 to 10 p.m. and is free to attend. More info here.

Under The Oaks at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (September 8,15,22,29) -> The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum celebrate their 50th anniversary season with a series of concerts every Friday this September. Experience a variety of music from classical to an evening dedicated to Leonard Cohen set against the picturesque backdrop of Topanga Canyon. GA tickets cost $25. More info here.

Self Help Graphics & Art’s Biennial Printmaking Summit and the Eastside Print Fair (September 9) – M FA > Visit the Vincent Price Art Museum for Self Help Graphics & Art’s Biennial Printmaking Summit and Eastside Print Fair. The day brings together master printers and artists introducing the public to the art of printmaking. Enjoy print demos, workshops, and collect works by local artists. More info here.

Open Main Street Festival (September 9-10) – FA > Main Street, Santa Monica is set to revive its Open Street series on September 9-10. The street will transform into a lively community festival, featuring al fresco dining, live music, local vendors, and kids’ activities from Strand Street to Pier Avenue. More info here.

Day of the Dog (September 9) – FA TP > In partnership with Open Main Street, “Day of the Dog” in Santa Monica brings a slew of pup-friendly activations to the neighborhood. Enjoy yoga sessions with adoptable dogs, an 80-foot pool party with a DJ and cabanas, brunch, doggie races, pet blessings, and even a foam party all designed exclusively for dogs. Free to attend. More info here.

Bergamot Station Open House (September 9) – M FA > Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Arts Center hosts their Fall Open, offering public access to over 20 galleries and creative businesses. The family-friendly event showcases gallery exhibitions through artist talks, curator walk throughs, live performances, opening receptions and more. Free for all. No ticket necessary. More info here.

My Valley Pass Movies on Location (September 9) -> My Valley Pass screens Tombstone as part of their Movies On Location series which showcases films at their original filming locations or at similar settings. This month the screening takes place at Chatsworth Park South. Tickets are priced at $20, and the doors open at 6:30pm, with the movie set to start at 8:00pm. More info here.

Summer on 7th (September 9) -> This fundraiser event on the campus of Inner-City Arts is headlined by Tiffany Haddish, hosted by Martin Marrow and Mateen Stewart the evening also includes a DJ set from Sadubas. GA tickets start at $45 person, with proceeds to benefit arts programming and instruction for underserved Los Angeles youth. More info here.

LA Tequila Festival (September 9)-> The 5th annual LA Tequila Festival will transform LA Center Studios into a tequila and mezcal paradise with a selection of over 75 brands to sample. General admission tickets cost $95 and include unlimited tastings. Elevate your experience with VIP admission at $165, which includes early entry and complimentary food. Proceeds from this event benefit the Andrés y María Cárdenas Family Foundation, dedicated to providing scholarships to at-risk students in the Sylmar area.

Union Station Train Festival (September 9-10) – M FA > The Los Angeles Union Station’s Train Festival celebrates the past, present, and future of train travel. Free to attend, guests will have the chance to explore historic railroad equipment, model train displays, and go on an architectural tour. There will also be live music on the North Patio, giveaways and food carts. In partnership with Metro Los Angeles, Amtrak, and Metrolink, all ages are welcomed. Happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (both dates) at the Ticket Concourse, Waiting Room, Patios, and Railway Platforms. More info here.

Do We Need More Food Fights? (September 14) – M FADo We Need More Food Fights? is a special interactive cooking session co-presented by Zócalo Public Square LA Cocina de Gloria Molina and California Humanities. Co-hosts Gómez Lucini and Maite Gomez-Rejón will lead a pozole demo and discussion at LA Cocina’s kitchen followed by catered reception with food provided by Pez Cantina. Starts at 7 p.m., and free to attend. More info here.

Earth Edition, A Festival of Eco-Consciousness (September 15-24) ->The Festival of Eco-Consciousness at CalArts invites guests to immerse themselves in an Earth-optimistic atmosphere. Explore the futuristic Lumisphere’s dream domes and partake in activities like goat yoga, Indigenous storytelling, live music, art installations. Tickets range $15 to $100. More info here

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long (September 16) -> If two of your favorite things are sing-alongs and The Sound of Music, head to the Hollywood Bowl for an evening of entertainment perfect for the whole family. Be sure to arrive early, dress the part and enter the costume contest. Tickets start as low as $19. Get more info here.

