Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.

Here's the thing about August. It's hot. It also contains three days commemorating the joys of ice cream! August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich day, August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day, and August 14th (today!) is National Creamsicle Day. So what's a person to do? After all, this is a month that practically begs you to indulge in a cool, sweet treat. So here at the Orange Cat, we say why not?

The San Gabriel Valley is packed with fantastic places to dig into your favorite ice cream. You can go artisan with scoops of freshly made, organic delights from Pasadena's Carmela Ice CreamMother Moo Creamery in Sierra Madre, or Moo Moo Mia in Monrovia. Treat yourself to the Italian version-less fat, less air than American ice cream at Bulgarini Gelato in Altadena. Stop by Piccomolo Italian Ice Cream for a silky, creamy treat in Old Town. Finally, you can go retro at Bean Town in Sierra Madre for a cone topped with Fosselman's ice cream. Or go down to the original Fosselman's location in Alhambra, where the ambiance is just as good as the ice cream.

You can also pick up some ice cream from one of your favorite spots and indulge at home. One fun way to do this on a warm summer evening is to host an ice cream tasting party. Set out several pints and cover the labels. Number each pint. Give guests a checklist of goofy categories and have them assign a number/ice cream to each category. Categories can be anything from "most delicious" to "creamiest," "best with birthday cake," or "able to rock an ice cream sandwich in a single scoop." Serve tiny samples of each flavor and give your guests time to decide which ones deserve their votes. The flavors that garner the most votes in each category are the winners. When the sampling is done, the fun part begins. Put out toppings for a sundae bar or scoop up cones for everyone.

If you want to get really fancy, make chocolate-dipped cones rolled in candy or sprinkles.

  • Fill several bowls with goodies: small candies (like mini chocolate chips or mini-M&Ms), sprinkles, or nuts - if your crowd doesn't have allergies.
  • Melt chocolate chips in a low bowl
  • Dip the open end of a sugar or cake cone into the melted chocolate - immediately dip the chocolately cone into the goodies.
  • Place the cone upside down on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened.
  • Plop a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top and enjoy!

Or make your own ice cream. If you've got an ice cream maker, grab some fabulous illustrated recipes from We All Scream. They'll make your day before you even get a chance to make the ice cream! Or, pick up an ice cream ball, fill it with ice, rock salt, and your favorite ice cream mixture. Then kick it around the yard for a while to burn a few extra calories before you dig into dessert.

And finally, celebrate August's frosty milestones by making creative ice cream sandwiches, creamsicles, and floats!

Turn the typical chocolate chip cookie-meets-vanilla ice cream sandwich on its ear by creating crazy flavor combinations.

  • Try pairing soft, frosted cookies with strawberry ice cream for a retro-birthday party sandwich.
  • Match molasses cookies with coffee or butter pecan ice cream.
  • Sandwich a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream between a couple of oatmeal cookies
  • Chocolate chocolate chip cookies just scream for a scoop of mint chip ice cream!
  • Make ice cream sliders using Oreos or store-bought sandwich cookies. Try them with the icing intact or scooped out. Nutter Butters and chocolate ice cream are a natural combo.
  • Think out of the box and make an ice cream taco! Crisp a small tortilla in a pat of butter on a skillet on the stove. Sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar and plop a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on one side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over to form a taco and enjoy!

Creamsicles are one of the true tastes of summer, and they're easy to create. Simply swirl some orange juice into a few scoops of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Mix it well, adding a little bit of milk or heavy cream until it's the consistency of a smoothie. Pour it into Dixie cups. Freeze the cups until the mixture is thickened, and stand a small plastic spoon in the middle. Place the cups back into the freezer until they harden. Peel off the cup and enjoy! Use other fruit juice combos with vanilla ice cream to come up with your own customized version of the classic. Add berries or small chunks of fruit for a little something extra. Pineapple-banana-orange creamsicle, anyone?

When it comes to floats, the sky's the limit. There's only one rule, though: the glass must be frosty. Put your float glasses - mason jars work well! - into the freezer for a couple of hours before filling them with these ice cream concoctions:

  • Give the classic "brown cow" a 50's twist by using Coke and cherry chip ice cream.
  • Make a Harry Potter-style Butterbeer float using butter brickle ice cream and cream soda or root beer.
  • Make a purple, orange or red cow using fruity soda and vanilla ice cream
  • Need a pick me up? Float a scoop of chocolate chip or chocolate ice cream in iced coffee.
  • Try this recipe for a firecracker float using sprite, ice cream, and pop rocks!
  • Check out these fun float combos for more inspiration - at least one with an extra adult kick!

