16 End-of-Summer Fairs & Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss!

Step right up and join in on the festive farewell to summer! August is a whirlwind of nostalgic fairs and cultural festivals. Celebrate history and heritage, explore different cultures, fly kites, or how about a fun-filled day surrounded by Frenchies? Don’t miss these events that’ll make the last days of summer unforgettable.



OC Fair

OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
Now through August 13, 2023

The OC Fair is back for a “Happy Together” theme this summer. Enjoy your favorite carnival rides, fair foods, special exhibits, and live performances. See headlining acts at the Pacific Amphitheatre, tribute bands at The Hangar, and monster trucks, demo derby, rodeo, and freestyle motocross at the Action Sports Arena. Take advantage of the Read & Ride deal where kids (ages 5-11) can ride two free rides in Kidland!

Tickets are $13-15 for general (ages 13-59), $9 for youth (ages 6-12) and seniors (60+), and free for children 5 and younger. Ride tickets and wristbands available for purchase.



Summer Hoedown

North Paseo, Mission Viejo
Friday, July 28, 2023

Grab your cowboy hats and boots and enjoy an array of country fun and activities for all ages. Learn to line dance with a professional dance instructor, interact with animals at the petting zoo, ride a mechanical bull, try axe throwing, climb the inflatable rock wall, plus enjoy face painting and live country music. Barbeque, snacks, and desserts available for purchase. Event is free and open to the public.



Perú Village Festival

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Sunday, July 30, 2023

An all-ages event celebrating Peruvian culture with Peruvian cuisine, traditional drinks, music and dance.



Festival of Butterflies

Los Rios Park, San Juan Capistrano
Saturday, August 5, 2023

Visit the butterfly garden, Kid Zone for crafts and games, vendor booths, educational talks by local experts, food trucks, and more. Plus, join the Kids Butterfly Parade and enjoy live entertainment.



Paramount Heritage Festival

Downtown Paramount
Saturday, August 5, 2023

Paramount’s history from the hay and dairy days to the community of today will be put on display at the annual Heritage Festival. The event features food vendors, teen challenge zone, games, musical performances, plus kids zone with inflatables and activities. Join Petunia’s Barnyard for a petting zoo, cow milking demonstrations, and milk sampling.



Family Fair

Petersen Automotive Museum
Saturday, August 5, 2023

Join Petersen Automotive Museum for an end-of-summer extravaganza featuring food, music, and fun for the whole family. The Fair will take place out on the promenade so you can explore the museum beforehand. Admission to the fair is free, RSVP online. Parking rates apply.



American Blues & Jazz Festival

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
Sunday, August 6, 2023

Listen to the cool jazz and blues sounds of the Steve Johnson Quartet, The Will Trueblood Quartet, and Party of Three. Enjoy a full day of fun for the entire family including complimentary face painting, art projects, live performances, and more. Festival is free. Santa Ana residents also get free admission into the museum.



Toro Nagashi Festival

Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego
August 11-12, 2023

Toro Nagashi (floating lanterns) is a ceremony done in honor of those who passed. Guests will be able to float their LED candle-lit lanterns in the lower garden stream. Starting Friday, August 11, 100 lanterns will be available for purchase and decoarted in the Inamori Pavilion. First come, first served. Limited-edition merchandise and food vendors also available.



OnlyFrenchies Festival

Harry Bridges Memorial Park, Long Beach
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Celebrate all things Frenchies with a fun-filled day for the whole family. The festival welcomes all breeds and features carnival games, rides, K9 demos, petting zoo, pony rides, food vendors, and live concert. There will also be free popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and caricatures (while supplies last). Online ticket sales range $10-30, day of tickets are $15-50, all access passes also available.



Nisei Week Japanese Festival

Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
August 12-20, 2023

Join the downtown Los Angeles community for Nisei Week Japanese Festival in historic Little Tokyo. Enjoy Japanese cultural food and entertainment for the entire family, the grand parade, queen coronation, car show, and Taiko drum performances.



