7 things to do in SoCal this weekend

The Natural History Museum hosts a night of music and activities called
The Natural History Museum hosts a night of music and activities called "Summer Nights in the Garden."
Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

July is winding down, so if you haven't got a chance to enjoy the free concerts, outdoor movies, and festivals yet, this is your weekend. We've got a food festival of all-you-can-eat watermelon, a Japanese Obon celebration and the must-see surfing competition of the summer.


California Watermelon Festival

WHEN: Saturday, July 29 - Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
WHERE: Hansen Dam Soccer Complex, Lake View Terrace MAP
COST: $12 for adults, $7 for kids Get tickets

A ticket to this festival buys you all-you-can-eat watermelon. Need I say more? Well, just in case, there's also churro ice cream sandwiches and tacos with watermelon salsa, a few attempts at watermelon-smashing world records and an entire team competition. Grab your friends and enter the games to try the watermelon skiing event.


Higashi Obon Festival

WHEN: Saturday, July 29 - Sunday, July 30, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
WHERE: Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, DTLA MAP
COST: Free

Obon is a traditional Japanese Buddhist celebration honoring the spirits of the ancestors. The festival is open to everyone and features food vendors, a farmer's market, cultural performances and tea ceremony demonstrations. Even if it's your first time, it's highly encouraged to join in the traditional Bon Odori dancing.


Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival


WHEN: Saturday, July 29 - Sunday, July 30, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WHERE: Long Beach Convention Center MAP
COST: $26 - $48 Get tickets

Forget Christmas in July. Halloween in July is the new midsummer holiday, and Long Beach is going all out for this scare fest. The Hall of Shadows will feature 14 different haunted attractions and a show where performers thrill (and likely scare) guests. There's also panels, immersive VR experiences, escape rooms and a creepy costume ball on the old Queen Mary cruise liner. If you're still screaming for horror, check out the "American Horror Story" exhibit at The Paley Center for Media.


Quote-Along "Labyrinth"


WHEN: Thursday, July 27, 8 p.m.
COST: $35 Get tickets

Relive the '80s with the late David Bowie and the creative genius of Jim Henson and George Lucas. This cult classic is playing on the big screen at the Ace Hotel and the ticket comes with a prop bag for the performance. Imagine something like a Rocky Horror Picture Show, except with Jareth the Goblin King singing, "You remind me of the babe."


Vans U.S. Open of Surfing


WHEN: Saturday, July 29 - Sunday, August 6
WHERE: South of the Huntington Beach Pier MAP
COST: Free

The surf forecast is looking pretty swell in the next few days, so opening weekend looks like the perfect opportunity to see some world-class surfing. Kanoa Igarashi, 19, is the local favorite to watch. The U.S. Open also boasts BMX and skating competitions. Even if you're not into sports, there's plenty of great sun, people watching and shopping at the event.


Sunset Concerts at the Skirball

WHEN: Thursday, July 27, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Skirball Cultural Center MAP
COST: Free, parking is $10

The Skirball Cultural Center's annual summer concert series is back this weekend. The performances feature indie, folk, and world music artists on a beautiful outdoor stage. Sunset concerts kicks off with Grammy-winning musician and songwriter Sean Watkins in tribute to Paul Simons.


Summer Nights in the Garden

Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

WHEN: Friday, July 28, August 11, August 25 
WHERE: Natural History Museum MAP
COST: Free

Put a little nature in your weekend without going too far. The Natural History Museum is hosting a few nights this summer of live music, botanical tours and live animal meet-and-greets. 

How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @inkwaves and @LeoHasACat.