By Michele E. Buttelman
It’s October and everyone is comfortably settled back into their routines of school and work. However, don’t forget to play, as a family. One of the best reasons to live in the Santa Clarita Valley is the variety of activities available for family fun. Hanging out with other families is a nice bonus, too.
Placerita Nature Center
19152 Placerita Canyon Road,
Newhall, CA, 91321
If there is one place in the SCV that is perfect for family fun it is the Placerita Nature Center. The center features family fun year-round for all ages.
The Nature Center offers a variety of trails to hike and explore suitable for all ages and all abilities.
Other highlights include:
The historic “Oak of the Golden Dream,” the site of California’s original gold discovery in 1842.
The landmark Walker Cabin, built by Frank Walker in 1920 for his family. The property that is now Placerita Canyon Park was owned by the
Walker family of Newhall before it was purchased by the California State Parks Department in 1949.
Every Saturday at 11 a.m. join the Family Walk, an easy 1-hour walk exploring the area’s natural and cultural history. Other Saturday activities on a rotating schedule and depending on the season are the Bird Walk, Animal Show, Botany Walk and Wildflower Walk.
Santa Clarita Trek Bike Park
20870 Centre Pointe Parkway,
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Are you looking for a way to get your kids moving? The city of Santa Clarita Trek Bike Park is free to visit seven days a week and is open from dawn till dusk.
The Bike Park offers riders seven acres to ride, practice jumps and develop skills for both BMX and mountain biking.
The park was designed with riders of all ages and skill levels in mind and consists of several single-track mountain bike trails that range from easy to moderate difficulty. There are also over 800 yards of pump and BMX track featuring combination jumps, including step-ups, step-downs, rollers and tabletops.
Castaic Lake State Recreation Area
32132 Castaic Lake Drive,
Castaic, CA 91384
Castaic Lake is one of the largest and most spectacular state water reservoirs in California. This 12,658-acre facility is also a great local recreational escape for the entire family and features two lakes: the Upper Lake which offers two launch ramps for boating with various waterways and coves for exploring and the Lower Lake that includes picnic areas, launch areas for kayaks, float tubes and other non-gasoline boating and a swim beach. World class fishing, hiking, horseback riding, paddleboarding, wake boarding and jet skiing.
Castaic Lake is stocked with trout and fishing is permitted in designated areas on the dam and at the lower lake. Children under 16 can fish without a license. Boat rentals available.
Santa Clarita’s Open Spaces
Since Santa Clarita was incorporated as a city in 1987, it has made a significant effort to preserve the greenbelt and undeveloped land within and outside the city. Currently more than 4,000 acres of publicly owned open space greenbelt surrounds the city.
Visit the HikeSantaClarita.com for downloadable maps. Don’t forget water, hats and sunscreen. Watch for wildlife and snakes.
Golden Valley Ranch Open Space, on Placerita Canyon Road approximately 1 mile west of Sand Canyon Road Intersection.
Haskell Canyon Open Space, north of Copperhill Drive, east of Haskell Canyon Road.
Newhall Pass Open Space, 22892-23100 The Old Road, Newhall, CA 91321.
Quigley Canyon Open Space, located at the end of Cleardale Avenue, in Placerita Canyon, in the Newhall area.
San Francisquito Open Space, San Francisquito Canyon Road and Lady Linda Lane.
Agents of Discovery
There is still time to play the augmented reality mobile game, Agents of Discovery at Canyon Country Park. The event runs now through Nov. 19.
This is a free fun family activity that encourages residents and their families to get outdoors and learn about Santa Clarita history and environmental conservation through a fun geo-triggered experience.
The game tests players’ knowledge about city history, environmental awareness and pop culture trivia.
Users can play by downloading the missions titled city of Santa Clarita to their mission library. Users begin their journey by following the on-screen prompts from the app’s friendly tour-guide: Agent Red Hawk. Users are encouraged to create their own account to earn special in-game rewards.
Discover the world around you. Unlock hidden geo-located challenges that can only be solved through exploration and discovery.
Attend a family-friendly fundraising event. In the next few months there are several fun activities that contribute to the community, as well as provide family fun memories.
Oct. 28: 10th Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-off
A family-friendly fundraiser to benefit Fix’n Fidos, a nonprofit created to raise money to pay for spay and neuter pet surgeries for low-income residents.
Taste chili and enjoy all the games and attractions at MB2 Entertainment in Santa Clarita including bowling, VR headset games, arcade, laser tag, axe throwing, golf simulator, mini golf and go-karts.
Nov. 5: Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation Touch a Truck
There will be fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks and a wide variety of large and unique vehicles to discover. The whole family will have fun at the activity booths, giant slide and the popular “Beach Ball Drop” when a dump truck pours hundreds of beach balls onto the field and the race is on to get yours. Food trucks and vendors. Benefits all SCV school districts with teacher innovation grants, student scholarships, reading programs and more.
Nov. 18-20: Festival of Trees
To benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Kick off the holiday season with a family visit to Festival of Trees at Valencia Town Center. See large, elaborately decorated trees, tabletop trees, gingerbread houses and more. Entertainment, kid’s activity corner and more.