7 Fun Things To Do In Burbank

Trip Ideas May 9, 2024

Nestled in the heart of Southern California, Burbank stands as a quintessential blend of urban vibrancy and suburban tranquility. Often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor, Hollywood, Burbank offers a unique charm that draws both tourists and residents alike. This city, known for its deep ties to the entertainment industry, is not just a hub for film and television but a place where creativity and community spirit flourish side by side.

As you explore Burbank, you'll find it is a city of contrasts and variety. Here, the energy of a bustling downtown area coexists with the serenity of expansive parks and quiet neighborhoods. It’s a place where you can discover a rich array of activities, tailored to cater to every age and interest. Whether you're looking for a family day out, a romantic evening, or a solo adventure, Burbank’s diverse attractions ensure there's always something exciting on the agenda.

Burbank 
Source: Hotels

Downtown Burbank itself is a vibrant center of activity. It offers a plethora of Burbank activities, ranging from shopping at boutique stores and dining at acclaimed restaurants to enjoying the nightlife that sparkles with live performances and cinema screenings. For those interested in the arts, the downtown area also hosts various galleries and theaters that showcase local and international talent. This part of Burbank is not only a great place for leisure but also serves as the heartbeat of the community, hosting multiple events that bring together locals and visitors alike.

1. Explore Downtown Burbank

Downtown Burbank, nestled in the heart of the city, is a bustling hub of activity that offers visitors and locals alike a perfect blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. This vibrant district is renowned for its lively atmosphere and a wide array of activities that cater to all interests, making it a prime destination for anyone looking to explore the best of what Burbank has to offer.

As you stroll through the lively streets of Downtown Burbank, you are immediately enveloped by the energy of the area. The streets are lined with a variety of shops ranging from boutique fashion stores to specialty bookshops. This makes it an ideal spot for those interested in indulging in some retail therapy. Whether you’re on the hunt for the latest fashion trends or searching for unique gifts, the shopping experience in Burbank’s downtown area is unparalleled. It serves as a vibrant canvas showcasing the best in local and international brands, ensuring that there's something to satisfy every taste and budget.

Source: RubyHome

Dining in Downtown Burbank is a delight for food enthusiasts. The area boasts an impressive selection of restaurants and cafes that offer everything from gourmet meals to casual bites. Food lovers can enjoy a culinary journey around the world with a diverse range of cuisines available, including Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and classic American. Each restaurant offers a unique ambiance, from cozy, intimate settings perfect for a romantic date night to lively, family-friendly environments. For those looking for fun things to do in Burbank at night, the downtown area’s dining scene comes alive with options that cater to every palate and occasion.

2. Visit Top Parks and Recreational Areas

Burbank, nestled in the heart of Southern California, offers an array of serene parks and recreational areas that serve as perfect escapes from the urban hustle. Whether you're a local or just visiting, exploring the best parks in Burbank provides a refreshing blend of nature, adventure, and relaxation. Griffith Park and the Stough Canyon Nature Center stand out as premier destinations for both leisure and activity, embodying the vibrant outdoor culture of Burbank, CA.

Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America, extends into the Burbank area, offering a vast landscape that rivals even the most well-known national parks. This iconic park is a treasure trove of activities, from hiking on rugged trails to horseback riding through scenic vistas. The park's extensive network of paths includes some of the best hiking in Burbank, with routes varying in difficulty from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs that reward hikers with panoramic views of the Los Angeles Basin. For families, Griffith Park is not just about the trails; it also features playgrounds, picnic areas, and the famous Griffith Observatory. These family-friendly amenities make it an ideal spot for a day out with kids, ensuring that there's something enjoyable for everyone.

Griffith Park
Source: Griffith Observatory

Just a short drive from downtown Burbank, the Stough Canyon Nature Center offers a more secluded experience. This hidden gem in Burbank provides a quiet retreat into nature, with well-maintained trails that meander through native flora and fauna. The center itself is a focal point for environmental education, offering workshops and guided tours that enhance the visitor experience. Hiking here allows for intimate encounters with wildlife and the natural beauty of the region. The trails cater to all ages, making it a go-to location for Burbank activities that promote health and well-being.

Both Griffith Park and Stough Canyon are renowned for their picturesque picnic spots. Families and couples alike can find solace under the shade of ancient trees or by the side of a tranquil stream, enjoying a packed lunch or a special meal prepared in the great outdoors.  

3. Attend Burbank's Signature Events

Burbank, California, a vibrant city nestled near the heart of the entertainment industry, offers a rich tapestry of events that capture its unique cultural essence. From film festivals to traditional farmers markets, there’s always something happening that provides both residents and visitors with opportunities to immerse themselves in the local culture and community spirit.

