How Long is Summer Break in California?


Just about every youngster counts down the days leading up to summer break, a time of endless fun and adventure with countless unforgettable memories. Most kids wish summer break would never end, but the timeframe can vary depending on location. So, how long is summer break in California?

Summer break generally lasts approximately 2.5 months in California, usually starting at the end of May or beginning of June and ending sometime in August. There are various exceptions and differences between start and end dates, depending on the specific Californian school district.

If you’re a parent, you may be wondering how long the kids will be on break. Perhaps you’re planning an iconic vacation or trying to prepare activities to avoid a week-long video game marathon. Either way, summer breaks can offer a ton of fun for the whole family. Join us as we discuss some of the best ways to spend summer break and the most captivating summer vacation destinations in California. 

How long is summer break in California? 

In California, summer breaks typically last for approximately two and a half months. Summer break generally begins at the end of May and ends in the middle of August. But, summer break can start the first week of June in some cases, meaning that it would end toward the end of August. There are some exceptions, where summer break extends all the way into September. 

How many weeks or days is summer break in California?

With so much variation in school calendars and closing dates, it can be challenging to figure out how long summer break lasts in weeks or days. Specific dates vary between schools in California, and some students will experience slightly longer or shorter summer breaks. But an average summer break in California would be about 12-13 weeks, or 84-90 days total (including weekends).

What day does school end in California?

The date that summer break starts can vary drastically, depending on the school and district. Besides, the dates may also differ between elementary and high schools, but they are usually within the same week in these cases.

California School Districts calendars 

It can be challenging to figure out when summer break starts and ends, especially if you’re planning for multiple children. Your best bet will be to contact the specific school, but you can also consult the school district as they usually have uniform summer break start and end dates within a given school district. 

California has 1,037 school districts, comprised of 346 Unified school districts, 525 Elementary school districts, 78 High School districts, and 88 undefined school districts. Check out the full list of Californian school districts if you’d like to have an in-depth look at specific holiday dates. 

However, we’ve gathered the Californian school districts within the Los Angeles County (LAUSD), with their updated average summer break durations to provide some context. Dates are always subject to change, depending on the specifics of schools or unforeseen circumstances. 

Californian School District (LAUSD)StartEnd
ABC Unified School DistrictJune 8/9August 21/24
Alhambra Unified School DistrictMay 28August 12
Arcadia Unified School DistrictJune 3August 13/14
Baldwin Park Unified School DistrictJune 3August 13
Bellflower Unified School DistrictJune 4August 13
Beverly Hills Unified School DistrictJune 9August 17
Burbank Unified School DistrictMay 27August 17
Compton Unified School DistrictJune 11August 20
Conejo Valley Unified School DistrictJune 10/11August 19
Culver City Unified School DistrictJune 11August 20
Downey Unified School DistrictMay 28August 12
Duarte Unified School DistrictMay 28August 13
El Segundo Unified School DistrictJune 11August 26
Glendale Unified School DistrictJune 10August 19
Hermosa Beach City School DistrictJune 23September 3
Inglewood School DistrictJune 11August 24
La Canada Unified School DistrictJune 3August 17
Las Virgenes Unified School DistrictJune 9August 19
Long Beach Unified School DistrictJune 16September 1
Manhattan Beach Unified School DistrictJune 17August 26
Monrovia Unified School DistrictJune 9August 19
Montebello Unified School DistrictJune 10August 17
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School DistrictJune 2August 13
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School DistrictJune 10August 26
Paramount Unified School DistrictJune 10August 9
Pasadena Unified School DistrictJune 3August 17
Redondo Beach Unified School DistrictJune 10August 19
Santa Monica Malibu Unified School DistrictJune 11August 20

Every district can set its own calendar, and it’s always advised to contact the school for specific details. It can be extremely disappointing to plan a fantastic vacation, only to discover your child still needs to be at school the day you’ve planned to set off. Preparing for summer breaks will be far simpler if you know the details beforehand.

Where to go on summer break in California

If you’re envisioning an unforgettable summer break vacation, you may have already considered various iconic destinations. But, there may be far more enticing locations just outside your doorstep – sure to provide a stunning getaway for the whole family, with much simpler travel plans.

Many U.S residents and tourists flock to California for summer break, as it’s a perfect spot for sunbathing, exploring, and relaxing in picturesque settings. So, before you think about booking flights to a paradise far away, consider checking out the tempting locations just around the corner. 

