Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.
Summer Is Open For Business

After 15 long months, we are finally emerging from the shadow of the pandemic. But we're not in the clear yet! I know this because our daycare had to close our classroom due to a positive test - two days after the lifting of statewide restrictions. Sigh. 

Nevertheless, life for most of us is getting back to something akin to normal. And nothing says "normal summer" more than movies and music in the parks. We have a roundup for you below. We also have some tips on how you can host your own in your backyard.

Happy Beginning of Summer!



Many have put the fleeting feeling of summer into song, but the movie Grease did it best. "Summer days, driftin' away," the song goes, "to uh-oh those summer nights." Weaving its way through a summer romance, this catchy tune perfectly captures the heat of the day and the cool of the night, as Sandy and Danny give their perspectives on falling for each other, then parting when the weather takes a turn for the colder.

Oh, those summer nights. They're only here for a short time, and they're just made for lingering outside, aren't they? They're all about easy meals, cold drinks, popsicles on the patio, and hanging out with friends until the stars have been out for hours and the kids are up way past their bedtime. There's something about the balmy evening air that practically pushes you out of the hothouse and onto a blanket on the cool grass. Add a little music or a movie and the summer night experience is complete.

You can catch outdoor movies and concerts in parks and outdoor venues all over the San Gabriel Valley, most of them starting in July. You can find a listing of them below. So pull out your calendars, pick your favorites, make your reservations (if required), and pack your picnics!

If you want a little more flexibility with your movie choices, then a backyard movie night is for you. Invite the vaccinated neighbors over for a viewing, or hey, put the kids to bed and catch a grown-up flick under the stars for a fun and unique date night.

All you need is a laptop or even a phone, a projector, and a screen. You can rent a projector or buy one if you plan to host a whole summer's worth of movie nights. You can project on a white wall, a sheet hanging from the trees, a pergola, or even a swing set - sans swings. You can also purchase a projection screen on Craigslist or at a local office supply store. If you're planning a movie night bash, you can rent the whole kit and caboodle, including the projector, screen, and speakers.

Set the mood by winding twinkly lights through the trees, and keep the bugs at bay with citronella candles placed around the yard. Create a concession stand by filling a basket full of movie-house favorites like Red Vines, M&M's, Junior Mints, and Hot Tamales. Popcorn in individual bags or boxes for personalized munching is a must, along with lots of cold drinks.

Be sure to have plenty of blankets, lawn chairs, and places to sprawl out. If the evenings are still cool, kids might want to bring out sleeping bags and pillows to snuggle up in.

Screen the latest kid classic, pick your favorite summer flick or try out one of these movie night themes:

Father's Day Action/Sci-Fi Movie Blowout. Cap off your Father's Day BBQ by inviting all of your favorite dads over for a Dad's Day movie. Whether it's a sci-fi classic, an action movie, or a James Bond Iron Man Marathon, let Dad pick his favorite. Load up a bucket with iced craft beer, put out bowls of dad's favorite snacks, and let the explosions begin!

Multi-Night Movie Marathon. Pick a series like Star Wars or Mission Impossible and screen all of the movies in the series on consecutive nights. Set up over a long weekend, or take the entire week to watch the movies back to back.

Poolside Drive-In. If you have a pool, you can't let summer go by without hosting a poolside movie night. (For kids: be sure they're water safe and show your movie early in the evening so you can keep an eye on little ones.) Pick up some inexpensive inner tubes and other floating toys. Screen the movie at one end of the pool while your guests watch in their floating seats. Then pop in a beach-bingo classic like Gidget, a surfing flick like Endless Summer, a fun under-the-sea flick like The Little Mermaid or Finding Nemo. If you want to scare the swim trunks off your guests, wait until the kids are in bed and the sky is dark, and watch Jaws.

Cinema Sing-Along. The Hollywood Bowl does it, and if the neighbors don't mind, you should too! Screen movies like GreaseThe Sound of MusicLittle Shop of HorrorsSingin' in the Rain, or High School Musical. Print out the lyrics to the songs, and give out prizes for the best renditions of your favorite tunes. Be sure to make room for some serious dance moves!

Chick Flick. Send the dads inside with the kids and get the girls together for a romantic comedy movie-fest. Pick a classic like Roman Holiday or a contemporary Rom-Com, pop a bottle of wine, and indulge your girlie side.

Sports Night. Marry two of summer's best past times – movies and sports - with a sports-themed movie night. Grab some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Who doesn't love Cracker Jacks? Then put some straws in old-fashioned glass soda bottles, and pick from one of the many great sports movies. The Bad News BearsThe Sandlot, and Field of Dreams are all classic places to start.

And most of all, enjoy those summer nights!

Julie Ward




Bubble Planet at Kidspace

Get your bubble on with an all-new, all-outdoor bubble-themed experience for your kids. The sudsy, outdoor fun is open now. Tickets required.



Code the Sunset

Ok, this is a cool one. Kids and Tweens will learn how to use Scratch to code an animation of the sunset. The learning happens on zoom on Tuesday, June 22, from 3:30 PM till 4:30 PM. Registration required.



How to Draw Cartoons Virtual Tutorial

Monrovia Library invites your artistic kids to register for fun, creative, and interactive cartoon drawing classes. Each 45-minute video will remain online and available for 30 days after its original posting. Each tutorial requires individual registration, and links are provided by email. Here's the schedule:

  • June 24: World of Cartoons
  • July 8: Captain Underpants

Registration closes on July 9 at 5:00 PM.

