Check our Short Guide and Free of Charge Suggestions
By Lindenberg Junior
*Photos: Claudia Passos, Antonio Passos Jr and Jane Ceron
Summer season this year starts Thursday June 20th and end on Friday September 22nd. From sprawling gardens and various inspiring playground to great outdoors hikes and not to be missed free events & performances, Southern California offers so many activities for the whole family, especially during the summer. Put down the remote and back away from the TV. Make sure to refresh and rejuvenate, and take time to enjoy great moments with your kids, your lover or your friend, and better yet, a lot options for free!
This little guide has the goal to help you unplug from your normal routine in a less expensive way! Some of them are knowledge worldwide; others familiar only to those of us who’ve spent time exploring the best Southern California secrets. We bring to you ten cool suggestions!
The Summer Opening Parade/Festivals like the Solstice Parade in Santa Barbara and the Ocean Beach Street Fair that includes the Chili Cook-Off Festival in San Diego are two of the most interesting “Outdoor” festivals in Southern California. The colorful Summer Solstice Parade and Festival celebration opening the summer season in Santa Barbara County and attract people from all over California. The Ocean Beach Street Fair is one of the San Diego County favorites and includes continues live music in five stages, a chili cook-off with more than two dozen entries to sample, a community mural project and a wonderland children’s area. Both festivals offer art and food vendors as well as a beer garden. solsticeparade.com/ and www.oceanbeachsandiego.com/ob-street-fair
Picnic and a hike at Palos Verdes Peninsula. Check Ocean trails at seetheglobe.com, to check more info about the Pt. Vicente Lighthouse check www.vicentelight.org, to check Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center visit www.palosverdes.com, and to check Redondo Beach Pier visit www.redondopier.com.
For an activity day on the water, there is no better place than Marina Del Rey. Sure, this harbor city has many sailing clubs and provides a home for the local millionaires’ yachts, but it’s also full of great areas to walk and bike along the ocean. Of course, there are a plenty of ways to enjoy the water without getting in a sailboat. More info check: visitmarinadelrey.com
If we talk about summer fun and inclusive free activities, we can’t forget to mention the beach and all the fun activities around. You can stroll the ocean front walk of Pacific Beach in San Diego or the Cabrillo Ave in Santa Barbara or the beach walking of Venice in L.A. Venice per example, is an evolving place, especially during summertime where outdoor “celebrations” begin in late June and goes until late September. Take a walking on the beach or ride in a bike to/from Santa Monica beach, stop by at Muscle Beach Centennial Fitness or skate dancing close to the basketball courts, there is no better time to have fun under the sun and join the hippies and hipsters. Check: venicecentennial.com. If you are in California and you don’t stop by the beach, you have done yourself a great injustice.
From Travel Town to Shane’s Inspiration Playground, Griffith Park entertains every age with it’s over 4,000 acres. So many activities from pony rides for kids to a hike in a trail close to the observatory that reach out a mountain top with a 360 angle where you can view downtown L.A as well as San Fernando Valley. You can even see the Hollywood sign. Use the observatory’s telescope to check out the real starts of the universe. Besides free admission, there’s free parking too – such a rarity in L.A! Check: cityofla.org/RAP/grifmet/gp/
Have fun in many “Summer Southern California Free Performances” such as the Thurs Nights (7pm) at the Santa Monica Pier – the Twilight Series (bring the blanket, the picnic basket with some goods and the kids), the Sat Nights (6pm) at Fisherman’s Village on Marina del Rey, the Sun & Wed Afternoons/Nights at Pershing Square in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the Thurs and Sunday Nights at Levitt Pavilion (two locations: Pasadena and L.A), the Saturdays free Music series on Pine Street in Long Beach and more. Check our calendar page for the complete list including the links HERE.
Visit the Hollywood Bowl and catch the rehearsal! Some of the most memorable moments in L.A music history and some of the greatest in music history ever occurred in “The the Bowl”. Thurs, it’s worth a visit in the daytime, when admission is always free. However, throw in the fact that some music acts, like the L.A Philharmonic often practices there and anyone is allowed to watch and listen for free, and it becomes a must-stop. Performances in the Bowl are between June and September.
The O’Neill Regional Park at Trabuco Canyon in Orange County is a place to admire the landscape while you hike together in this awesome wooded canyon. Rangers can recommend trails for any fitness level and answer questions about local flora and fauna. *Parking cost is only $2 on weekdays and $4 on weekends – ocparks.com/oneillpark/
Southern California has so many great parks for kids, but I will mention three old-school playgrounds that is a must-to-check if you still not did bring your kids yet. These old-school playground help imagination soar. The Los Angeles “Rocketship” Park in Torrance and its classic conical metal structures whizzed children into the vastness of outer space from the comfort of their neighborhood park (5101 Calle de Ricardo, Torrance< CA).
The Vincent Lugo Park at La Laguna de San Gabriel has been inspiring children to play since 1965, and is a aquatic-themed fantasyland that was handcrafted by then-72-year-old Mexican concrete artist Benjamin Dominguez. Bring sand toys for toddlers, and expect older kids to invent story lines about a treasure chest, a sunken pirate ship and more (300 W. Wells St, San Gabriel, CA). The Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove is a fully enclosed oasis of imagination that’s filled oversized concrete sea critters and bucolic rolling greenery. Expect aquatic creatures here like dolphins, sea serpents and sharks! (13630 Atlantis Way, Garden Grove, CA).
The Annual Brazilian Day San Diego organized by the Capoeira Mandinga Institute is the biggest Brazilian Outdoor event in the West Coast and Soul Brasil magazine are proud to be one the supporters/media partners. The event is held in Pacific Beach and various blocks of the Garnet Street. The outdoor festival offer different art forms including live Brazilian music and food as well as kids activities usually in the second Sunday of September – http://www.braziliandaysandiego.com
We hope you have liked our guide! If you like it, we appreciate the recognition of our efforts to resource and write this short guide and recommend the reading for others. Copy the link in your browse and share it with your friends and family. Happy summer!