Things to do in Los Angeles in September

This post covers the best things to do in Los Angeles in September, updated for 2020. It includes a Top 10 list, free things to do, family-friendly activities and things to do at night. Check out our master post, Things to Do in LA for even more ideas.

 

 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER

This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in LA throughout September.

For some of the most popular tours to take, we also have several separate posts:

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass, which is a great way to save money.


(1) Go on a Sightseeing Tour

Grab your sunscreen, your floppy hat, and fill up your water bottle before joining one of our pay-what-you-like tours. A good place to start is by exploring Downtown LA.

We offer a pay-what-you-wish guided Downtown Los Angeles walking tour. Other companies offer similar tours as well. 

Our post on Downtown LA Walking Tour Options can help choose the best one for you.

 

 

If you’re looking to save some money, consider taking one of our GPS enabled audio tours or self-guided tours the following neighborhoods of LA. 


(2) See a Concert

Los Angeles is a great city to see a concert! We’ve listed the highlights below, but you can find information about other concerts this month by checking here

 

 

Don’t forget to check out all the events happening in Los Angeles


(3) Go to a Sports Event

There are several notable professional teams in the Los Angeles area, and many of them will have games this September. Here are a few of the best performances to attend this month:

 

 

NFL

Soccer

Although the MLB season was postponed earlier this year, there is a very good chance that they will have resumed play by September of 2020.

If you’re interested in seeing some baseball, consider getting tickets for the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Los Angeles Angels.

For even more great games and matches to attend, please check this list of sporting events in Los Angeles during the month of September.


(4) Enjoy a Theatrical Production

Although Los Angeles is known more for their movies, this city also often hosts at least a few great musicals throughout the year. 

You can expect two excellent shows to see during the month of September: 

 

 

While Hamilton will be hosted by the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, The Lion King is going to be at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

There aren’t currently any other musicals scheduled for this month, but that could change. Check this list of theatrical performances in Los Angeles this September to see if there are any other shows being hosted.


(5) Go to a Comedy Show

Los Angeles is home to many famous comedians, so you can usually catch at least one great show no matter when you visit the city. 

 

 

One of the best shows scheduled for this month is Jeff Dunham, who will be performing at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, a city on the outskirts of LA.

In addition to this comedic performance, you may also want to check and see what is happening at the Comedy Store, one of the most famous comedy clubs in the city.


(6) Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

To make the most out of your time in LA, and save a lot of money while seeing the sights, consider purchasing a tourist attraction discount pass.

You’ll pay one fee up front and receive free or highly discounted entry into many of the city’s most popular attractions and activities.

 

 

Here are a few of the best activities you can enjoy with these services:

  • LEGOLAND
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • TCL Chinese Theatre Tour
  • Dolby Theatre Tour
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • And more!

Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.   

Read our post comparing the different LA tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.


(7) Take a Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

Why not honor the Emmy Awards (held on September 22nd) by taking a guided Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes Tour?

See houses of both past and current Hollywood stars. Our post on Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes Tours can help you find one that is best for you.

 

 

If you prefer to move at your own pace, you can use our Self-Guided Beverly Hills Celebrity Tour.

You can also visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame one of the most famous boulevards in the world. 


(8) Go on a Studio Tour

Film buffs may want to consider taking a tour of their favorite movie studio, as most of the studios in Los Angeles offer tours of the back lot.

 

 

If you’ve ever wanted to see behind the scenes at Warner Bros. Studios, Universal Studios, or Sony Pictures, each of these locations offers a tour which will take you to some of the sets and cover the history of the studio.

Each of these tours is available with at least one Los Angeles tourist pass, which you could use to save some money on tickets.

For more details about everything you can see and do on these outings, please read our post covering the best Hollywood studio tours.


(9) Hiking with Wine and Giraffes 

Looking for something unique?  Head to Malibu to hike along Saddlerock Ranch vineyards where you can meet a celebrity giraffe, Stanley. You can pet, feed, and take a selfie with him!

 

 

At the end of the tour, enjoy a small wine flight from the vineyards.  There are optional add ons of cheese and charcuterie too!


(10) Take a Bus Tour

If you’re looking for an easy way to get around the city and see all of the major landmarks, hop-on hop-off bus tours are a pretty good option.