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Each community has set rules around distancing, households, reservations, etc., to meet health and safety standards. Please visit the sites to make sure you know what's required to enjoy the performances with your family.


Monrovia: Summer Concerts & Movies

July 10 - August 28

Monrovia spreads the love of music and movies around its various parks. Concerts are held in Station Square Park on Saturdays and Library Park on Sundays. Movies are screened at Recreation Park. See the schedule online for more details.


Temple City: Concerts in the Park

July 10 - September 1

From Fleetwood Mac to the Beatles, Journey to the Beach Boys, Temple City is all about the tribute bands, and it couldn't be any more enticing. Grab your hairspray, anything neon-colored, and a picnic and teach the kids what good music sounds like!


Arcadia: Pasadena Pops 2021 Summer Concert Series

July 10 - September 11

The Pasadena Pops returns to the Los Angeles County Arboretum with five concerts for fully vaccinated visitors with performances by Thelma Houston, Billy Davis Jr., and more. 


Altadena: 24th Annual Free Summer Concerts

July 10 - September 11

The Rotary Club of Altadena is proud to produce the summer concert series held in the auditorium at Farnsworth Park. The mix includes tributes to the rock legends of 1988 (think Elton John, Billy Joel, etc.), evenings dedicated to Country music, 80s Party Music (!), and Reggae. It's a great mix!

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Happy Birthday, America!

Join the Monrovia Library on their YouTube channel for a special Happy Birthday to America program complete with crafts for your kids. Supply kits are available if needed. It all happens on Thursday, July 1 at 6:30 PM. Registration required.




Take & Make: Pinhole Camera

Your kid ages nine and up can learn how pinhole cameras work, how to make one, and how to take then develop a photo with one. How cool is that? Register to pick up a camera kit from the Hastings Branch while supplies last. Registration open Monday, June 21 at 8:00 AM. For details, registration, and a complete list of supplies, check out the library's event page.



Out of the Pantry: Teen Cooking Class

The registration for this class is full, but there is a waiting list and, if you're on that list, you'll get the video! So, if your teen fancies themselves as the next winner of Masterchef Jr., you should check out this class to make rainbow bread in honor of Pride Month. The program is on Monday, June 21, from 3:00 PM till 4:30 PM. Join the waitlist here.



Sew It Begins: Basics Parts 1 & 2

If your teens (or you) have a sewing machine, but you have no notion how to really use it, this class is for you (or them). In this zoom class, you'll learn the basics of threading and using the machine. Part one is on Monday, June 28, from 3:00 PM till 5:00 PM. Part two is on Tuesday, June 29, from 3:00 PM till 5:00 PM. Registration required.



Teen Zine Workshop - Outdoors!

Your creative teen is invited to join the teen zine workshop on the Altadena Main Library front lawn, where they will learn the ins and outs of zine-making, get feedback on current projects, and find out how to have their zine carried by the library! It happens on Saturday, June 19, from 3:00 PM till 4:00 PM



Teen *Vibe* Picnic

Once a month during summer, your teen can join the Main Branch's front lawn picnic to snack, craft, and just, well, chill. This month the 'Gram worthy happenings are on Saturday, June 26, from 3:00 PM till 5:00 PM.



Storytime in Library Park

Join the Monrovia Library staff for storytime outdoors. Bring your little ones (0-5 years old) and a blanket to enjoy some socially distanced, fun tales on Saturdays, June 26, July 10 and 24, from 10:00 AM till 10:30 AM. See the site for more details.



Teen STEM Kits: Little Bits Music Inventor

Open to kids in grades 6-12, your teen can borrow a LittleBits music maker and share their creation with the library. Registration for the event closes on July 1 at midnight.


Colorful Coffee Filter Butterfly

The Take & Make series brings you a color mixing project for your kids and tweens (3-12 year-olds) starting Tuesday, June 8, at 9:30 AM and going through the week. You'll need coffee filters, a spray bottle or water dropper, and washable markers or food coloring. Supply kits with project instructions can be picked up at the Santa Catalina Branch while supplies last. Kit reservations are required. The event is scheduled through June 30.



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 Monday, June 14 and 28, at 3:00 PM.



Busy Bag: Colors

The Santa Catalina Branch Library has yet another color-filled activity for your little ones (0-5 year-olds). Explore colors by planting flower seeds and seeing what colors you can grow. Sign-ups for Busy Bag Kits begin on Tuesday, June 15, at 9:30 AM and can be picked up at the library. Event is scheduled through June 30.




First Page Friday

Every other Friday, Altadena Library's Youth & Family Services Librarian posts a video on the YouTube channel reading the first chapter of a Children's or Middle-Grade title available through the library's online book service. The next posting will be Friday, June 25.



Mario Kart Tournament

Kids through Teens (K-12) are invited to show off their Mario Kart skills in Altadena Library's virtual Mario Kart 8 Tournaments! The six races that make up a tournament are held every Friday at 4:00 PM. See the site for requirements. The top 3 racers in the Final Tournament on July 30 will win prizes! Registration is required.



Airplane Challenge

Join the LA County Library for a DIY plane challenge on Thursday, June 24, at 4:00 PM. Open to kids and tweens. Registration required.



Book Party and Origami Boats

Join the LA County Library for a reading of Ocean Meets Sky by Erick and Terry Fan. Your kids will also learn how to fold an origami boat! It all happens on Friday, June 25, at 4:00 PM. Registration required


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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