July Nature p.L.A.y. Calendar of Events (part 2)


Nature p.L.A.y.

Calendar of Events

(Part 2)

To see a world in a grain of sand,  And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,  An eternity in an hour. – William Blake | Photo by Ilana Gustafson Turner

Ahhhh! Summer is in full swing!

Now, the times may call for you to cut back on the summer travel plans but that just means more time for enjoying the abundant nature opportunities Los Angeles provides. You can create a “staycation” with outdoor concerts, festivals, nature walks, or even a local camping trip in the Angeles Forest or the Santa Monica Mountains and Beaches. Los Angeles is your oyster this summer!

LAUSD has cut summer school this year so please check out the LA Department of Parks and Recreation for alternate childcare and summer activities.

* Take action to Save 220 of our CA State Parks from closing by clicking here*


Saturday 7/18 Vista Hermosa Natural Park is offering a free ride to King Gillette Ranch with their “Transit to Trails”. This is the perfect place to spend a Saturday with family and friends.  Pack a picnic and take a free trip to the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains from 9am-4pm. *

For a shorter excursion you can head to Franklin Canyon and learn all about “Bugs and Their Adventures” as you join naturalist Dennis “the Bug Man” on a light walk from 10am-12pm. *

Or you can spend the evening at Malibu Lagoon State Beach with the Children’s Nature Institute for their “Tikes on Trails: Moonlight Tidal Walk” from 6:30-8:30pm.

Sunday 7/19 learn all about California Native Plants at Kidspace with Naturalist Dwain Wilson from Wildwood Foundation at 11am and 1pm. Which of those plants and “weeds” that we see all the time are edible? Which can heal our ailments? Let your child unveil these mysteries.* (free with admission)

Week of Monday 7/20 through Friday 7/24

Suggestions for your week:

7/20-7/24 let your 8-11 year old child enjoy the epiphanies at Headwaters Corner‘s “Discovery Nature Camp” Session 2 from 9am-4pm every day. They will “discover the wonders of nature with the aid of scientific tools, hands-on activities, crafts, games and listening to engaging talks by guestspeakers.” It will include a guided hike and fieldtrip. Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited. Nominal fee. For more info or to register: Mountains Restoration Trust, 818-591-1701 x181

On Wednesday 7/22 Vista Hermosa park is hosting their weekly “Family Campfire Program” from 7-8pm. Go listen to stories and sing songs around the crackling flames in this beautiful park just outside the bustle of downtown.*

On Thursday 7/23 the South Coast Botanical Gardens will be the perfect setting to watch Shakespeare Festival LA perform “Romeo and Juliet”. The gardens are open at 6:15 so that you can enjoy a picnic bef0re the 8pm show begins. Call 213-481-2273 for tickets and information.


Saturday 7/25 put on your work boots, slip on those gloves and get ready to get dirty because it’s “Farm Chore Day and Picnic” at Animal Acres Farm Sanctuary! Volunteers are asked to arrive between 9 -10 a.m. and commit to a three hour chore task. Please RSVP to info@animalacres.org if you can join them, so they can make sure they have enough vittles! *

Or head over to Deb’s Park from 1-3pm for “Art and Nature” fun. Artist Patricia González and an Audubon naturalist will lead you on a discovery of the nature of Debs Park through art.*

Sunday 7/26 get your fill of one of the most glamorous creatures in the world, the butterfly, and go visit the “Pavillion of Wings” at the Natural History Museum. They will be gracing the museum until September 7th.

Week of Monday 7/27  through Friday 7/31

Suggestions for your week:

On Tuesday 7/28 families can take a “Walk on the Wild Side”  at Descanso Gardens with foxes and giant tortoises of Africa. Rescue animals, educators and handlers will present an interactive safari of the imagination where you can learn about the habitat and survival techniques of furred, feathered and scaly beasts. Seating is first-come-first-served. $12 members, $10 non-members.

During the week there are various campfire programs to get toasty with! There is, of course the Wednesday campfire at downtown’s Vista Hermosa (See previous week’s schedule). There are also several happening at various state parks. Check the California State Park website and find one that suits your marshmallow-eating, story-hearing, sing-along-singing child’s needs.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.


-Ilana Gustafson Turner


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