Summer Activities in Los Angeles, CA
Whether you want to train like the Olympic athletes of past or simply want to cool off on a hot Southern California summer day, the John C. Argue Swim Stadium at the Expo Center is the hottest place to cool off. The beautifully renovated site of the1932 Olympics offers breathtaking architecture, two outdoor pools and is cheap enough -- about $50 for 3-month access the pools and fitness facilities -- that you can afford to take your entire brood to this family-friendly dipping hole. Although some patrons grumble about the extreme incline of the cement seating, the warm showers and ample locker space make up for the design flaw. Just enter through the activities building and kick off some summer fun!
Head up to the top of Walnut Avenue and you'll find the Stough Canyon Nature Center, home of the trail head for hiking and biking to Verdugo mountain, as well as a popular filming location for Tinsel Town's big screen gems. In addition to plenty of parking, the quiet fire roads permit hiking and biking. Although there is not a ton of shade, the easy, family-friendly hiking trails are not strenuous. But, before you hit the trails, be sure to swing by the Nature Center to pick up some useful information, or wander along the trails and learn from the labels identifying the plants. And, don't forget your camera to capture great views overlooking the valley.
In Southern California, there's no better place for water sports than the ocean, but mix in some warm Los Angeles air and a view of the ocean and you'll be reveling in an experience you won't soon forget! Dial up Marina Del Rey Parasailing to get your adrenaline pumping, starting with a 2-hour boat ride, and fly weightlessly in the air for up to 30 minutes parasailing with the birds over the Pacific Ocean. Although this exciting family-friendly summer adventure is thrilling enough in the moment, spring for the $30 video footage of your experience for a lifetime of memories. And, although you may be anxious to show off your freshly polished piggies, opt for some sneakers and a jacket or you'll nearly freeze to death as you fly through the sky. Tip: try to schedule your flight late in the day for breathtaking views of the sunset!
Packed with accommodations ranging from four-star to camping, cute boutique shops, tons of restaurants and plenty of activities, Catalina Island is a local island getaway just off of Los Angeles county's shore. To get to island, you'll have to catch a ride from companies departing from Marina Del Rey or Long Beach, but in less than an hour, you'll soon be taking in breathtaking views of the island. For those looking for a little adventure, you can conquer many levels of hiking and biking trails or hit the water to snorkel, dive, glass bottom boat ride or even parasailing. Golf cart rentals will get you around the island quickly, or, you can relax on the beach adorned in your cutest bikini and catch some warm summer rays. There's also a casino tour that's interesting so long as you don't have your kids in tow. And, note that most eateries close by 9 p.m. or so, so plan accordingly.
While the museum itself is worth the visit, it's the Sizzling Summer Nights that really heat up this Griffith Park intercultural history center. Every Thursday night in July and August, live salsa music and dancing bring the night alive at the Autry, where a $10 cover (free for Autry members) gets you in to experience the scintillating sounds of Latin music, from mambo to charanga, and free dance lessons keep the fun, energetic setting going. Then fuel up at the cash-only taco and margarita bar, but bring your patience because the line can get long. You can even bring your brood because this family-friendly dance concert boasts a separate dance floor just for kiddos.