These services provide a tour which will take you to most of the relevant and historic sites and attractions in Los Angeles, and you have the option to jump off at each stop to take a closer look around.

 

 

Each ticket lasts for an entire day, so you will have plenty of time to explore several areas of interest and still finish the tour!

You can find additional information about this service on our post covering Los Angeles hop-on hop-off bus tours.

Below are our sections on things to do in at night, for free, or for families in August. 

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in LA.

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN SEPTEMBER

Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night this month. For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in LA.

 

Visiting Los Angeles at Night

 


Public Star party at Griffith Park Observatory

On September 26th, the Observatory hosts a night where guests can try amazing telescopes between 2pm-9:45 pm on the lawn. 

You can also check out the free museum while you are there! Get more information here.


The 626 Night Market

On September 4-6, head to the  626 Night Market for loads of Asian foods, treats, and to shop!  Snack on a cotton candy burrito, Korean tacos, and sip on a giant baby bottle filled with an adult beverage.

There is live music, vendors, and performers.  This event is great for the whole family! 


Walk Hollywood Boulevard

One of the most famous streets in the USA, Hollywood Boulevard, takes on a totally different feel once the sun goes down.  

The lights from the theatres reflect off of the buffed stars on the Walk of Fame and it’s a fun atmosphere to take a stroll or grab drinks or dinner.

Read our full post on things to do in Hollywood.


See an Improv Or Comedy Show

L.A. is well known for comedy and improv. You may be seeing seasoned Los Angeles improvisers, you might catch a group of students, or you may be in on a night when Aziz Ansari is trying out new material.

Below are just a few places to catch an evening comedy show.  

Improvisation

Stand-Up Comedy


Party at the Zoo

Looking to party with the zebras? On September 11, head to the Party at the Zoo in L.A. There is a great musical lineup, food, and fun.  There will also be special animal feedings. 

Of course, the animals might be napping late at night except for the night owls.


Film Festivals

There is nothing like attending a film festival in La La Land.

Burbank International Film Festival – September 9-13, come to Hollywood and see the movies!  Click here for tickets.

French Film Festival – This one is from September 21-27. Be sure to check the site to book your tickets!


Check out a Los Angeles Bar

There are many places to get a good drink in L.A.  Below are just a sample of suggestions.

  • Bar Clacson – one of Eric Alperin’s bars and he is big in the “mixologist” world.  
  • 7 Grand  – A great whiskey bar. 
  • Slipper Clutch – A punk rock scene with fancy cocktails.
  • Streamliner – like a speakeasy in the back of Cole’s!  
  • Cicada Club – Want to go back in time to a Hollywood-style swing bar? Come here.
  • Scum & Villainy – STAR WARS themed bar in Hollywood.
  • No Vacancy – Hollywood’s favorite speakeasy.

Attend an Outdoor Movie Screening

Street Food Cinema is a series of summer movies that partner with food trucks!  Each date is at a different location in Los Angeles. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance!  

For more outdoor movie screenings, see our Los Angeles Summer Guide.

For suggestions on other nighttime activities, read the other sections of this post or our post on things to do at night in LA.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO 

Los Angeles always has free events, during the day or night, and some of which are family-friendly. Some of the items we’ve listed above are 100% free to attend.

For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in LA.

 

 

 


Griffith Park

Enjoy Griffith Park day or night!  During the day, enjoy the hiking trails, picnic locations, and the amazing view of the Hollywood sign. 

There is a free museum in the observatory too! Check the calendar for other free events located at Griffith Park.


HB Civil War Days 

From September 5-6, take a step back in history with the whole family for two days of Civil War living history.

Huntington Beach Civil Wars Days is the largest Civil War reenactment in southern California

It features a number of volunteers answering questions about service and teaching about the Civil War and history of the U.S. Plus, battle reenactments!

This event is free to attend.


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 

Each Thursday evening, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, MOCA Grand offers free admission to all visitors.

It’s a great way to introduce children to contemporary art and begin the conversation about what defines something as art. 


Free Museum Days at the La Brea Tar Pits

Millions of animal and plant fossils have been discovered at the tar pits.  Come check out the story that they tell at the museum.

