Eight free or low-cost things to do at CSULB during the summer

Published June 25, 2024

It’s summer break, and many Cal State Long Beach faculty and students are spending the next few months somewhere else. That means there’s more space here for locals to visit and take in a bit of culture, relax the mind, exercise the body or introduce younger members of their families to the wide world of science.

Here are eight free or low-cost options for spending a summer day on campus.

1. Artistic Wanderings

"Homage to Sam Rodia," an abstract sculpture formed from several rectangular blocks
"Homage to Sam Rodia," by J.J. Beljon can be found near the southeastern corner of campus.

The Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum offers free admission and is exhibiting Insights 2024, featuring School of Arts students’ works, through July 25. What’s more, campus grounds can themselves be regarded as an outdoor museum. Visitors can get some fresh air while taking a self-guided tour of sculptures and other works, several of which have their origins in the 1965 California International Sculpture Symposium.

2. Garden of Tranquility

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, with trees in the background and koi fish swimming in a pond in the foreground
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a place to escape everyday pressures and worries.

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden has, for more than four decades, provided a refuge from the hurly burly of campus and city life. Visitors can stroll along pathways and bridges, feed koi fish and relax their minds while surrounded by Japanese pines and other greenery.

Admission is free of charge, although reservations are required. The Japanese Garden also hosts events including summer concerts and the July 7 Tanabata Cultural Festival. More information is available from the garden’s online portal.

3. Science!

A lizard appears to look at the viewer while standing on a rock in a room with people standing in the background
Families can learn about animals and natural phenomena during Sharks at the Beach and Science in the Hall 2024.

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics plans to host Sharks at the Beach and Science in the Hall 2024,  a family-friendly event introducing guests to concepts from many disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics and physics. Scheduled learning experiences include Shark Lab tours, plant and animal exhibits, math puzzles and close looks at rocks’ crystal structures. The event is set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 20. Admission will be free of charge.

4. Constant Curiosity

A large group of people playing acoustic guitars
Osher Lifelong Learning Center students can gather for music lessons or take classes in other myriad subjects.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Center is open to people who are at least 50 years of age and who would like to pick up a new skill, hobby or learn more about the world. Volunteer instructors teach courses at on- and off-campus venues, as well as online. The 2024 Summer Class Schedule offers chances to delve into subjects including arts and music, computer and smartphone applications, investing, languages and yoga. Membership for the portion of the year including the July 8-Aug. 31 summer term costs $20 and courses have a $15 tuition fee.

5. Kinetic Energy

A man lifting weights at the LifeFit Center
The LifeFit Center @ The Beach is a community resource for people seeking to improve their physical strength and conditioning.

The LifeFit Center @ The Beach, on-campus gym where kinesiology students and alumni serve as trainers, is open on weekdays through the summer months, with group fitness activities scheduled over this time. Community members who are at least 49 years of age can purchase a membership for $35 per month. Members of CSULB Alumni or the Osher Lifelong Learning Center may register at a discounted rate.  

6. Summer in the Stacks

A view of a person walking outside University Library, taken from a high angle
University Library is a resource for the campus community - and neighbors.

The University Library is open to members of the public, including families who want to introduce very young readers to the wonders of the written word. The library’s Children’s Center – two spacious rooms lined with shelves of fiction, non-fiction and picture books – is available for a quiet family outing. Grownup readers may be interested in the library’s collections of graphic novels, mysteries and science fiction – or any of the thousands of works in the collection covering just about any subject under the sun.

7. Game On

A young man shooting pool.
The USU Games Center has several options for friendly competition and a good time.

Visitors don’t have to be a student to spend a few hours in the University Student Union Games Center. Players can stop by for diversions including billiards, bowling shuffleboard and table tennis. Looking to escape the confines of physical reality? Reserve a spot in the E-sports arena for a round of video gaming.

8. Make Your Own Waves

A view of a campus pedestrian bridge, with jacaranda leaves in the foreground.
Visitors can find their own paths at The Beach.

Be free to make your own plans in addition to trying any of these suggestions. Stop by and just have lunch on the grass or enjoy a cup of iced coffee while taking a self-guided tour or just meandering through the grounds. Alumni can relive college memories, and visitors with a future Beach student in their family can come by for a sneak preview of campus environs.  

Don’t Forget Your Parking Pass

Campus parking rates continue to apply during the summer months. Please see Parking and Transportation Services for information on short-term and daily rates.