One of the premier events that defines Burbank’s cultural landscape is the Burbank International Film Festival. This acclaimed festival not only showcases films from burgeoning and established filmmakers globally but also serves as a vital platform for networking within the entertainment industry. Held annually, the festival highlights an array of genres, ensuring that there is something to pique the interest of every cinephile. Attending this festival offers a chance to experience first-hand the city’s significant contribution to cinema, further solidifying Burbank's reputation as a pivotal hub in the film industry.

Burbank International Film Festival
Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Apart from the glitter of cinema, Burbank also boasts a robust local tradition through its weekly farmers market. Located in Downtown Burbank, this event is a feast for the senses and a testament to Burbank’s community-oriented vibe. Every weekend, residents and tourists alike can explore rows of fresh, locally-sourced produce, handmade crafts, and gourmet foods. This farmers market not only supports local agriculture and craftspeople but also serves as a lively community gathering spot where people can enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and more. It's a perfect destination for families looking for fun things to do in Burbank or anyone interested in tasting the local flavors and artisan creations.

4. Family Fun and Kids' Activities

Burbank, California, is a family-friendly city that offers a wealth of activities designed to delight and entertain children of all ages. From its close proximity to Hollywood to its thriving local community, Burbank is packed with attractions and experiences that make it an ideal destination for a family outing. Whether you're a local or visiting from out of town, you'll find plenty to do that will engage your kids and provide fun for the entire family.

One of the top destinations in Burbank for families is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. This behind-the-scenes tour is a fantastic way for kids and adults alike to see how their favorite movies and TV shows are made. The interactive soundstages and sets offer a unique glimpse into the world of filmmaking. Children will be thrilled to step onto the sets of some of their favorite shows and might even get a chance to see a real film crew in action. The tour is not only entertaining but also educational, as it introduces kids to the art and science of movie-making, enhancing their appreciation for the films and shows they love.

Source: Wizarding World

Another fantastic place to visit in Burbank is the Martial Arts History Museum. This museum is designed as an educational facility that offers kids a fascinating look into the history of martial arts and their impact on American culture and film. The exhibits are interactive, making it a fun place for children to learn about the diverse arts and the countries from which they originate. The museum also hosts various events and workshops that can provide hands-on learning experiences for the whole family.

5. Discover Burbank’s Hidden Gems

Burbank, often overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbor, Hollywood, offers a treasure trove of lesser-known attractions and unique spots that promise a distinct and enriching experience for those willing to explore its depths. This city, nestled in the heart of Southern California, is not just about the major studios and mainstream entertainment avenues; it's also home to hidden gems that reveal the quieter, more intimate side of urban discovery.

One such remarkable site is the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation, a monument that stands as a testament to the pioneering spirit of aviation. Located at the Valhalla Memorial Park, this shrine is not only a burial site for notable aviators but also an architectural marvel. The beautifully tiled dome and intricate mosaics offer a serene tribute to those who have contributed to the history of aviation. This place, often overlooked even by locals, provides a peaceful respite from the bustling city and a chance to reflect on the brave contributions of those who pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the air.

Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine
Source: Trip

Beyond historical sites, Burbank's shopping scene includes numerous specialized local shops that cater to a variety of interests and tastes. For instance, the Magnolia Park area is renowned for its vintage shops, boutique stores, and artisanal eateries. Strolling through these streets, visitors can find everything from rare vinyl records and retro clothing to handmade jewelry and unique home decor. Shopping in these stores not only supports local businesses but also offers a distinctive shopping experience far removed from the generic offerings of larger malls.

6. Enjoy Cultural and Historical Attractions

Burbank, California, often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor, Hollywood, holds its own unique charm and a rich tapestry of cultural and historical attractions. Among these, the Gordon R. Howard Museum and the Colony Theatre stand out as beacons of the city’s vibrant past and present. These venues offer visitors and locals alike a deep dive into Burbank's intriguing development and its pivotal role in the entertainment industry.

At the heart of Burbank’s historical narrative is the Gordon R. Howard Museum. Nestled in a quaint area, this museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that chronicle the evolution of the city from its early agricultural days to its current status as a media powerhouse. Visitors to the museum can explore a variety of displays that cover everything from the first settlers in the area to the rise of the aviation industry, which had a significant impact on Burbank during the mid-20th century. The museum also delves into the city's transformation due to the burgeoning entertainment industry, which is still a major economic force in the region. For history enthusiasts, the museum provides a comprehensive overview of Burbank's heritage, making it a must-visit destination.