Enjoy the last few sweet days of summer!


Julie Ward


Teens: Create with Procreate

Now, this is a cool one! In this two-part workshop, the Altadena Library is providing your teen (grades 6-12) with a Mini iPad, Apple Pencil, access to Procreate, and all the materials they need to learn how to draw, color, and manipulate images all to make their very own vinyl stickers! Act fast because there are only ten spots available for this workshop on Thursday, August 19th and 26th, at 4:00 PM. See the event listing for safety requirements and registration.


Crafternoon Hangout in Library Park

Enjoy some time outside by the fountain with Monrovia Library's Ms. Amanda and your fellow craft enthusiasts on Saturday, August 21st, from 10:00 AM till 11:00 AM. Kids (grades K-5) who register for the event will receive a DIY box of materials to help them make whatever they might imagine! Registration is required, and spots are limited.

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the orange cat bookshop
You can find The Good Egg, and other books listed in the orange cat in our custom bookshop. (Psst, our bookshop supports Vroman's.)

Summer Reading Programs

Every year the libraries in our cities host summer reading programs. These are great opportunities to learn and explore with families outside of your immediate neighborhood and school. Here are some of the programs in the Greater Pasadena area:


Pasadena Public Library

Altadena Public Library

Monrovia Public Library

LA County Library

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Tiff and Tosh June Crafts

Tiff and Tosh are back on the Pasadena Library's Instagram Live with some unique crafts for June. Check them out on Mondays, August 9 and 23, at 3:00 PM.



Bold Voices, Authentic Choices: Writing Workshop for Teens

Your teen writer can join this workshop to learn how to incorporate diverse characters into fantasy worlds. The online event is open to teens ages 12-18 and happens on Sunday, August 22nd, from 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM. Registration is required, and spots are limited. 



Busy Bag: Dinosaurs

Your little ones (infants and toddlers ages 0-5) will get a kick out of creating their very own dinosaur fossils and learning all about dinosaurs through guided activities. The Busy Bag has everything you need! Sign-ups to get one from the Santa Catalina Branch open on Tuesday, August 24th. See the listing online for more info.



"Tree Spirits"

Take an imaginative journey with author Louise Wannier and your kids ages 3-8 as you explore her interactive picture book on Thursday, August 26th, from 5:00 PM till 6:00 PM. Registration is required for this online event.


Wild Wonders

This limited-run, educational video will be available to registrants for 48 hours only starting Friday, August 27th at 12:00 PM. Your family will learn about a fun cast of animal characters ranging from an opossum named Cinderella to a pygmy African hedgehog named Ceylon. Registration is required to get the video link.



Take a Tour of LA County's Natural Area Parks

Your whole family can join the LA County Department of Parks & Recreation on a virtual tour of Whittier Narrows, Placerita Canyon, and Stoneview Nature Center on Tuesday, August 24th, at 3:00 PM. You'll meet some of the animals that call these unique ecosystems home and learn more about LA County's diverse wildlife. Registration required.



Music in the Park: Past Action Heroes

Pasadena Parks & Recreation is getting in on the summer music happenings with a free concert on Saturday, August 21st, at 5:30 PM at the Memorial Park Bandshell. Local band Past Action Heroes will perform some of your favorites songs from the 80s and 90s. If that's not enough, there will be an 80s outfit contest, so break out your neon and arrive early to join the totally awesome fun! COVID-19 distance requirements are suggested. Register today for bench or grass seating.


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Intro to Music: Lesson 1 - SOLFEGE with the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra

Your kids will learn about solfege and sing along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in part 1 of this 4 part series teaching the art and science of music.



Intro to Music: Lesson 2 - RHYTHM with the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra

Your kids will learn about rhythm and how notes are just like fruit in part 2 of this 4 part series teaching the art and science of music.



Tissue Paper Art: Papel Picado

Your kids will learn how to make the festive Mexican tissue paper art known as papel picado.


NOTE: Story times are subject to change. Please check the sites. Recorded story times are generally available on library YouTube channels.

Teen Inspiration

Check out Altadena Library's Teen Instagram account for BTWN TiTLES, their biweekly posts of book reviews, creativity experiments, and more.

Pasadena Public Library regular storytimes:

Social Media Storytime: Preschool on Mondays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Facebook Live and Thursday at 3:00 - 3:20 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Toddler on Tuesdays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Instagram Live


Chinese Mandarin Storytime on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Hora de Cuento en Español on Wednesdays at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Facebook Live


Social Media Storytime: ASL (American Sign Language) on Friday at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Instagram Live

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