11 Unique Things to do in L.A. When It’s Way Too Hot Outside

Summer is officially here, with temperatures creeping into the 90’s and countless Angelenos unsure of what relief exists. And now we’re even experiencing thunderstorms and increased humidity? What’s with that?!?!

But fear not: we’ve created a list of 11 unique things to do in Los Angeles when outside temps are way too sizzling. This list contains some of the coolest (literally) and most noteworthy things to do during the season of heat in the city of angels. Check it out, and beat the heat!


Valley Relics Bob's Big Boy
Posing with Bob’s Big Boy at The Valley Relics Museum. Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. Explore an Out-of-the-Ordinary Museum

While museums are fun year-round, their free air conditioning provides sweet relief for any guests. During the Summer months, some unique experiences include visiting the newly trending Marciano Art Foundation near Koreatown. Featuring exhibits with wigs and contemporary sculptures, this renovated Masonic museum is definitely worth the trip.

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly museum, check out the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank. Not only will you get a chance to learn about the cultural history of martial arts, but you’ll also be taken through various film and television exhibits that utilized this art form. Various parts of the museum were designed by artists of the Walt Disney Company, The Simpsons and Halloween professionals.

If you’re looking for a more nostalgic afternoon, stop by the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth to see neon signs, vintage cars and everything the American Dream is made of. It’s free (donation optional), but open on Saturdays only!

2. Learn Something Science-y

With school out for summer and kids needing a cool, interactive place to spend time, L.A.’s various science museums are the perfect solution. With cool activities that are both educational and fun, the Kids Space Museum hosts a variety of events such as Mad Science Sundays, where kids learn how to make real-life slime. The Griffith Observatory is also a great place to cool off while learning about the sky during their All Space Considered and Star Party events. Last but certainly not least, visit the California Science Center to explore underwater ecosystems and outer-space worlds.

Griffith Observatory at Dusk
Credit: Frank Steele via flickr cc

3. Go on a Nighttime Hike

It’s a well-known fact that hiking is one of the top activities for Angelenos, but did you know you can enjoy a cooler version at night? Various hiking trails throughout L.A. remain open through sunset and into the evening. Hike any one of the Griffith Park trails until 10 p.m., when the park closes. Or join a guided group as they explore Eaton Canyon during a sunset hike. If you’re in the Valley, check out Stough Canyon’s Moonlight Hikes every month for a staff-led hike. Don’t forget, hiking at night can be dangerous, so use your best judgement or join a ranger-led group.

4. See a Movie in a Historic Theatre

Seeing a movie is one of the easiest and most enjoyable activities during the hot summer days. For two hours, you can enjoy cold, brisk air conditioning infused with the delicious scent of popcorn. But don’t just go to any normal movie theatre. Check out a new release in the famous Dome at the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood. Built in 1963, this cinerama is an engulfing experiences (Bonus Tip: Try watching an action movie on their 126-degree curved screen!). If you’re in the mood for a classic flick, try the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for a throwback or vintage film. They also have special events and back-to-back movie screenings at a great price. Last but certainly not least, stop by the Nuart Theatre for exclusive and art-centric films. You’ll also get some great photo opps in front of their 1974 neon sign and classic cinema look.

Cinerama Dome Los Angeles
The Cinerama Dome. Credit: Christopher Paulin via flicker

5. Have a Bonfire

If you have a large group and are looking to enjoy the beach without getting a sunburn, simply host a bonfire! Located near LAX, Dockweiler Beach offers 40 fire pits on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is $8 during the week and $13 on the weekend, but street parking is also available. Coolers, blankets, chairs and games are all welcome on the beach. So pack up the car and head to Playa del Rey for a night of hot dogs and s’mores. Bonus Tip: We recommend showing up a few hours before sunset to claim your pit.

And if you’re wondering where else you can have a bonfire in the greater Los Angeles area, then check out this post.


Dockweiler Bonfire
Bonfire at Dockweiler. Credit: Kat Sniffen via flickr cc

6. Make a Guest Appearance on a TV Show

Another good way to stay out of the sun and surrounded by air conditioning is by being a part of a live audience. Utilizing our association with Hollywood magic and television-making, Angelenos have a unique opportunity to be a guest on shows such as The Price is Right. Other audience opportunities include Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Keep an eye out on any other upcoming opportunities here.

7. Enjoy a Boat Tour of the Ocean

Naturally, heading to the coast always provides some heat relief. Take it a step further by enjoying a boat tour on the ocean! From evening and sunset cocktail cruises, to whale watching and looking-glass tours, there’s a wide variety of options. Check out Voyager IV Excursions and Fast Kayak for more environmentally focused tours. Goldstar also has some great deals on cocktail cruise (affiliate link) departing out of Long Beach.  Grab your goggles and go for a boat ride!

8. Have a Scare or Two During a Haunted Bus Tour

Los Angeles has a haunted history, but walking around the various tours and outdoor locations can be draining in the middle of summer. Luckily, there are bus tours that offer a glimpse into L.A.’s nitty-gritty past. Esotouric Tours offers various true crime experiences including The Real Black Dahlia, Echo Park Book of the Dead and Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice. Don’t forget, check Goldstar for discounted tickets (affiliate link) while supplies last. 

9. Go Indoor Skydiving

If you’re looking for a quick burst of relief, sign up for an indoor skydiving lesson in Hollywood. Hosted at iFLY in City Walk, this experience includes a brief training on indoor skydiving, all the gear you’ll need and two sessions in the sky tank. As soon as you’re in the enclosed sky tank, an instructor will help you as bursts of air thrust your entire body upwards. Fly up 20 feet and get a view of City Walk, then come back down and try out some flips. Bonus Tip: This is a great first date idea for any adventurous couple.



10. Get Lost in a Unique Library

Libraries can serve as an oasis from the city and bring together people from around the community. They also have unlimited air conditioning and usually comfortable chairs. In case you haven’t checked out the Central Library in Downtown L.A., it offers unique architecture and art outside and within the library walls. The Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale is also an architectural feat and hosts fun summer events, such as music workshops, art clubs and a dance series. Last but not least is the West Hollywood Library with a modern ambience and scenic sitting areas. Readers and wanderers can easily spend hours exploring the grounds for sculptures and paintings, or getting lost in a book.

11. Go Convention Hunting

Not all conventions are traditional, but they do all offer some shelter from the heat. Whether you want to explore a new subject or already have a passion, check out the various summer conventions in L.A. Popular favorites include CatCon, BrunchCon and ScareLA. Be sure to keep an eye on the We Like L.A. events calendar for happenings at popular convention spaces, including The Reef, L.A. Convention Center, Pasadena Convention Center and more.


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