By Michele E. Buttelman
It seems like only yesterday that children were at home taking classes on a computer at the kitchen table and the traditional school year was but a memory. However, with the advent of the COVID-19 vaccine and an easing of the pandemic, kids were able to return to in-person classroom instruction and the “traditional” school year was once again the “norm.”
Which is all the more reason to celebrate the end of the school year in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Summer vacation means family trips, backyard barbecues, pool parties, campouts, swimming lessons and youth sports leagues.
Don’t forget to find time for other family fun activities close to home, including:
Every Body Explores
Every Body Explores encourages participants of all ages to explore the natural world around you. It’s a great family activity suitable for all ages.
Tuesdays-Fridays 2:50-5:30 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Every Body Explores program provides participants of all ages an opportunity to check out a naturalist field backpack they can use to complete self-guided activities, make observations and explore the park.
Placerita Canyon Nature Center
19152 Placerita Canyon Road,
Newhall, CA 91321
The Local Group Astronomy Club holds monthly stargazing gatherings in Lockwood Valley in Frazier Park. Far away from the light pollution of the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s fun to search for the constellations, the North Star and other celestial marvels.
Bring your own telescope or binoculars or join a group sharing their equipment. The night sky changes with the seasons, so be sure to familiarize yourself with what to expect from a Southern California summer sky. There are several good apps (Star Walk 2, Star Chart or SkyView) and books (“The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide” by Terence Dickinson & Alan Dyerthat) that can help you get up to speed.
You can ask questions from members of the club and others on site as many participants enjoy sharing information and knowledge.
Many of the club members bring their scopes up to this relatively dark location because it is not too far out of town for a full night of observing and astrophotography. Many other SoCal clubs typically join in as well.
Always be considerate and arrive before sundown and park with your lights facing away from the telescopes. Red flashlights only, please.
Use all recommended COVID-19 safety precautions and maintain safe separation between your observing site and others.
June 25: 7:30 p.m. Ends at midnight.
July 23: 7:30 p.m. Ends at midnight.
Lockwood Valley Observing Site (Chuchupate)
34580 Lockwood Valley Road, Frazier Park, CA 93225
Location: Travel up the road (NF-8N04) past the ranger station. There is a paved parking lot a short distance up the road on the right.
Restrooms are pit toilets but usually amazingly clean. National Forest, but according to the ranger, no Adventure Pass is required for this site.
For more information visit www.lgscv.org.
Family Skating Party at The Cube
What better way to start off summer fun than with a “cool” ice skating party for the entire family? Public skating hours at The Cube are Monday through Friday 9-11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday only 7:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Lace up your rental skates and glide around the ice. After skating stop by The Grille at the Cube for a snack.
Admission and skate rental: $16. Admission only: $11.
Weekday morning admission and skate rental: $13
Weekday morning admission only: $8
Senior (55+): $8 includes skate rental.
A limited supply of skate aids are available to rent for $5 for kids under 54 inches, first come first served.
27745 Smyth Drive,
Valencia, CA 91355
Visit the Farmers Markets in Valencia, Newhall and Canyon Country and teach children how to pick the best produce.
It’s an educational activity as well. Farmers markets are fun to walk around and see all the different beautiful colors of the produce while teaching your children about each type of produce and why it is good to eat.
Because of the many different fruits and vegetables at the farmers markets, it allows children to try and experience different kinds of food.
Let your child choose a new fruit or vegetable to experience. Even picky eaters may find new food options given the freedom and excitement of choosing a fresh fruit or vegetable for themselves.
Farmers markets also can offer everything from fresh local honey, to nuts, bread and artisan cheeses.
Santa Clarita Certified Farmers Market
Sundays 8:30 a.m.-noon
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road at College of the Canyons
Valencia, CA 91355
Old Town Newhall Farmers Market
Saturdays 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
24500 Main St.,
Newhall, CA 91321
Canyon Country Farmers Market
Wednesdays 4 p.m.- 8 p.m.
18410 Sierra Highway,
Canyon Country, CA 91351