Summertime officially kicks off in just days and your kids are home from school. Looking for something fun and festive to keep them busy? Read below for a selection of activities all over the Los Angeles area that will have them hiking, exploring, and learning. And don’t forget, Father’s Day is this Sunday – click here to see our picks for special things to do with Dad!

Los Angeles

Baldwin Hills Fest
Your lil’ peeps’ imaginations will soar to new heights at the Scenic Overlook, where festivities include an enormous puppet parade at 11:00 am, which last year featured giant hummingbirds and bees. Hosted in conjunction with L.A.’s Audubon Society, activities also include hiking, dancing, live music, and food, to tickle your flights of fancy. Sat., 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Baldwin Hills, free. Event details.

Toddle Treks With Acorn Bear
This festive summer program kicks off at Descanso Gardens and takes place on six successive Fridays. For tots and their folks, each workshop has a different theme that inspires crafts, stories, and nature-walks in the gardens. This weeks’ theme is “Frogs Make Me Hoppy.” Other topics include veggies, dinosaurs, and ponds, to name a few. Reserve your spots early! Fri., 9:30 am, La Cañada Flintridge, $65 per child. Event details.

Make Music Pasadena Festival
Take your little rockstars to see some great, live music and they are sure to be inspired. This festival hosts free concerts at 22 different stages and venues throughout the city, such as the Levitt Pavilion in the park, the Majestical Roof stage downtown, and the fabulous Pasadena Central Library. From classical to indie, to funk and jazz, there is something for every music lover. See listing for schedules and locations. Sat., 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Pasadena, free. Event details.


Mountain Lion Moon Walk
Feel like you’re on a safari. As twilight descends, hike through the canyon with a naturalist to learn about majestic mountain lions and their special habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains. Wear long pants and hiking boots and meet at the picnic tables in the front parking lot. Sat., 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Pacific Palisades, free hike, parking is $7. Event details.


Free Summer Party At Lollipop Dream
Closer and cheaper than a trip to Disneyland, the fabulous Lollipop Dream is opening its gilded doors to the neighborhood for a free summer bash. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they get to dress-up in the vanity closet that provides oodles of fairytale costumes, create whimsical crafts, nibble on yummy sweet treats, and even meet a princess or two. Sat., 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Sherman Oaks, free. Event details.

Touch a Truck (pictured)
Rev your engines and race over to family Touch-A-Truck Day in Thousand Oaks, where kids are encouraged to explore. Dads will be up to their ears in axle grease with all sorts of vehicles on display – from vintage models to tractors to emergency vehicles. See demonstrations, play in the Kids’ Construction Zone, and make transportation-themed crafts. Honk if you’re happy! Sat., 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Thousand Oaks, free. Event details.

Beach Cities

PASTA! The Pop Ups Puppet Musical
Join the Pop Ups at the Electric Lodge for an educational and musical adventure through Brooklyn to help Jason and Jacob find ingredients to make the best pasta sauce ever! The show is super-interactive, has a national following, and was well-reviewed by the Wall Street Journal: “The lyrics target both finicky-eating kids and foodie adults: Gotta have my spaghetti, it wakes up every meal. I get down with fusilli with the zest of lemon peel!” Buy tickets online or at the door. Fri., Sat., Sun., 11:00 am & 3:00 pm, Venice, $15. Event details.

Urban Ocean Festival
In SoCal, more than 20 million people live within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Celebrate our Urban Ocean with the Long Beach Aquarium’s 2nd annual weekend that looks at our interaction with this amazing part of the Pacific. The festival will include an art exhibition, eco-friendly fashion show and contest, interactive mural painting, urban ocean cruises, poetry readings, sustainable seafood demonstrations, live music, and educational activities for the whole family. Sat. & Sun., 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Long Beach, free with aquarium admission ($24.95 adults, $12.95 kids 3-11, 2 and under are free). Event details.

❧Kameron DeWulf