Every Tuesday in September is free at the La Brea Tar Pits!


Smorgasberg

Smorgasberg is the largest open-air weekly food market in America!  Stop by every Sunday between 10am-4pm.

The market is free but you will definitely be tempted to spend a few bucks on a meal or two or three.


Free Workouts

There are loads of places to get a free workout in Los Angeles. Head to Venice’s famous Muscle Beach to watch the bodybuilders or join in! 

Go to Santa Monica’s stairs or snap an Instagram pic of the Micheltorena Stairs Silver Lake. 

Or head to L.A.’s famous Grand Park  for Wednesdays and Fridays to enjoy free Yoga classes at 12:15 pm.

Check out these suggestions for free workouts.


Summer Nights Concerts

KCRW presents a variety of summer concerts at numerous venues throughout Los Angeles. 

The evening concerts feature a variety of musical genres and are free and open to people of all ages! 

More information available here.


Go to a Free TV Show Filming

This is another free activity that anyone can enjoy. There are several popular game shows and other television programming recorded in the Los Angeles area, and most of them offer free tickets.

All you have to do is sign up ahead of time and prepare for the show. If you get picked and they send you a ticket, then you’re invited to come on down – to the filming of the show, at least.

If it’s a game show, you may also have an opportunity to jump on stage and try to win some prizes!

For more information, please read our post covering how to get Los Angeles TV show tickets.


Take a Free Tour of the Broad Museum

The Broad Museum has an incredible collection of contemporary art and amazingly the general admission is free with a pre-reservation! 

What many people don’t know is that the Broad offers public art tours on most days. Typically they are at 1:15 pm and 3:15 pm. There are also some Spanish tours on the weekends.

Check their website for their updated schedule.

TIP: Our guide to free things to do in LA lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Some of the items we’ve listed above like LA FLeet Week, free Tuesdays at La Brea Tar Pits, or the 626 Night Market are good for people of all ages.

Below are some more family-friendly activities for September. 

 

 


Attend an Outdoor Movie Screening

Street Food Cinema is a series of summer movies that partner with food trucks!  Each date is at a different location in Los Angeles. 


Celebrate Los Angeles’ Birthday

The place to be on September 14th will be Olvera Street where we will be celebrating the founding of Los Angeles. 

Expect to roam the streets buying wares and eating taquitos.  See an original pueblo and some of the oldest structures in L.A. This is a great activity for the whole family.


Miramar Airshow

From September 25-27, visit  San Diego check out the free airshow

There will be incredible pilots like the Blue Angels, the Gold Knights, and the Leap Frogs.  


Visit the Automotive Museum

Vintage car lovers flock to the Petersen Automotive Museum where its extensive collection studies the history of the automobile and its impact on culture. 

Check out over 250 vehicles in the “vault” as well as a number of rotating exhibits. 

For kiddos, there is a super cool Disney Pixar Cars exhibit where you can work to create your own virtual race car.


Spend Time at Another Museum

There are several great museums in Los Angeles focusing on a variety of different subjects. Here are just a few of the best museum locations in this city:

  • Madame Tussauds
  • Hollywood Museum
  • Grammy Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
  • Battleship IOWA Museum

Each of these locations is also included with at least one Los Angeles tourist pass, allowing you to save a lot of money on tickets.


Take a Tour of a Famous Theater

There are several notable theatres in the Hollywood area, including two historic sites which offer daily tours providing a behind the scenes look at the venue.

The TCL Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater) is perhaps one of the most famous locations in Los Angeles, and they offer tours every day of the week.

You’ll also find the Dolby Theater nearby. This venue has been home of the Academy Awards since 2002, and they also offer tours.

Each of these attractions is included with at least one major Los Angeles tourist pass, so you don’t even have to pay full price for this activity!


Zimmer Children’s Museum

LA’s Zimmer Children’s Museum by Sharewell is loaded with hands-on and interactive exhibits for little ones to enjoy! 

Located on the Miracle Mile of museums on LA’s westside, the museum also offers classes and an art walk. 

Tickets are $7.50 and children under 1 are free.

And if you’re looking for more things to do with the kids, check out our post on kid-friendly activities.

 


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