First Friday Long Beach
Located in Bixby Knolls, on the famous Atlantic Corridor, between Bixby and San Antonio road, Long Beach First Friday is without a doubt, Bixby Knolls’ most famous event.
On the first Friday of every month, local stores, restaurants and businesses open their doors and offer some entertainment, whether it’s live bands, DJs, face paintings, performances, free foods or drinks.
You can stroll along Atlantic or hop on a British bus, which will pick you up and drop you off along the way. The event is a lot of fun for families and younger ones while the adult crowd can use it as an opportunity to go out for food, drinks and live music.
First Fridays always have a theme, from Day of the Dead to Folk or Art night but, to be frank, it is sometimes hard to notice it, except for some special presentation at the Expo hall.
Of course, it’s during summer that First Friday is the more lively, both the crowd and entertainment slowing down from October to April.
While there is a lot going on at First Friday, a few highlights include:
- Having diner or a drink at Nino’s: you can sit at that long communal table for food or just have a drink at the bar they only open for special occasions – the best part about the bar is that there usually is a DJ or live band and that you can bring your kids with you! Plus the staff is very friendly.
- The Expo Hall features art exhibits, performances, DJs, vendors and a bar. It’s always a good idea to get in, even though the level of activity varies from one month to another.
- The Historical society usually has a fun gypsy jazz band playing in the front and some exhibit about Long Beach – I personally enjoys all those old pictures of Long Beach.
- Getting free books and other freebies at Castle of Books – kids love that!
- There’s also a goofy Bixby Knolls ranger – in a Lone Rangers-style costume – walking around, which might appeal to your younger boys.
My only regret is that they don’t bring food trucks every month – it is a pretty rare occurrence, which I find pretty surprising as food trucks are very popular at these kinds of events.