Oktoberfest  at Firestone Walker  Venice (September 16) -> The Propagator, a Brewhouse, taproom & store at Firestone Walker Brewing Company Venice, is set to host an Oktoberfest party with live music, games, a themed menu, and special Oktoberfest-inspired beers. Entry is free. More info here

Canoga Park Block Party (September 16) – FA > The Canoga Park Block Party serves as a gathering for local small business owners and artisans from the surrounding area. Every month, the street bursts into life with a vibrant display of over 50+ vendors, offering an array of products, food and services with plenty of entertainment from music to classic car displays. More info here.

LA Beer Fest (September 16) -> L.A. Beer Fest is back with a one-day event featuring 80+ domestic and international brewers, plus food trucks, live music, a Power 106 DJ, and more, all taking place at LA Center Studios. GA tickets start at $50. Get more info here.

Sunday Sessions at Gloria Molina Grand Park (September 17) – M FA TP > The final installment of Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions pays homage to Latino Heritage Month with a day of Latin House tunes spun by a DJ lineup of Von Kiss, Raul Campos, Juliet Mendoza, and David Montoya. The event will include a 21+ bar area plus plenty of space to picnic and enjoy the music. Runs 3 to 8 p.m. More info here.


John Waters: Pope of Trash (September 17, 2023 to August 4, 2024) -> Celebrate the prolific artist John Waters and his remarkable cinematic contributions in this exhibition. Explore his creative process, iconic themes, and unparalleled style through an array of artifacts. View costumes up-close like Ricki Lake’s roach dress from “Hairspray” or Debbie Harry’s explosive prop wig. Handwritten scripts, posters, film clips and so much more are also on display. Museum admission cost $25. More info here.

CicLAvia Mini North Hollywood (September 17) – M FA TP > CicLAvia North Hollywood opens up a two-mile, car-free course on Chandler and Lankershim Boulevard inviting attendees to walk, skate, bike, play, and explore the area. More info here.

The UCLA Nimoy Theater Community Open House (September 17) – FA > UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance marks the opening of the new UCLA Nimoy Theater with a free Community Open House celebration. Festivities include an inaugural performance by L.A.’s own Las Cafeteras, food offerings from local eateries and a chance to explore the new venue. RSVP is required. More info here

Spider Pavilion at NHM (September 17- November 26) -> Explore the secret lives of spiders at the Natural History Museum’s Spider Pavilion, a unique seasonal attraction happening from September 17 to November 26. Walk among hundreds of orb weavers and their intricate webs, then peek into enclosed habitats showcasing a variety of spider species, including tarantulas and jumping spiders. Admission is just $8 with a timed ticket (required in addition to museum admission) or free for members.

The Other Art Fair (September 21-24) -> This four-day event at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica showcases a curated selection of over 140 independent artists. Spy art for sale while enjoying live DJ sets, activations, installations, and a cash bar. Opening night tickets (Thursday) are $50-$55, and individual tix for Friday to Sunday run $25-$30. Get more info here.

Knott’s Scary Farm (September 21 – October 31) -> Knott’s Scary Farm returns with their signature lineup of haunted attractions, mazes and thousands of monsters ready to scare the living daylight out of you and your crew. More info here

Taste of RUNWAY (September 21) -> Indulge yourself at Taste of RUNWAY. Leisurely stroll through the venue, savoring delectable small bites from restaurants like Sol Cocina, Superfine Playa and LOQUI. Pair your food with specialty drinks from Joliet and unwind on The Turf while enjoying live music. Tickets cost $45 and includes eight food vouchers. Beverages and alcohol are sold separately.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (September 22 – October 31) -> The signature Halloween experience held in Griffith Park is back for 2023. The whole thing takes place in Midnight Falls, a fictional horror-town filled with roaming monsters. Check out the haunted mortuary and hop on the signature Hayride, this year the wagons get an update with built-in comfy seats. Tickets start at $29.99. More info here.

BeachLife Ranch (September 22-24) – FA > Beach vibes meet country music when BeachLife Ranch takes over Redondo Beach with performances by Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Brad Paisley and more. Tickets start at $189. More info here.

