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Things to do in Los Angeles in September

Updated: June 19, 2023
 By Mel

This post covers the best things to do in Los Angeles in September, updated for 2023.

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, and 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.

Concerts

Festivals

Classical and Opera

For even more concerts check out which musicians are appearing in Los Angeles in September.


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:

Football

Soccer

Baseball

Basketball

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 find a few of these during the month of September: 

Musicals

Family-Friendly

There aren’t currently any other musicals scheduled for this month, but that could change.

Check this list of musicals in Los Angeles this September to see if there are any other shows being hosted.


5. Go to a Comedy Show

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

Comedy Shows

Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Improvisation

Alternatively, check this list of comedy performances in September to see what else is happening this month.


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 upfront 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 18th) 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 that 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. Get Scared

Halloween is coming, and who better to scare you well than Hollywood?

Universal Studios invites visitors to their annual Halloween Horror Nights.

With a maze, 10 haunted houses (past themes have included "Legends Collide", "The Horrors of Blumhouse" and "Halloween" the movie), 5 scare zones, and 2 live shows, you are sure to be both entertained and scared out of your mind.

The horror takes place on select evenings throughout September and October.

Information and tickets can be found here.


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 that 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.


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

Go to a Star Party at Griffith Park Observatory

Every month, the Observatory hosts a Saturday night star party where guests can try amazing telescopes.

The hours are between 2 pm - 9:45 pm and are guided by volunteer astronomers.

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


The 626 Night Market

Head to the  626 Night Market for loads of Asian foods, treats, and shopping.

Snack on a cotton candy burrito or 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.


Visit Some Famous Theatres

Hollywood is full of famous movie theatres where notable and important films had their premieres, and a lot of them are all in the same area.

There are three popular examples within a few blocks of each other:

At least two of these venues were crafted by Sid Grauman, and the Dolby Theatre routinely hosts major events such as the Academy Awards.

Both the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre offer tours which allow you to get a behind-the-scenes look, and the Egyptian still operates as a traditional movie theatre to this day.

Whether you want to learn about these movie houses, see them from the outside, or even enjoy a film inside one of them, there are plenty of ways to experience the great theatres of Hollywood.

NOTE: Both the TCL Chinese Theatre and Dolby Theatre tours are available on at least one major Los Angeles tourist pass.


Attend a Festival

Los Angeles has a few festivals taking place in September, some with night hours.

Salvi Fest | September 2nd-3rd

Original Lobster Festival | September 8th-10th

Burbank International Film Festival | September 21st-24th


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.


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!

There's also Rooftop Cinema Club, with screenings on a rooftop with a skyline view, cocktails, beer, wine, deckchairs, and personal headphones.

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.


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 2nd and 3rd 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 the history of the U.S. Plus, there are battle reenactments

This event is free to attend.


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 

The MOCA Grand offers free general admission to all visitors. (Special Exhibitions have a cost except for members and children under 12.)

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


Smorgasbord

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.


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 .


Explore the Venice Beach Boardwalk

A warm and sunny summer day is the perfect time to visit Venice Beach's boardwalk.

You can window shop in various boutiques, people-watch, and watch the street performers sing or dance.

If you're a fan of hitting the gym, you can get a workout in at Muscle Beach, which is an open-air gym made famous by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Of course, you can also hit the beach and play in the sand!

Here is our list of free things to do in August. For even more free activities, see our guide to free things to do in LA.


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!


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Some of the items we’ve listed above like LA Fleet Week, Smithsonian free museum day, 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.


Head to Zuma Beach

Located in Malibu just off Pacific Coast Highway, Zuma Beach is great for everyone!

There are breathtaking views of the ocean and the cliffs of Malibu surrounding the beach plus there are food kiosks, ample parking (for a fee), and lifeguards on duty.


Go Indoor Skydiving

If anyone in your family has ever wanted to skydive without having to jump from a plane, going to iFLY Hollywood is the perfect solution.

You’ll be placed in a wind tunnel that replicates the feeling of flying through the air while remaining safely close to the ground.

And if you have a Los Angeles Pass for discounts, you’ll get 20% off your tickets!


Take a Dinner Cruise

There are a lot of great Los Angeles cruises that serve dinner several nights a week. They are a perfect way to eat and sightsee at the same time! 

Dinner cruises last around 3 hours and you will be able to enjoy the LA sunset from the water.

You will get great views, music, dancing, dinner, and drinks.


Miramar Airshow

From September 22nd - 24th, visit San Diego and 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.


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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About The Author

Mel

Mel loves to be a tourist in her own city. With a background in performing arts, tourism, and photography, giving tours and being a story-teller comes naturally to her. She loves traveling, food, and theatre. Mel splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles (#theatrelife) and leads tours and manages both cities!
Updated: June 19th, 2023
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