12 things you're basically required to do in LA this July

Published On 06/30/2014 Published On 06/30/2014

At some point this month, you'll have that realization that it's ACTUALLY SUMMER, and that you should ACTUALLY START DOING SUMMER THINGS, or else Summer's just gonna pass you by, and then what? Fall??? Boring. Here're 12 things to do in July to get you started.


Fireworks, duh

When: July 4
Where: All over the city
In case you missed it, we made a list of the best places to watch fireworks in the city, from the rooftop of a hotel in Venice, to a seaside hang in the marina, to the Hollywood Bowl's annual stunner, which features Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin). He's also at the Bowl with fireworks on July 2nd, and we've got free tickets to that one if you just tweet this. [THIS CONTEST IS NOW OVER!!!]

Pig Pickin' Picnic

When: July 8
Where: Smoqued BBQ (address and info)
The guys at this OC BBQ palace are doing it up piggie-style, with $45 getting you a piece of a whole roast hog, canned beer, and "American fixings".

Rental Car Rally

Rental Car Rally

When: July 11-13
Where: Parts unknown
Consider this your "buy tickets right now" reminder -- this crazy scavenger hunt (which'll take you all over Cali to visit odd places like abandoned, rusted out submarines and giant, metal dinosaurs that weren't featured in Pee-wee) is definitely about to sell out.

Three Day Rule's Adult Field Day (daytime); Chinatown Summer Nights (nighttime)

When: July 12
Where: Angel City Brewery (address and info); Chinatown
You can definitely rock both of these sweet Downtown events on the 12th -- spend your afternoon playing games like corn hole and Twister while sucking down brews at Angel City, and then head to Chinatown for a massive free festival with crazy-good Asian food and music programmed by KCRW & local music guru Kevin Bronson. Added bonus: use the code "Thrillist" for $5 off the field day admission.


Food GPS's Los Angeles Rib Fest

When: July 13
Where: Central Plaza, Chinatown
This was one of our best events of the Summer, and now we've got even more info: the full list of ribbers includes The Park's Finest and Mexicali, desserts from Portland's Salt & Straw ice creamery, and drinks from former Roger Room guys. Yeah. It's gonna be great.

Lucha Va Voom

When: July 17
Where: The Mayan (address and info)
The costumed, over-the-top, comedy-meets-Mexican-wrestling-meets-burlesque extravaganza returns, promising the kind of standard issue that show fans have come to expect. So... midgets, acrobats, and all-out insanity.

Nicolas Cage is God

The Nicolas Cage Party

When: July 19
Where: Syrup Loft (address and info)
This is an art party dedicated entirely to submitted works that feature the face of Nicolas Cage in some way. There will also be music. And booze. Yes, seriously.

Forgotten Marvel Cinematic Universe

When: July 22
Where: Bigfoot Lodge East (address and info)
Sure, these days it's all like, "the X-Men are the best", "No, The Avengers are the best", "No, Ant-Man is the best", and people take you seriously. But that hasn't always been the case, which is why this party's going to be epic -- they're gonna show a ton of old-school Marvel "classics" (Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher? CHECK! David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury?? DOUBLE CHECK!!!), with surprise stop-ins from actors from the movies, drinking games, live comedy, and more.

Flickr/Shawn Ahmed

No Cameras Allowed

When: July 23
Where: The Wiltern (address and info)
So, there's a dude who has snuck into every major music festival -- from Coachella to Bonnaroo -- by any means necessary (posing as press, copying wristbands, hiding in a port-a-potty), and somehow befriended some of the musicians, ending up on the road with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Thankfully, he had the foresight to document it all, and this is the open-to-the-public premiere, which features Jay Z and The Naked and Famous, and promises an acoustic performance from one of the artists (hint: probably not Jay Z).

LA Zoo

Roaring Nights

When: July 25
Where: Los Angeles Zoo (address and info)
If you've ever gone to the zoo and thought, "All these animals would be so much cooler to look at if there were bands, food, and booze here", then this is the jam for you. Coolhaus, Umami, and the Lobsta Truck will be serving food, full bars will be serving, uh, drinks, and the band Kiven will be serving "heavy and hypnotic" rock music.

Super Troopers @ Eat/See/Hear

When: July 26
Where: Santa Monica High
The food-and-bands-and-a-movie-outside series is featuring one of the best comedies of our generation (that's not How High or Half Baked), and they've got a super deal for the first 150 Thrillist readers: click here, enter the code "Thrillist" and your ticket'll be half-off, leaving you some extra cash for... uh... party supplies. Yeah. Like... uh... pizza. Riiiiiight, pizza.

Flickr/tammy gia

Silent Frisco

When: July 27
Where: Santa Monica Pier
So the concept for this recurring party (which is huge in San Francisco) is that DJs play, people drink, and everyone dances -- except there's no amplified music, only what's playing through headphones given to attendees... meaning anyone watching is wondering what's happening, and everyone that's in on it is giving each other knowing winks while singing along to "The Choice Is Yours".

Jeff Miller is Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor and looooooves giving knowing winks. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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1. Angel City Brewery 216 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Located in the historic John A. Roebling warehouse in the Arts District, Angel City Brewery has become a leader in the California craft beer scene. Its signature beers range from staples like the Angel City IPA to limited-time brews and gems from the warehouse collection. You can toss 'em back in the art deco space or in one of the numerous restaurants and bars at which they're sold.

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2. The Mayan 1038 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

This Downtown LA club and live events venue features great drinks and entertaining shows in a festive nightclub-meets-Mayan-temple space.

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3. Bigfoot Lodge 3172 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Atwater Village)

Step into the log cabin-like interior of Bigfoot Lodge and escape into the wilderness of... Atwater Village. The roaring fireplace, tree stump tables, and hunting lodge decor will have you certain you’ve left Los Angeles (don’t worry, you haven’t). Bigfoot’s got live music, tallboys, and rustic-style cocktails that adhere to the campfire theme, like the Roasted Marshmallow with actual burnt marshmallow, and the Scout’s Honor with Irish cream liqueur. Once you've got your drink, cozy up to the fireplace and forget that you’re actually nowhere near the woods.

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4. The Wiltern 3790 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (Koreatown)

Opened in 1931, The Wiltern is a theater and concert hall that seats anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000 people depending on the show.

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5. Syrup Loft 939 Maple Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

Syrup Lounge is one of Downtown's most coveted event spaces. Regularly hosting live music, shows, etc., it's airy and open, but quaint enough to feel cozy.

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6. Los Angeles Zoo 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

It's a zoo, you know the drill: chill with animals while kids run around screaming. But the LA Zoo hosts Roaring Nights with bands, food, and booze, and that automatically makes any zoo more awesome.

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7. Smoqued BBQ 128 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866 (Orange County)

Smoqued BBQ is stacked with mouth-watering brisket, habit-forming burnt ends, and a collect of craft brews to compliment all the delicious meat.



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