Back to school is around the corner and expenses can start to mount—especially if you have more than one child! That’s why we’ve put together our top 15 FREE things to do in August! They’ll be fun for the whole family and for your wallet. 😉
1. Summer Eclipse
August 21: Look to the sky as the moon blocks the sun for a partial eclipse here in California. Further north, a total eclipse will take place but you can click here for more information.
2. Annual Plum Festival in Huntington Beach
August 20: Bring the family to celebrate everything plum, with live music, carnival games, face painting, plum cakes, plum crepes, a BBQ kitchen, arts and crafts vendors and more. Sunday, 2-6 p.m.; dachshund races at 3 p.m. Free admission.
3. Back to School Endless Summer Fest at Irvine Spectrum Center
August 11-13: Bring the kids over to the Irvine Spectrum Center for a Back to School festival filled with live entertainment, giveaways, and more! Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday, 4-8 p.m. Free; no reservation required. Irvine Specturm Center.
4. Family Hike at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
August 5: Families enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve, the hike traverses one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers. Saturday, 3-5 p.m. Free; registration required.
5. Fiesta la Ballona in Culver City
August 25-27: Fiesta La Ballona, Culver City’s annual “Party in the Park” features carnival rides and games, live performances, over 100 booths featuring artisan wares, vendors and local groups, a petting zoo and pony rides, food trucks and a food court, sustainability activities and other special contests and events. Friday, 4:30-10 p.m. (carnival opens at 5 p.m.); Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Admisson is free. Veterans Park.
6. Free Movie Under the Gun at the USS Iowa
August 18: Head to the fantail of the Battleship IOWA and enjoy a screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy” under the guns. Remember to bring your chairs and blankets for this event, and relax as you overlook the LA waterfront. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Free.
7. Huck Finn Fishin’ Derby in Huntington Beach
August 12: At this 54th annual summer event, kids (4-15) can bring their fishing poles to the end of the pier to fish and compete for prizes. Kids can also dress like Huck Finn, or Becky Thatcher, to participate in the costume contest. Enjoy face painting and arts and crafts. One round of bait and a few loaner rods will be provided to registered participants. Saturday, 9:15 a.m.-noon; registration begins at 8 a.m. Free.
8. La Habra Lions Corn Festival
August 4-6: Families can enjoy music, rides, games and music, plus buttery corn on the cob, great sandwiches, sweet funnel cakes and other tasty treats. Be sure to visit the Corn Festival Marketplace with a variety of vendors. Friday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-9 p.m. Free admission. El Centro Lions Park.
9. Leimert Park Village Book Fair
August 19: Celebrate the 11th annual book fair. Featuring more than 150 celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances and musical performance. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free to attend. Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
10. Star Party at Griffith Observatory
August 26: Look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other objects, try out a variety of telescopes and talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment. Saturday, 2-9:45 p.m. Free.
11. Summer Music and Movie in Downey
August 5: Come on out for a night of fun, family and food trucks as Downey hosts their 4th annual summer concert and movie viewing in the park. Music by Latin Soul will be followed by a screening of “Trolls.” Free carnival games and information booths will be available. Saturday, 5 p.m.; movie at sunset. Golden Park.
12. Summer Reading Craftstravaganza and Ice Cream Social at Placentia Library
August 19: Celebrate the end of summer reading by designing fun crafts. After putting together cool creations, meet in the PLD Community Meeting Room, at 3 p.m., for some ice cream and find out who won the the summer reading prizes! Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ice Cream at 3 p.m. Free.
13. Summer Stampede Car Show in Lakewood
August 27: This 20th annual event features dozens of classic cars and trucks, plus entertainment, food, vendors and kids’ activities. Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Mayfair Park.
14. Tiki Beach Festival in Long Beach
August 19-20: This annual celebration of Island culture features an island marketplace, arts and crafts, authentic island food, a kids’ zone and play areas, canoe rides, tiki carving and live music and dancing. Saturday, sunrise to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, sunrise to 7 p.m. Free admission.
15. Tween Library Luau in Yorba Linda
August 14: Escape to the tropics and say aloha to fun as we play island-style games, create beach themed crafts, and make a yummy snack. Monday, 3-4:15 p.m. Free. Yorba Linda Library.
We hope you enjoy our favorite free picks for August, and don’t forget that there are a ton more on our calendar if none of these tickle your fancy! Happy Kidsguiding!