Make the most of a beautiful South Bay summer

Summer is almost over, but the fun doesn’t have to be! The last precious days before school starts are flying by, so make the most of it by sharing quality time with your family this weekend. The magic of childhood isn’t in expensive gadgets or elaborate vacations; it’s in the special moments you spend being present. The beach days, picnics, star-gazing, tree-climbing, learn-to-ride-a-bike moments are the ones kids will remember the most. Here are a few ideas and events to make this weekend’s quality time even better.

AKA-AGO Family Strengthening Picnic

Who doesn’t love a picnic? This Saturday the 11th, Alpha Kappa Alpha is hosting a picnic to celebrate families, community, and fun. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children from ages 5-12. Expect a friendly, family themed barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings. Don’t forget to bring your own chairs, blankets, and games, and sun protection.

Event Details: 
Sunday, August 11, 2018
11:00 AM -4:00 PM
Chevron Employees Private Park
324 El Segundo Blvd.
El Segundo, CA 90254

Seaside Lagoon

Our neighbors in Redondo have been hosting a summer-time saltwater lagoon for years. The location is ideal for families with young children, offering trained lifeguard supervision and calm, shallow water.

In addition to swimming, the lagoon includes a large sandy area for sand castles and sun bathing, as well as a playground and volleyball courts. A snack bar is conveniently provided by Ruby’s Diner.

10:00 am – 5:45 pm
Open daily through September 3rd

200 Portofino Way,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 318-0681

To see current rates and rules, visit the Seaside Lagoon website.

Whale Watching

On the California coast, we’re lucky enough to have prime viewing opportunities for all kinds of sea life. Whales in particular are a sight to behold. To share in the awe and inspire respect and appreciation for wildlife, consider taking your little ones whale watching!

Redondo Beach Whale Watching offers 2.5 hour whale watching expeditions for all ages. Passengers on the 65-ft excursion vessel have a high likelihood of spotting whales, including gray whales, fin, minke, and humpbacks. Other potential wildlife sightings include pelicans, terns, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. The boat offers indoor and outdoor seating and a galley offering refreshments.

Adults: $35
Children ages 4-12: $25
Children under 4: $5

View the current boating schedule to book a whale watching ride.

Marina Del Rey Whale Watching is another option for your family wildlife adventure. You can expect to see similar species of whale, plus the potential to see larger pelagic blue and fin whales when their feeding patterns bring them into the bay. Sea turtles are also often sighted! The Whale Watcher vessel is low to the water for close up encounters with nature and an excellent view.

Adults: $35
Children: $15
Get $10 off a full-fare adult ticket with summer coupon code WHALEWATCH18, valid through August 31st.

Reservations available here.

Summer Outdoor Concerts

If you haven’t enjoyed a free summer concert yet, what are you waiting for? Although El Segundo’s Concerts in the Park Series has ended, Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan are continuing the entertainment through the end of August. See below for this weekend’s upcoming outdoor concerts.

Redondo Beach Pier:

Thursday, August 9 6:00 – 8:00 PM King Chris (Pier Stage)
Saturday, August 11 6:00 – 8:00 PM Danny Dean (Pier Stage)

Hermosa Pier:
Sunday, August 12: 5:00 – 8:00 pm Sashamon

Polliwog Park:
August 12  3:45 – 7:00 PM Kato Rose (Local Singer/ Songwriter); Hard Day’s Night ( Beatles Cover)

Camping at Wilderness Park

Hopkins Wilderness Park has been around since 1977. The 11-acre site includes forests, meadows, streams, and a pond, plus three overnight campgrounds and a picnic site. The site is focused on nature study and conservation, and is home to many birds, rabbits, squirrels, turtles, ducks, and fish.

Camping at wilderness park is a perfect choice for families. It provides a chance to try out the camping experience without the hassle- it’s close to home, local stores, and provides bathrooms. Plus, it’s only $5 per person.

Reservations can be made at Alta Vista Racquet Center office on 715 Julia Ave between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily. Fill out the camping application before you go.

Thoughts to reflect on this weekend

From one parent to another, I know how difficult it can be to stay tuned in to family. To-do lists must be completed, but it’s worth remembering why we’re doing them in the first place. We’re working hard to give our kids a wonderful childhood and a bright future…but those childhoods aren’t nearly as magical if we cannot put aside our work to spend an afternoon together.

There will always be more to-do lists, but once those childhood afternoons are gone, you can’t get them back. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, set aside a few hours of family time. The memories are worth it!