Natsumatsuri Family Festival

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Join the Japanese American National Museum for the Natsumatsuri Family Festival, an annual summer celebration featuring free cultural performances, interactive story times, souvenir photos, summer-themed crafts and origami, scavenger hunt, and free admission to the museum’s exhibitions.



Fiesta Music Festival

Avenida del Mar, San Clemente
Sunday, August 13, 2023

This family fun festival features live entertainment on three stages, contests for all ages, arts and craft exhibit, Kids’ Zone with jumpers and face painters, and more. Free shuttle from San Clemente High School and free trolley from the Outlets at San Clemente.



Israel @ 75 Festival

Alpert Jewish Community Center, Long Beach
Sunday, August 20, 2023

Join Alpert JCC for a celebration of Israel’s 75th birthday as the center is transformed into an immersive experience of Israeli culture. Explore, taste, and discover Israel’s different regions and collect stamps in your passport. Enjoy crafts, bouncers, face painting, pool games, live music, food trucks, Israeli dance, and more. Early bird tickets are $5-10, tickets at the door are $10-15, children under 2 are free.



Long Beach Kite Festival

Granada Beach, Long Beach
Sunday, August 20, 2023

Fly a kite for free, get a free t-shirt, enjoy lunch, live music, vendors, and more.



Fiesta La Ballona

Veterans Memorial Park, Culver City
August 25-27, 2023

Take your family to Fiesta La Ballona, a Festival of the People! This event includes food vendors, rides, live performances, karaoke, and other sorts of entertainment!



Sea Country Festival

Dorine & El Lazo, Laguna Niguel
August 25-27, 2023

Bring your friends and family to experience this end-of-summer event with music, rides, games, food, and more. The festival is a free entry event, with nominal fees for attractions and games. Food will be available for purchase. The Sea Country Festival will be located on Dorine and El Lazo, in between the Laguna Niguel Design Center and the Chet Holifield Federal Building.



Maritime Festival

Ocean Institute, Dana Point
September 8-10, 2023

Celebrate California’s rich maritime history with a fun-filled weekend event featuring visiting tall ships, cannon battles, mermaid swim shows, pirate school, live music, reenactors and sailor camp, vendors, food trucks, and more.



Original Lobster Festival

FV Sports Park, Fountain Valley
September 8-10, 2023

Enjoy fresh live Maine lobsters flown in daily. Live entertainment and activities for all ages including live music, dance floor and lessons, free souvenir e-photo, live sports tent, magic show, karaoke lounge with live band, arts and crafts booths, face painting, carnival rides and games, and more.



Moompetam Festival

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
September 9, 2023

In celebration of the local American Indian cultures, the Aquarium will host its nineteenth annual Moompetam Festival. This celebration features traditional cultural craft demonstrations, storytelling, music, and dance. The festival celebrates indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay.



Vista Viking Festival

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista
September 16-17, 2023

Vista Viking Festival is Southern California’s premier Viking era celebration. Re-enactors in Viking Villages provide historical context, battles, and a glimpse at Viking life. Enjoy live music, try your hand at archery, spears and axes at the practice range. Plus, check out Norwegian cultural demonstrations, vendors and food booths.



Fiestas Patrias

Flower Street & Civic Center, Santa Ana
September 16-17, 2023

Celebrate local Hispanic and Latino community at Santa Ana’s very own Fiestas Patrias. Festivities include a parade, street fair, live music, food, carnival rides, cultural exhibitors, and more.



Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival

Torrance Cultural Arts Center
September 22-24, 2023

The Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival kicks off with a VIP Luau Meet & Greet on Friday. Then, the all-day Ukulele Festival on Saturday features nonstop ukulele music performances, unlimited workshop access, play-alongs, open mic, and more. The festival is free for kids 12 and under. The festival continues on Sunday with even more ukulele music performances and activities.



Baja Splash Cultural Festival

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
September 23-24, 2023

The Aquarium will host its twenty-second annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival in celebration of cultures from Mexico, Central and South America, and beyond. The event features traditional dance, live music, educational programming in English and Spanish, and booths from participating organizations.



This post was written by Kidsguide

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