Find an August escape

In the Loop


August heat may put you in a let’s-go-somewhere-else frame of mind. Consider these suggestions for festivals, food, and fun from our monthly round-up of trips around California.

To the northwest in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, discover the shape-shifting, color-changing nature of a very complex organ in the California Academy of Science’s newest exhibit through Jan. 20, 2020, “Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity” (; 415-379-8000). On a related subject, at the prestigious de Young Fine Arts Museum to Sunday, Oct. 6, experience “Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin,” a tribute to extraordinary tattoo art (; 415-750-3600). Also in San Francisco, “Hamilton” continues its national tour at the SHN Orpheum Theatre through Sunday, Sept. 8 (Hamilton.shnsf; 888-746-1799).

Down below, Universal Studios Hollywood has opened the breathlessly anticipated, gut-pounding Jurassic World – The Ride (; 800-864-8377). At the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Phil presents “Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks” on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 9 and 10 (; 323-850-2000).

In Los Angeles, Simon Helberg of “The Big Bang Theory” and Maura Tierney (“ER”) appear in the West Coast premiere of “The Witch of Edmonton,” a fiendishly clever play about a devil and a worthy adversary, from Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Geffen Playhouse (; 310-208-5454).

In L.A.’s Exposition Park, “Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective” runs through Sunday, Sept. 8, at the California African American Museum. Barnes had a five-year career in the NFL as an offensive guard before turning his talents to art that achieved cult status. The exhibit includes examples of his paintings of entertainment and music and also highlights how he, as the official artist of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, extensively represented athletes and sports (; 213-744-7432).

To the southwest in Costa Mesa, the O.C. Fair through Sunday, Aug. 11, offers classic rock tributes, reggae, rides, games, petting zoo, dining options and plenty more (; 714-708-1500). Over the Aug. 23-25 weekend, the D23 Expo billed as the “ultimate Disney event” brings everything from Pixar to Marvel to “Star Wars” to Mickey to the Anaheim Convention Center (

At Laguna Beach’s popular Festival of the Arts Pageant of the Masters, watch celebrated paintings and statuary come to life in a star-lit amphitheater through Saturday, Aug. 31. Nightly at 8:30 p.m., 90 minutes of “tableaux vivants” (living pictures), incredibly faithful re¬creations of classical and contemporary works, feature real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. In addition to the enchantment onstage, tickets provide unlimited access to the Festival of Art Fine Art Show all summer long (; 800-487-3378).

In Yorba Linda the Richard Nixon Presidential Library honors “Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind” through Jan. 13, 2020. The all-new interactive special exhibit marks the 50th Anniversary of the Historic Moon Landing (; 714-983-9120).

Story First Published: 2019-08-02