Illuminate the Night (September 23) -> Elysian Arts Collective will host an evening of festivities that highlight the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge with exhibits and performances, light installations along the LA River Bike Path in Frogtown and a literary lounge showcasing Los Angeles poets and more to be announced. Free to attend. More info here.

Westchester Arts & Music Block Party (September 23) – FA TP > The Westchester Arts & Music (WAM) Block Party is a day-long community event benefiting local non-profits. Free to attend and family friendly. The party features live music, dance, art, garden tours, kids activities, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. More info here

LA Opera Live Broadcast of Don Giovanni on Santa Monica Pier & La Mirada Park (September 23) – FA > Enjoy an enchanting evening under the stars when the LA Opera presents a live broadcast of Don Giovanni. Grab a few blankets and lawn chairs, pack a picnic, and enjoy outdoor screenings at Santa Monica Pier or La Mirada Community Regional Park. This event is free and welcomes guests of all ages. Show starts at 6 p.m. More info here.

San Pedro Festival of the Arts (September 23) – FA > The San Pedro Festival of the Arts pops up at Peck Park for an afternoon of performances from over a dozen local dance companies. Free to attend. More info here.

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade (September 23) -> This culinary event unites acclaimed chefs and mixologists in Los Angeles to stand alongside the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in the battle against childhood cancer. Hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, business partner Caroline Styne, and Chef David Lentz, this family-friendly afternoon will be filled with delicious food from over 50 of the most recognized and decorated chefs in L.A. and beyond with cocktail experiences to match. GA tickets cost $255 ($125 tax-deductible). More info here.


Dino Fest at Natural History Museum (September 24) -> Dino Fest returns to NHMLA for a day of celebrating the prehistoric giants that once ruled the earth. Expect to see rare specimens from NHM’s permanent collections, partake in hands-on activities, shop dino-themed merch, and more. Dino Fest is free with paid admission ($7-$18) to the museum. More info here

Abbot Kinney Festival (September 24) – FA > After a four year hiatus The Abbot Kinney Festival is back taking over a 3/4 mile of Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach with over 300 vendors, live music, beer gardens, food trucks, kids zones and more. Admission is free. More info here.

Topanga Vintage Market (September 24) -> Happening on the fourth Sunday of every month, the Topanga Vintage Market is packed with close to 200 sellers from antiques to vintage clothing and local artisan goods. Runs 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. $5 to get in. More info here.

Boney Island at the Natural History Museum (September 28-October 31) -> Get into the Halloween spirit at the Natural History Museum as they transform the Nature Gardens into “Boney Island.” The whimsical light-up experience features garden paths filled with creepy crawlies and carnivores from the Cretaceous era, skeletons performing tricks, shadow puppetry, live animals, and ghoulish installations. Tickets are $25 per person.

Hola México Film Festival (September 29- October 9) -> The 2023 Hola México Film Festival is the largest Mexican Film Festival outside of México. Presented by Toyota, the lineup features screenings at the Montalbán Theatre, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, and LA LIVE. TBA on full slate of events and tickets tiers. More info here.

Shaqtoberfest (September 29- October 31) -> Prepare for a spine-tingling experience at Shaqtoberfest aboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach. This haunting event offers new eerie experiences and multiple attractions that include a Shipwreck Graveyard, where undead sailors emerge from watery graves, to a dark carnival and a dangerous Pirate’s Cove. Tickets start at $29.99 on select nights.

Autry Museum’s 35th Anniversary Party (September 30) -> Celebrate the Autry Museum’s 35th anniversary by joining them for a day of festivities, activities, and community appreciation. Tickets start at just $2.00 for kids and $4.75 for adults, reflecting 1988 prices for one day only. Enjoy full museum access and lawn celebrations. Activities include food trucks, live music, carnival games, Native voices performances, and a visit from a special PBS character. More info here.

Made in L.A. Opening Celebration (September 30) – FA > The Hammer Museum hosts a public celebration for the newest iteration of Made in L.A., a biennial celebration of artists who work, live and create in the city of Los Angeles. The opening night bash features live music from L.A. artist collective Mas Exitos, plus a cash bar and evening access to the museum galleries. Free to attend. More info here.

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