Things To Do

21 Free Things to Do in L.A. BEFORE Summer 2017 is Over

August 9, 2017 by Brian Champlin

As we sneak past the halfway mark of summer 2017 I just want to assure of one doubt that may be creeping into your mind: THERE’S STILL TIME!

Time for what you say? Time to enjoy some of Los Angeles’ most popular free summer activities and events, including DJ sets, concerts, dance parties, a gin tasting, soapbox racing, public art, a solar eclipse viewing, and LOTS more.


If you’re looking to carpe your diem over the next month or so, then take a glance through the list below and see if you can find a date (or two) to book on your social calendar.

Oh, and most importantly, enjoy!

Getty Villa summer walk

A summer walk at the Getty Villa. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. BoldPas: An Art Takeover of Old Pasadena

The inaugural BoldPas: An Art Takeover of Old Pasadena comes on August 12 for a one-day event that showcases professional and up-and-coming LA-area artists’ site-specific installations in the historic alleys of Old Pasadena. The event will run from noon to 8 p.m. -> More information

2. GinCITY at Greenbar Distillery

On August 27 the fine folks at Greenbar Distillery  will be opening their doors to guests to showcase their latest offering, CITY Bright Gin. Tour the distillery, sample gin cocktails, explore installations, and enjoy live entertainment, all for free! There will even be food trucks on site offering bites for purchase.  Although there is no admission cost but you need to RVSP for timed entry via the link provided here. RSVP availability is limited! -> More information

3. Grand Performances

Grand Performances has a staple of free summer events in L.A. for more than thirty years, and the 2017 edition offers not only a diverse lineup of world music performers, but also a series of beer pairing events in association with Angel City Brewery. In total there are eight performances still yet to come in August, and one special L.A. Chamber Orchestra concert in September -> More information.

4. Dance/DJ Nights at Grand Park

The Music Center’s Dance DTLA returns for 13 weeks of free dance parties, this year taking place at Grand park. The events are divided into two distinct series. Dance Downtown takes places on alternating Friday nights from 7 to 11 p.m. DJ Nights runs every other Friday from 9 to midnight. The alternating events will continue through September 1. -> More information

5. Sunday Sessions at Grand Park

One Sunday per month Grand Park will offer a free dance party to pay tribute to L.A.’s house music scene. Bring a few dollars and a valid I.D. you can also check out the 21+ cocktail garden. There are two dates left: August 21 and September 17. -> More information

6. KCRW Summer Nights

KCRW’s free signature outdoor event series is, simply put, one of the best things about summers in Los Angeles. Here’s the complete 2017 Summer Nights schedule, which includes events at The Hammer Museum, the Santa Monica Pier, the Annenberg Space for Photography, Union Station, and more. Among the dates still left to happen are KCRW DJ events at Union Station on August 11 and 25, plus Chinatown Summer Nights on September 2.

7. Echo Park Rising

On August 17-20 the EPR music festival brings a madhouse of free music to the east side, with multiple stages and activities on Sunset Blvd, Glendale Blvd, Alvarado Avenue and Echo Park Avenue.The 2017 lineup includes appearances by The Buttertones,Boogaloo Assassins, Alice Bag, CRX, Plague Vendor, Moon Honey, Meatbodies, and MANY more.-> More information

8. Red Bull Soapbox Race Los Angeles at Elysian Park

The Red Bull Soapbox Race Los Angeles comes to Elysian Park on August 20 for an exciting day at the races. Experienced and amateur drivers unite as they race on their homemade soapbox crafts down the twists and turns of Angels Point Road for its annual global event. -> More information

9. Shakespeare in the Park or By the Sea

There is still time to enjoy a bit of free/donation-based Shakespeare. The Independent Shakespeare Co. will be perform The Two Gentlemen of Verona in Griffith Park every Wednesday-Sunday through September 3.  -> More information

10. Family Art Day at the Hammer

Family Day: Art for Good comes to The Hammer on August 19. This free event offers four hours of  art, music, improv, performances and more. -> More information

11. 5th Annual Summer Block Party at Malibu Country Mart

Malibu Country Mart presents its 5th annual Summer Block Party on August 12 for a sunny summertime tradition. Spend an afternoon enjoying activities ranging from caricature portraits to a petting zoo to face painting and more. Takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on August 12. -> More information

12. Silver Lake Picture Show

The Silver Lake Picture Show series closes off Sunset Triangle Square to screen outdoor movies every other Thursday during the summer. Screenings are preceded by performances by live bands and short films produced by local filmmakers. The remaining schedule for 2017 features:  Space Jam (PG) on August 17,  10 Things I Hate About You (PG13) on August 31, and Scream (R) on September 14. -> More information

13. Summer Movie Fest at Cal State Northridge

Summer Movie Fest at Cal State Northridge is a free weekly movie night taking place at dusk on CSUN’s Oviatt Library Lawn. The remaining films in the series are: Psycho (1960) on August 10, La La Land (2016) on August 17, Space Jam (1996) on August 24, and Doctor Strange (2016) on August 31. -> More information

14. Sunset Concerts at Skirball Cultural Center

The 2017 season of the Skirball’s free Sunset Concert Series, inspired by the Skirball’s current high-profile exhibition Paul Simon: Words & Music, is a showcase for up-and-coming talents and established artists from Los Angeles and around the globe. There are four dates left to attend: Delgres on August 10,  Daymé Arocena on August 17, David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana, and Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo on August 31. -> More information

15. Griffith Observatory Solar Eclipse Viewing Event

Get ready for the 70% partial solar eclipse on August 21. Stop by Griffith Observatory from 9 a.m. to noon with blankets, snacks & protective eyewear! -> More information

16. Summer Nights in the Garden at Natural History Museum

Enjoy beautiful evenings under the stars when Summer Nights in the Garden returns to Natural History Museum featuring evenings of cocktails, music, botanical tours, fun projects & more. Two dates left: August 11 and August 25. -> More information

17. Sound Off Silent Disco @ Sherman Oaks Galleria

On September 6 enjoy a wireless headphone dance party at the Sherman Oaks Galleria when Sound Off presents four fun and FREE dance events. -> More information


18. CicLAvia: San Pedro Meets Wilmington

CicLAvia returns for the summer on Sunday, August 13. Bike, run, walk or skate during the latest closed-streets event. -> More information

19. DT Stage Concert Series at Pershing Square

There are still two big concerts slated for summer 2017 in Pershing Square: The B-52s on August 12 and X on August 19. -> More information

20. Friday Flights at the Getty

The final installment of Friday Flights at the Getty takes place on August 25 featuring artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s presentation of Exploring the Nowannago: Kentifrican Modes of Resistance, featuring Tyler Matthew Oyer. Performed for the first time with live-music accompaniment by The Kevin Robinson Ensemble (KREation). -> More information

21. Free Museum Days

Finally, if you’re at a loss at what to this summer, go find a free museum to check out! To aid in your quest here is our list of free museum days in August and here is a handy cheatsheet of museums that are free all the time. Hope both are helpful!