By Michele E. Buttelman
It’s summer in the Santa Clarita Valley. The kids are out of school and it’s time to make some family memories. Gas prices are crazy and instead of putting miles on the family SUV it might be the summer to stay close to home.
There’s plenty to see and do in the SCV this summer. Summer SCV fun has the usual suspects such as Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor.
Magic Mountain is scheduled to debut a new roller coaster sometime this summer. The ride, Wonder Woman Flight of Courage, will be the world’s tallest single-track coaster, which will race at 58 mph, climb a 131-foot tower and plunge down an 87-degree drop along a 3,300-foot track.
Summer is also a great time to visit the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center and explore the variety of activities at Castaic Lake.
However, if your family is looking for new experiences here are a few suggestions:
Gibbon Conservation Center
19100 Esguerra Road,
Santa Clarita, CA 91390
If you’ve ever been on Bouquet Canyon near Vasquez Canyon Road in the early morning you may have heard the vocalizations of the gibbons housed at the nearby Gibbon Conservation Center.
In the SCV you can hear the gibbons every morning but it’s a rare experience heard at few other places in the United States.
The Gibbon Center was established in the SCV in 1976 and houses more than two dozen of the rarest group of endangered apes in the Western Hemisphere. It is the only institution in the world to house and breed all four genera of gibbon.
A family tour of the Gibbon Conservation Center is available on weekends. Reservations are required, which are limited to a total of 30 people.
Tours are held at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. No children under age 3 can attend. Cost of the tour: Adults $18, teens and students $15, Seniors $12 and children 3-12 $7.
Visit the Gibbon Center website to make reservations.
Weekday private tours for up to six people can be scheduled. The cost is $108.
Weekend private tours for up to eight people are $144.
To schedule a private tour email [email protected].
Gibbons are susceptible to human diseases, so to ensure their safety all visitors must be in good health and wear an approved mask covering both mouth and nose at all times once they exit their vehicles. You will be charged for a mask if you do not bring one.
24631 Arch St.,
Newhall, CA 91321
The Newhall Aquarium and Learning Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about marine life. It provides a hands-on learning experience complete with touch tanks that allow children of all ages and adults to interact with and gain a new respect for many different species of marine life.
Outreach programs are available for private events such as birthday parties.
Newhall Aquarium is open weekdays by appointment for group events/outreach programs and on Saturday and Sunday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for small family/individuals to walk in without an appointment.
Email [email protected] for more information or call 661-220 -5512.
‘Celebrate’ at Canyon Country Community Center
18410 Sierra Highway,
Canyon Country, CA 91351
“Celebrate” is a family-friendly event series that celebrates cultures, customs and culinary wonders from around the world. Immerse yourself in a cultural celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Share in the music, dance, food, art and educational experiences from the diverse people we have all around us.
Friday, July 1, Celebrate Greece
Friday, Aug. 5, Celebrate Caribbean, Jamaica, Bahamas
Friday, Sept. 2, Celebrate Mexico
Cars Under the Stars
Westfield Valencia Town Center Sears Parking Lot
24137 Valencia Blvd.,
Valencia, CA, 91355
WiSH Education Foundation’s second annual car show fundraiser “Cars Under the Stars” will be held in the Sears parking lot at Westfield Town Center on July 23 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
This family-friendly event will include the opportunity to vote for your favorite car, dance to your favorite songs, shop at your favorite vendor booths and eat your favorite foods.
Admission is $5 per person to enter, kids under 5 are free.
Trophies will be awarded to Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and WiSH Board Members’ Choice.
All proceeds benefit the William S. Hart Union High School District student programs and student wellness.
21516 Golden Triangle Road,
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Recently opened at the site of the former Mountasia, MB2 Entertainment offers something for everyone. Enjoy mini golf, axe throwing, go karts, an arcade, laser tag, duck pin bowling, bumper boats and more.
Summer Beach Bus
Sometimes you just have to get away. Instead of spending your own money on gas, take the Santa Clarita Beach Bus to Santa Monica Pier for the day to catch some waves and rays. Travelers can bring their beach chairs, coolers and surfboards. The buses will run Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 4. Fares are $3 each way for children and adults and $1.50 each way for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
There are two routes leaving from various locations across the SCV. Buses leave the SCV between 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and arrive in Santa Monica at about 10 a.m. Buses leave from the Santa Monica Pier to return to the SCV at 4:30 p.m.