Living through 2020 has proved to be hard on everyone, especially businesses in California. Sometimes you just want to do something fun to forget all the smoke and fires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, lockdown hasn’t made that easy, whether you’re directly or indirectly affected by the recent events.

Luckily, there are still plenty of fun (and COVID-safe) events in Los Angeles that you and your family can attend this year – with plenty within driving distance from Orange County. Let’s take a look:

Safe Los Angeles Events

No need to check a lengthy events calendar! This list is your city guide to COVID-free fun.

Drive-In Movies

You can watch new movies and classics alike at these late-nights’ drive-ins. So, park in their lot and enjoy movies on the silver screen once again. There are plenty of drive-in theaters you and your family can attend in:

Drive-In Events

Summer Swing Nights is a fun, big-band swing dance party. Here, you can drive in, dance to swing music from the safety of your car, and take a look at vintage automobiles from the past. This year’s event took place at El Camino College on Saturday, September 19th. They raised money to save The Automobile Driving Museum (a separate museum from the Petersen Automotive Museum).

The City National Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA is hosting a variety of drive-in events, from film tours to concerts to entertaining comedy acts.

One of the highlights of this year is the various Halloween-themed drive-in events in L.A. county. Most are located in Santa Monica and feature themed attractions. There is even a free Disney-themed drive-thru festival located at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar. If that wasn’t enough, Hulu also has their own free Halloween drive-thru experience perfect for adult horror fans in Griffith Park.

Looking to ease your concert fix, but aren’t sure where to go? The Hollywood Palladium is opening its doors this fall for drive-in concerts. The stadium will implement strict social distancing rules, but you should otherwise have a great time.

Outdoor Dining

Yes, restaurants are open—just at a limited capacity. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health only permits outdoor table dining. Indoor dining and bars within restaurants must remain closed for the time being. You can also order food through delivery, drive-thru, and carry-out, too.

Upcoming Events in Los Angeles

Most performing arts centers, comedy clubs, and venues such as The House of Blues have either rescheduled, indefinitely postponed, or outright canceled their events. This is all to comply with COVID-19 safety regulations. Sadly, you won’t be able to see likes of Future Islands, Gorillaz, Digable Planets, and other great bands live for a long while.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste for the performing arts elsewhere!

Los Angeles Comic-Con 2020

Comic-Con is a joyful display of fandom and nerd culture that’s coming to L.A. this December. Though San Diego Comic-Con is perhaps the most famous, L.A. Comic-Con is sure to bring just as many exciting guests, booths, and more.

Tickets went on-sale Tuesday, September 29th. The convention is spread throughout the entire convention center to encourage social distancing.

Smorgasbord LA

Smorgasbord LA is exactly what its name implies! It’s a smorgasbord of different specialty food trucks that you can partake in. Wine-tasting and unique foods await you in this creative food festival.

This event is free, so take a short stop here to try some truly excellent cuisine.

Ed Clark: Expanding the Image

Postwar painter Ed Clark is a pioneer in the art world. His abstract works demonstrate “his inventive use of pure color, abstract form, and the seductive materiality of paint.” Most of the works in this gallery were painted in his formative years.

Tickets were made available at the end of July. The gallery will remain up until January of next year for art lovers to enjoy.

Online Events

The fortunate youth have grown up with a rapid development of technology. They know how to navigate the endless online landscape of livestreams, social media, and virtual tours to watch as many movies, shows, and virtual events as they please.

Lucky for you, events in L.A. are not only confined to the physical world! There are plenty of great featured events that you can watch online, either for free or at a reduced price.

Getting started can be intimidating if you don’t have a Los Angeles events calendar. Don’t worry; we’ll provide you the links and dates.

Academy Dialogues: It Starts with Us

Black Lives Matter more than ever. During this event, you can listen to BIPOC actors, writers, directors, and other artists in Los Angeles. They’ll speak about “race, ethnicity, gender, history, opportunity, and the art of filmmaking” in these compelling discussions. Speakers include Whoopi Goldberg, Lee Daniels, Lulu Wang, Taraji P. Henson, and others within the industry.

Most talks are already uploaded to a playlist on the Oscars’ YouTube channel. You can also catch a live premiere of more Academy Dialogues in a weekly series of virtual panels starting October 1st.

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

The annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is a celebration of Asian and Pacific-Islander films and culture. It also acts as the launching pad for many great Asian-American filmmakers across the board. Get the chance to watch some great films before anyone else during this virtual film festival for all to enjoy.

Tickets have been available since Thursday, September 3rd, and the festival officially began on September 24th.

Sports

While there are plenty of upcoming events in L.A., watching sporting events in-person is still off the table. However, you can still catch the NBA Playoffs, MLB games, and plenty of other of your favorite sports on streaming sites.

Hulu and ESPN+ are especially good for sports lovers. If you’re itching to watch the Colorado Rockies go up against the L.A. Dodgers, or Kansas City versus the Denver Nuggets, then these sites will have you more than covered for the season.