The kids are out of school, the sun is finally out, and the temperature’s rising in the LBC. While there’s nothing like laying out in the sun at Junipero or Alamitos Beach, the LBC is chock full of places to experience arts and culture in the summer. Take advantage of this magical season and read on to check out the must-sees and must-dos for this summer!
Kleefeld Contemporary Museum
It may be summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean that college campuses are off-limits. The Kleefeld Contemporary Museum, located on the CSULB campus, is open during July. From now until July 27, works of art created by CSULB students, such as paintings, ceramics, and more, are on display in an exhibit called “Insights.” Moreover, “On Top of a Mountain,” an exhibit of drawings from Carolyn Kleefeld herself, is also on view. The Kleefeld Contemporary will be closed from August 1 to September 12, so make sure to visit before it’s too late. For more information, check out their website.
Kleefeld Contemporary is located at 1250 N Bellflower Blvd. Admission is free, and paid parking is available on campus. The museum is closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Click here to view their Summer hours.
Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
You might be surprised to learn an art museum is not the only thing found at CSULB. The campus also houses a Japanese garden. If your summer goal is to relax, a visit to the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is for you. The garden is hosting several events this summer, including an art day, live music, and forest bathing (which is said to have various health benefits). Although you have to pay for these events, you can visit the garden for free. If you’d like to bask in the shade and deep green hues of the garden, make sure to make a reservation online.
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located inside of California University, Long Beach, campus on Earl Warren Dr. Paid parking is available.
Hours: Tues-Fri, 10 am- 5 p.m., Sat-Sun, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Who says aquariums are only for kids? Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific is reinventing what it means to have fun in the summer as an adult. This event is for individuals aged 18 and older and is set for Friday, August 11, from 7:30 to 11 pm. Besides being able to explore the aquarium at your leisure, you can expect music, art, and plenty of food and alcohol for purchase. Tickets will go on sale on an unspecified date in July. For more information, go to the aquarium’s website.
The Aquarium of the Pacific s located at 100 Aquarium Way. General admission tickets for Night Dive are $29.95. Paid parking is available.
Long Beach Museum of Art
From now until August 20, The Long Beach Museum is showcasing four exhibits. They include “Color Fields,” “The Corporate Collector,” “All Together Now,” and “I AM.” While “Color Fields” and “The Corporate Collector” focus on abstract art, “All Together Now” is a collection of artist Barbara Strasen’s dream-like work. “I AM” features self-portraits made by LBUSD elementary school students. If you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at the museum’s spectacular outdoor restaurant, Claire’s, which overlooks Junipero Beach.
The Long Beach Museum of Art is located at 2300 E Ocean Blvd. Tickets for the LBMA range from $10 to $12. Admittance for kids under 12 is free. Parking is available and free. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to their website.
Hours: Thurs-Sun 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
Long Beach is proudly home to a predominantly Latino demographic and the country’s only Museum of Latin American Art. Also known as MOLAA, you can beat the heat this summer at this one-of-a-kind institution by surrounding yourself with art. Exhibits include “Metamorphosis: the Evolution of the Visions and Dream.” On display until August 6, it showcases eclectic pieces by Los Angeles-based artist Yolanda Gonzalez. “Reverencia,” a video of a Mesoamerican dance by Tania Candiani, will also be on view until August 6. MOLAA’s exhibit on famed Columbian artist Fernando Botero, “El Maestro,” comes to a close on July 9. For more information, head to MOLAA’s website.
MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Ave. Parking is free. Admission ranges from $10 to $15 but is free on Sundays. To reserve tickets, click here.
Hours: Wed-Sun 11 am- 6 pm
One thing you can count on to see in Long Beach is historical homes in every part of the city. This summer, appreciate the LBC’s architectural delights by stepping into the past with a tour of the gorgeous Quee Anne-style Bembridge House. Built in 1906 for a prominent family, the Bembridge House is operated by Long Beach Heritage, a non-profit organization. Tours of the home are offered every Tuesday and every fourth Saturday of the month at 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online for $5.
Bembridge House is located at 953 Park Circle Drive.
Rancho Los Cerritos
Ranchos Los Cerritos is the place to go this summer if you want to learn about Long Beach’s origins and past. The rancho’s history is the focus of their new exhibit, “Rancho Los Cerritos: Then & Now,” on display until May 2024. This exhibit educates guests through historical materials and artwork. Among the curators are Andrea A. Guerrero and Tanya Flores Hodgson, both of which are CSULB graduates. After you check out the exhibit, enjoy the rich beauty of the rancho’s grounds and gardens with a self-paced walk or guided tour. For more information, go to their website.
Rancho Los Cerritos is located at 4600 Virginia Road. Admission and parking are free. To reserve tickets, click here.
Hours: Wed-Fri 1 p.m.- 5 p.m., Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun, 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Concerts in the Park
One of the best parts about summer is enjoying nature’s gifts and the warm weather. Add music to this formula, and you have a perfect summer day. That said, Long Beach will hold free concerts throughout the city in July and August. There will be performances at El Dorado Nature Center, 2nd & PCh, Alamitos Park, and the Long Beach Exchange. In addition, the Long Beach Municipal Band and the Long Beach Community Band have performances lined up in various local parks. So pack a picnic and head to the closest concert to you for eclectic tunes.
Rod Briggs Memorial Gallery
There’s no shortage of art in Long Beach. If you’re interested in printmaking or are simply looking for a free summer activity, check out “Multiple Intersections” at the Rod Briggs Gallery. This latest exhibit features 15 artists and was curated by CSULB’s printmaking professor Roxanne Sexauer. Printmaking is often an undervalued medium, and “Multiple Intersections” hopes to change this narrative. Make sure to visit before the exhibit closes on July 22. If you want to try printmaking, there’s a free workshop on July 16. For more information, click here.
Rod Briggs Gallery is located at 2221 E Broadway. They are open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.