Before it’s time for the kids to buckle down for the new school year, make happy memories with fun times in the City of Angels that have nothing to do with reading, writing and arithmetic. From taking in the new offerings at Disney’s rebooted California Adventure to going to see a new flick right here in Hollywood to trying a new restaurant that offers an amazing buffet to satisfy your entire clan, this city’s end-of-summer offerings abound. No doubt that if you plan it right, this next family excursion before the Southland’s school bells ring will be one that tides the whole tribe over until the next school vacation.
1313 S. Harbor Blvd.
Click here for prices
On June 15, after what seemed like a really long wait, California Adventure reopened and throngs of happy fans took over the teaming theme park. Now that this giant offering from the Mouse House has been open for a while, the crowds have become a bit smaller and the $1.1-billion face lift offers exciting entertainment to even the most impatient kids. Sitting on 12 acres, Cars Land, named after the movie “Cars,” promises an adventure like none your family’s ever seen. A bounty of over-the-top signage means you won’t get lost. Featured in this part of California Adventure is Radiator Springs, a fictional town sitting along iconic Route 66 where racers run side by side through Cadillac Mountain Range to the finish line; Luigi’s Flying Tires, where theme park enthusiasts lift off for a wild ride; and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, a really fun collision with a splashy salvage yard. That’s just the tip of the car-fueled iceberg that promises each family member returns to school with stories to tell.
2301 North Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Click here for pricing
At the iconic landmark outdoor arena known as the Hollywood Bowl, a whole slew of musical talent will be on hand this summer, but but on August 29 they’ll come together for an event called Celebrating Peace. The artists on this roster offer a whole lot of jazz with a mixture of other genres fit for an entire family to enjoy. Join such superstars as Herbie Hancock, Santana, Wayne Shorter and Dave Holland for this special presentation at the Hollywood Bowl. Don’t forget to bring a picnic because that’s tradition at the historical Half Shell where music under the stars brings out the best memories, Tinseltown style.
1003 S. Glendora Ave.
West Covina, CA 91790
For a great meal the entire family will rave about, find a place that has everything and then some, including egg rolls, pizza, a little sushi and, of course, shrimp cocktail, head for World Buffet in West Covina. A bonus for picking this eatery is that the casual dining atmosphere means you don’t even need to dress up to fuel up. Warning: Parking is scarce and this place is popular, so if you go for lunch, go early for an easy in and out, something your demanding kin will definitely appreciate.
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Price: $12/$7 students and seniors older than 65 with ID/free children younger than 12
If you want to whet your family’s appetite for the arts this year, spend a day at The Museum of Contemporary Art. Beyond the permanent collections (all well worth perusing), take in the “The Painting Factory: Abstraction after Warhol” before this popular exhibit closes Aug. 20. This particular showing offers samples from a whole bunch of luminaries, including works by Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder, Tauba Auerbach, Mark Bradford, Urs Fischer, Sterling Ruby, Josh Smith, Julie Mehretu, Seth Price, Wade Guyton, Glenn Ligon, Kelley Walker, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Stingel and Christopher Wool. That said, should you want to take a break between all your viewings, be sure to take in the museum gift shop and have a bite in the on-site cafe that offers delicious fare.
6360 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Click here for tickets
A ton of movies open at the end of August when it’s sure to be hot in the Southland. Kick back in the air-conditioned Arclight Cinemas with the family and choose a flick to see on the big screen that will have everyone begging to see one more before the day is done. Among those films opening at the end of August are “Premium Rush” (Aug. 24), “The Apparition” (Aug. 24), “Hit and Run” (Aug. 24), “Samsara” (Aug. 24), “Sleepwalk with Me” (Aug. 24), “Lawless” (Aug. 29), “7500” (Aug. 31), “The Good Doctor” (Aug. 31) and “Rebirth” (Aug. 31). If the whole gang can’t come up with a single flick that will satisfy all, then split up inside in what is arguably the best multiplex in the nation, right on the eastern edge of Hollywood. Buy your tickets online and don’t forget to splurge for a big bucket of popcorn before you hit the theater of your choice for an adventure on the big screen in seats fit for any Hollywood mogul.
Related: Best Water Play in Los Angeles