Prismo Beach

Tucked away along the central California coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles lies Prismo Beach – a dreamlike destination for swimming and sunbathing. The expansive beach is adorned with soft white sands and Prismo Beach Surf Shop, which offers surf lessons. 

If you’re not up for catching waves, you can tour the coast with a kayak or experience wildlife with Central Coast Kayaks. Adrenaline seekers can rent an ATV at Sun Buggy Fun Rentals, and rev along the smooth sands near Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. 

Lake Tahoe

Located within the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northeastern California, Lake Tahoe affords a classic natural summer vacation for families. Visitors can bike or hike along the winding trails amidst vibrant forests and hills. Thrill-seekers can go for adrenaline-pumping activities, including zip lines, a climbing wall, rope courses, and the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster.  

Water activities are a must at Lake Tahoe, as the deep blue water’s currents are wonderful for various leisurely cruises and explorations. Families can rent a boat at Lakeside Marina or travel along the coastline on the Windsong Sailing Yacht, and water sport lessons are available at Lake Tahoe Water Ski School. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a truly unique experience, located near the town of Redding. Its area is garlanded with various volcanoes, geothermal areas, and plenty of enjoyable hiking trails, including the iconic Bumpass Hell Trail – spanning 3 miles in length and traversing past various hydrothermal areas. 

While the atmosphere is undoubtedly exciting – and possibly intimidating – it’s surprisingly relaxed and calm. Lassen Volcanic National Park is an excellent destination for a unique family summer vacation, and visitors can go camping or glamping at Manzanita Lake in a cabin, RV, or tent. 

Mount Shasta

Situated less than 10 miles from the mountain in north-central California, Mount Shasta is a fantastic summer vacation destination for families. There are plenty of activities to keep family members of all ages entertained. Visitors can explore the lush forests and traverse stunning hiking trails along the foothills. 

Various aquatic species can be lured and caught at Lake Siskiyou nearby, including rainbow and brown trout, crayfish, and bass. Numerous bicycles and hiking gear options can be found at the Fifth Season sporting goods store, while powerboats for water activities can be found at Fun Factory Rentals.  

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes has gained popularity as a ski destination. But, it has also evolved into a wonderful spot for fishing, biking, and hiking during the summer season. There are plenty of fun family activities, including horseback riding, rock climbing, and kayaking – a fantastic destination for nature lovers and hobbyists. 

Catalina Island

Those looking for an iconic island summer vacation are sure to love Catalina Island. It’s only about an hour away from Long Beach by boat and offers many classic islander experiences. The area is adorned with picturesque beaches, and the current is perfect for various water sports.

Visitors can explore the island marine life up close with scuba diving and snorkeling, or parasailing over Avalon Harbor with Island Water Charters. If you’re hoping to recline under serene skies but still want to have a peek at what lies below the ocean’s surface, check out Catalina Adventure Tours’ Glass Bottom Boat Tour options.

San Francisco

Most people love summer breaks for the weather, but there are quite a few that despise the heat. If you’re craving some not-so-sweaty weather but still want to have a ton of fun, San Francisco may be the way to go. 

San Francisco is fairly cool, even in summer, and the weather is enjoyable for the activities they have in the area. There are plenty of festivals, outdoor concerts, markets, parades, and a few budget-friendly activities as well. The atmosphere becomes festive starting in July, with exciting events to amuse family members of all ages. 

Eureka

The city of Eureka is a wonderful location for summer fun, located on Humboldt Bay in northwestern California. This is a great destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, as numerous natural and water activities are available for visitors. Anglers can find plenty of fishing opportunities with Reel Steel Sportfishing from Woodley Island Marina, such as halibut, tuna, rockfish, salmon, and even sharks. 

From Eureka, a whole world of natural wonders awaits travelers. It’s easy to access the Redwood Empire – home to Redwood National Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park – and the Avenue of the Giants. The Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center provides ample possibilities for water sports, offering canoes, paddleboards, sailboats, kayaks, and wildlife activities. 

Santa Rosa

Nestled in the northern California countryside, Santa Rosa is infamous for its breathtaking panoramas. Visitors can take their adventures into their own hands by renting a bicycle from Sports Basement and traversing picturesque surroundings. 

Or you can take kids to the Charles M. Schutz Museum to see the Peanuts exhibit, or to the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County for interactive displays and all-around family fun. Nature lovers can visit the Safari West drive-through nature reserve, home to various exotic wildlife species, including giraffes, cheetahs, buffalo, rhinos, and much more. 

