17 Free Things That Are Actually Fun to Do This Summer
Meditation meets wine tasting--we’re there
The costs of rent and organic kale are through the roof, but, hey, fun can be free. We’ve searched from west to east to find a wide range of activities that don’t suck, even a little bit. Here, 17 totally free activities that you will actually enjoy.
• Bring a folding chair and sit back on the sand on Thurdays for Twilight Concerts. Don’t miss the kickoff show on July 7 when Detroit original Mayer Hawthorne lays his smooth soul all over your date night. Now this feels like summer.
• Did you even know there’s a Los Angeles Poet Laureate? Well, you can take a poetry class from him, Luis J. Rodriguez, a former gang member made good whose many books inspired the likes of Bruce Springsteen.
• Catch a live show at Amoeba Music, the Sunset Boulevard institution that occupies a whole city block and hosts emerging artists and big names for in-store performances.
• Try a walking meditation by strolling the labyrinth at the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens on West Adams.
•Take in Los Angeles’s latest--and edgiest--art at the Hammer Museum’s biennial survey Made in L.A.
•Feed your inner art student and visit the dozen sculptures by Salvador Dali exhibited at Two Rodeo Drive. Perfect timing--melting watches will be right at home during the heat wave.
• Take a free outdoor yoga class at Runyon Canyon--don’t forget your mat and sunscreen.
• Be the first on your block to see the newly renovated Ford Theatre, the amphitheater built in the 1920s. It’s beautiful enough to make you want to dance. Take one of the samba, tap dance, ukulele, Bollywood and son jarocho (Mexican folk music) classes held throughout the summer.
• Mingle with the Silicon Beach tech types who’ll come to Marina del Rey’s Thursday night Beach Eats event, where amazing food trucks pull up to Mother Beach and many, many tacos are consumed.
• Volunteer to take care of your favorite park with TreePeople, the nonprofit group that takes teams of people to parks from Beverly Hills to Pacoima to act as weekend arborists.
• Play bocce ball by the L.A. River in the summertime pop-up rec center called The Frog Spot. Afterward, sit in a shady café and wait for the free bands to start on Saturday nights.
• Chill in the opulent Moroccan-style courtyard (the roof rolls back to reveal the Capitol Records building) of the club Bardot while taking in some great indie music. It’s the Monday night party known as School Night, and you can be sure the acts are quality, since they are curated by KCRW tastemaker Chris Douridas.
• Feel incredibly inspired…and OK, maybe a little flabby by comparison…while watching one of the exciting (and super-competitive) men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments along the coast.
• Because half a billion YouTube hits can’t be wrong, plan ahead a few weeks to get free tickets to one of Jimmy Kimmel’s outdoor concerts.
• Catch the Fourth of July fireworks from the vast--and super-clean--expanse of downtown’s Grand Park, where there will be multiple stages with global pop, salsa dancers and organized sports for the kids.
• Picnic in Echo Park. Now that the Silverlake Reservoir is drained, this lake, complete with fountains, is the best place to cool off.
• The first Thursdays of the month, the Huntington Gardens opens its gates for free. That means you can stroll 120 acres with more than a dozen gardens.