Another cultural gem in Burbank is the Colony Theatre. Known for its high-quality productions, this theatre offers a mix of contemporary plays and classic revivals, often featuring stories that resonate with the local community. The theatre's intimate setting ensures that every seat is close to the action, providing a personal experience that larger venues cannot match. 

Colony Theatre

The Colony Theatre not only entertains but also contributes to the local cultural scene by engaging with audiences through thought-provoking performances and various educational programs. These initiatives help foster a deeper appreciation of the arts within the community and attract visitors who are looking for what to do in Burbank that connects them more closely with its cultural life.

7. Adventure and Outdoor Activities

Burbank, nestled in the heart of Southern California, offers a delightful blend of urban excitement and outdoor allure. It's a place where adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts can find a variety of activities to engage in, making it a prime destination for those looking to explore the great outdoors. From horseback riding in the picturesque hills to biking along well-maintained paths, Burbank provides an array of options for every type of outdoor lover.

One of the most captivating outdoor activities in Burbank is horseback riding. The nearby Verdugo Mountains offer a network of trails that present not only a fun challenge for equestrians but also breathtaking views of the San Fernando Valley. These trails, accessible from several points around Burbank, wind through rugged terrain and lush landscapes, making for a memorable day on horseback. Riders of all skill levels can partake in guided tours, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience as they navigate through the scenic vistas.

Verdugo Mountains
Source: Hike Los Angeles

For those who prefer pedal power, Burbank boasts several biking trails that cater to both novice riders and seasoned cyclists. The Chandler Bikeway, a dedicated bike path, stretches through the city and is a popular route for both recreational and commuting cyclists. This path, marked by its ease and accessibility, allows bikers to enjoy a leisurely ride while taking in the local sights. Further enhancing Burbank’s appeal as a cyclist-friendly destination, additional bike paths connect to neighboring communities and scenic spots, providing ample opportunities for extended rides and exploration.

Conclusion

Burbank, California, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of Los Angeles County, is renowned for its unique blend of entertainment heritage, bustling downtown vibes, and serene natural landscapes. This city, though often overshadowed by its famous neighbor, Hollywood, offers a rich tapestry of activities, attractions, and cultural experiences that cater to both tourists and residents alike. With a variety of things to do, places to visit, and events to attend, Burbank stands out as a destination that promises an enriching and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of the entertainment world, Burbank also boasts some of the best parks in the region. Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America, offers a wide range of recreational activities including hiking, horseback riding, and even a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo. Closer to the heart of the city, the Stough Canyon Nature Center presents an ideal setting for those seeking a tranquil escape into nature, offering stunning views and peaceful hiking trails that are perfect for a family outing or a solitary retreat.

Stough Canyon Nature Center
Source: City of Burbank

For those looking for fun things to do in Burbank this weekend, the city's calendar is replete with events and festivals that showcase local talent and community spirit. From art exhibitions and film festivals to farmers' markets and live concerts, there is always something happening in Burbank. These events not only provide entertainment but also a chance to mingle with locals and experience the city’s vibrant community atmosphere.

FAQ

1. What unique cultural festivals can visitors experience in Burbank, CA?

Burbank hosts a variety of unique cultural festivals such as the Burbank International Film Festival, which showcases independent films from around the world, and the Burbank Arts Festival that features local artists and craftspeople. These events highlight the city's commitment to nurturing arts and culture.

2. What are some historic landmarks in Burbank that reflect its cultural heritage?

Burbank is rich in historical landmarks such as the Gordon R. Howard Museum which offers insights into the city's past, and the Starlight Bowl, an open-air amphitheater that hosts various cultural performances. These sites reflect Burbank's historical and cultural evolution.

3. Can you explore any local arts and crafts in Burbank?

The Magnolia Park area in Burbank is renowned for its vintage shops and artisan boutiques, offering everything from handmade jewelry to custom-designed clothing. This neighborhood epitomizes Burbank's vibrant local arts scene.

4.. What role does Burbank play in supporting local artists and community projects?

Burbank actively supports local artists through community grants and initiatives aimed at promoting cultural arts. The city’s Community Arts Grants Program is specifically designed to fund local artists and engage residents with diverse and outstanding cultural arts projects.

5. How does Burbank contribute to the American entertainment industry?

Known as the "Media Capital of the World," Burbank is home to numerous major entertainment companies, including Warner Bros. Studios, Walt Disney Studios, and Nickelodeon Animation Studio. This concentration of media giants makes it a pivotal location for film and TV production.

Tags

Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily has extensive experience planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, specializing in eco-tourism and adventure travel.