• Pamela Froman

Hot Summer Nights

It's summertime, and despite the restrictions of COVID19, we are still up for celebrating the warm weather – especially in the evenings. Make time to do something special. It always creates great memories.

Kids and teens love glow-in-the-dark games (and of course, so do adults!) Create your own game with a set of glowsticks – just add them to balloons or water bottles and hide them for a quick scavenger hunt. Or you can try a Glow in the Dark Ring Toss or Glow in the Dark Bowling. If you'd rather play indoors, you can challenge each other by solving a Rubik's cube or playing ludo or chess. You can also have silly competitions. For instance, you can compete against each other to see who can do more push-ups.

CBF Productions is proud to present California's FIRST social distancing concert series, "Concerts In Your Car" is launching June 2020 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds! This drive-in concert series will create a new entertainment experience - all from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle. Each week top tier talent will hit our stage giving us all an opportunity to cheer again.

Santa Barbara Beach Horseback rides are open daily for business. The scenery has never looked better! Go for a beach walk and get some fresh air. Rides are by appointment 8:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

An evening at the park is an experience that is different than in the daytime. Walk the trails – but make sure you carry a flashlight! Or you can have a nighttime picnic under the stars or do some wildlife watching. These include fox, deer, bunnies, a wolf, and even owls! Here are some hikes to do at and around nightfall.

Franklin Canyon and its Hastain Trail is a full of little creatures of the night that make themselves known – even if it's just toads and frogs or the hooting of owls. It's not safe to hike alone in this canyon, but the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and MRCA provide volunteer naturalists to lead the way during a full moon.

Runyon Canyon is super busy any time you go – and that includes when darkness falls. You're not likely to be completely alone on the loop trail at any given time, and it's safer to stick to the paved fire road. The Runyon trail does have artificial lighting – park lights and also the ambient light pollution of Hollywood – but it does get dark enough to check out the nocturnal wildlife.

A fire pit or a campfire in your backyard is a delightful way to gather around and have a good time. You can make s'mores and enjoy the outdoors without ever leaving the house. For even more fun, pitch a tent!

With quarantine restrictions lifting, outdoor theater and concerts will be coming in the summer months. Check with your local community theater, local parks, museums, and shopping areas to see if they are open or offering any shows. Many Shakespeare Festivals typically take place at this time too. Grab some outdoor chairs, a few snacks, and have a great experience.

Ventura Spring Wine Walk and Street Fair is taking place on Aug. 1 in Downtown Ventura. Start your day with vendors and live entertainment. The Fair features local artists and crafters, nonprofits and commercial vendors. The Wine Walk will showcase wines, sparkling wines and craft beers all from downtown. Receive a tasting wine walk wristband, a tasting cup and a map to explore local wineries.

Drive-in and outdoor theaters are super popular right now! It's an awesome way for families to have some amusement together. Bring your favorite snacks, lawn chairs if the location allows you to sit outside of the car and a blanket or two. You can bring all the yummy treats you like and make memories while you enjoy the film.

The following are some outdoor and drive-in theatres that are typically open in the summer. However, with COVID19 restrictions, check with them to see hours and availability.

Cinespia is an outdoor film series that happens at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they screen a series of films all summer.

Eat | See | Hear is a food truck fest, an outdoor movie series, and a concert, all rolled into one. It happens in a different location every Saturday during summer.

Vineland Drive-In is the last real, old-fashioned drive-in movie left in the L.A. area, in the City of Industry east of downtown. And they show first-run movies, too.

Street Food Cinema takes place in parks around town, with outdoor movies, tasty food trucks, and live music every Saturday all summer long.

Roof Top Cinema Club is held on the rooftops of some of the coolest buildings in Los Angeles. It offers comfy seating, wireless headphones, iconic movies, and spectacular views.

You can also create your movie theatre at home. Hire a projector or simply move your TV outside and set the mood by hanging up lanterns and scattering floor cushions, camping chairs and blankets on the floor. You can also prepare old school cinema snacks to go along with the fun. And of course, there's the easiest way to watch movies – Netflix!

For a sweet treat, go out for ice cream on a warm summer night. Or create your sundaes at home! All you need is ice cream and all the fixings.

You can play backyard games like Badminton, Bocce, Frisbee, and Lawn Darts. Or try Flashlight Tag. All you need is a flashlight, a large dark area, and off you go! Grab a flashlight, head outside to your yard, and have everyone (except the person with the flashlight – who is the seeker) hide. If the seeker shines the light on you, you're caught!

Create a splash and slide in your garden – your kids will love this. Lay down a plastic tarp next to a slide in the garden and allow the hose to run as you slip and slide your way down. Add a touch of washing liquid for even more hours of fun.

Kids love bubbles so why not make a fun evening of it? With just a few kitchen cupboard ingredients like cornflower and washing up liquid, you can make bubbles that bounce or even giant bubbles.

View the stars as you grab a blanket and lie down outside to see what constellations you can find! If you have a telescope, get it out! If your backyard is too light, head to a local park which is away from the city lights. Or see one of the summer meteor showers near you when you travel to a wilderness area or campground with a dark sky. South Delta Aquariids are active July 21 through August 23, and Perseids are active July 17 through August 24. As well, visiting a Planetarium allows you to look up at all the amazing things in space through huge telescopes.

Griffith Observatory is Southern California's gateway to the cosmos. Visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, and see live shows. Check the website to see current hours and availability.

Take an evening bike ride in the cooler weather. Just be sure to have reflectors on your bike (and wear light clothing) and stay on the well-lit trails in your area.

During the day red tides or algal bloom at the beach can be an unpleasant sight and smell. But at night they are magical. Tiny organisms glow with an electric-blue color when they are moved. When a wave crashes at night, so many of them do that at once that you can see a brilliant flash of light lining the wave's crest.

If you have a pet and know others who do too, host or organize your doggy or pet play-date. Whether it's an after-dinner walk (where you observe social distancing) or someplace local or the park. Just be sure to pack lots of dog treats and balls for pets to play.

Tide-dye is back this summer so why not round up the kids and have some fun tie-dying old clothes? With a bit of sewing, you can even convert old t-shirts into book bags and laundry bags!

Make a pizza night. It's a great way to feed everyone and have fun too. Buy your supplies at the grocery store: pre-made pizza dough, pre-cut veggies like cauliflower and broccoli, a bag of shredded mozzarella, and a high-quality marinara sauce. Create your pizzas – and then it's time to eat!

Crafting can bring your family and friends together. This summer, host a craft night. It's the perfect opportunity to unwind and have fun. Have plenty of craft supplies on hand, choose simple projects so everyone is included, provide food and drink, and of course, let everyone keep their "creations."

Bake a cake or cookies with the kids. Simple recipes are best including, chocolate chip cookies, Rice Krispie cakes, chocolate brownies, and muffins.

Honestly, is there anything more enjoyable than a day spent at the spa? There are plenty of easy ways you can recreate a relaxing spa-like experience at home. Giving yourself a facial? Load up on soft cotton towels, and set the mood with candles, soothing music, dim lighting, a cozy robe, and a glass of cucumber water. Create your face mask. Mix one tablespoon each of turmeric, raw honey, and milk. Apply all over and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing.

Plan a karaoke night. Bars are reopening and there are plenty of late-night karaoke bars out there. Visit one and unleash the singer in you. If you would rather stay at home, you can play games like RockBand or SingStar.

Finally, instead of going out for a typical dinner, you can visit a 24-hour diner at any time of the night. You can enjoy the simple ambiance and gorge on tasty food.

Enjoy your hot summer nights!

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