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a fantastic destination for families seeking a more modern or urban experience. This destination offers a delicate balance between water fun, sightseeing, shopping, and dining, with soft white sands and sparkling waters. Visitors can take a dip in the gentle swells, sunbathe on the pristine shore, play classic summer games like beach volleyball, or gear up for thrilling water sports. 

The Scenic Bluff Path is well-known for exceptional views of the surrounding coastline, while Carmel Plaza is a dream hotspot for shopping sprees and trendsetters. Families will love nearby sights as well, including 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Historic Cannery Row, and the infamous Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

Fort Bragg 

If you’re hoping to explore the natural wonders of our world, Fort Bragg is an excellent option to consider. This city is an incredibly popular summer family vacation hotspot, with numerous iconic attractions to enthuse visitors of all ages. The Glass Beach is undoubtedly a must-see when visiting the area – a shore in MacKerricher State Park that’s embellished by sea-worn, smooth glass pebbles. 

Mendocino

Take a stroll through the 47 acres of blossoming flowers, lush ferns, and aromatic pine forests at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, or view redwood forests with rivers and streams on the Skunk Train. There’s plenty to do and countless sights to observe in the nearby area as well. 

Mission Beach

Huddled on a sandbar northwest of downtown San Diego, Mission Beach boasts immaculate white sands and glistening waters – perfect for just about any beach activity. Visitors can bask in the sunlight, soak in the gentle ocean breeze, catch some waves with rented surfboards, or play classic beach volleyball. 

If you’re not up for getting sand in your hair for the day, you can spend some time on the boardwalk. There’s plenty of room for skateboarders, cyclists, and pedestrians. Belmont Park is a must-visit when you’re in the area, as this historic amusement park offers a wonderful selection of rides and activities. 

Encinitas

Spanning a stretch of the southern California coast, the city of Encinitas holds numerous summer fun activities. The family-friendly Moonlight State Beach is great for young children, with shallow waters and vast sands. It’s fantastic for water play, swimming, and classic beach sports like Frisbee and volleyball.

Visitors can explore lush greenery and vibrant flowers at the San Diego Botanical Garden, flaunting 37 acres of tropical forest land, desert gardens, and bamboo groves. The Pacific Coast Grill boasts jaw-dropping oceanic views from each seat, serving up delicious seafood dishes to tantalize your taste buds. 

Best ways to spend summer break in California

Not surprisingly, many people plan to spend summer breaks close to home for the foreseeable future. If you’re not up for traveling or venturing too far out, perhaps consider creating a little fun and entertainment in the comfort of your home area. 

While having the kids at home for a few weeks is rewarding and enjoyable, it can be tough to deal with – especially for parents continuing with work and commitments. But, the anxiety shouldn’t become contagious, as summer breaks should be special and memorable for your kids.

Understandably, it can be stressful when trying to plan a great summer break for your family. Not everyone can manage a planned vacation or even visits to local destinations – and that’s okay! You and your kids can still have plenty of fun with some enthusiasm and creativity!

Beach days

California is iconic for stunning beaches and crashing waves – it’s perfect for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, or just chilling with family and friends. Beach trips and hangouts are undoubtedly some of the most popular and classic California summer break activities and are enjoyable for almost anyone. 

Summer camps and clubs

Summer break means summer camp or summer clubs for many kids and families, and there is a whole new world of possibility and memories through enrolling in one of these experiences. There are countless programs, many of which are themed or focus on a specific area for experiences. It’s a great way to make sure your kids are supervised, learning, making friends, and having fun!

Concerts, plays, musicals, and events

During summer break, plenty of gifted musicians, artists, and performers come out to share their talents with the community. Keep an eye out for concerts, plays, musicals, festivals, markets, and events in your area to avoid missing out on the exciting experiences that await your family. For an extra-special summertime flavor, many of these attractions are even out-of-doors.

Skill workshops

While most kids just want to have fun and forget about the rest, some enjoy continuing the learning process throughout summer breaks. This is wonderful, and it should be encouraged in a fun and interactive way. Whether practicing baking, woodworking, pottery, crafting, playing an instrument, or learning martial arts, it’s always great to support your kids with skill workshops and programs. 

Planning for summer break can be challenging. But, it allows your kids to form precious bonds and memories, and it allows you to stay connected with them by encouraging their hobbies and interests. No matter what you do or where you go for your kids’ summer break vacation, make sure you’re spending as much time as you can with your family, and remember to have fun!

Elizabeth Ciobanu

Elizabeth Ciobanu is a full-time (homeschooling!) mom of four, and serial entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, one of which is producing content for Family Vacation. If free time existed, she would love to spend more time on hobbies.

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