Summer Days

What to do with your kids when school is out.

Whether you’re looking for that special summer camp for your younger ones or unique family activities for everyone, you and your crew have plenty to choose from in and around Los Angeles.

For Pavement Picassos

More than 600 artists, using more than 25,000 sticks of chalk, turn Pasadena’s Paseo into their canvas during the annual Chalk Festival, now in its 30th year. Bring your pint-sized painters to marvel at and be inspired by intricate portraits, landscapes, abstracts, and anime-style drawings during the free two-day festival, taking place June 17–18.

For Animal Lovers

Your budding vet will learn all about animal behavior and veterinary medicine while participating in Pasadena Humane’s Junior Vet summer camp, held at the shelter weekly during the summer months. Organized into two groups—ages 7–11 or 12–14—the in-depth experiences range from making oat-and-pumpkin dog biscuits and examining animal X-rays to proper handling of cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, and creating adoption posters.

For Nature-Loving Families

Gain a new perspective as you tour the Los Angeles Arboretum on one of the monthly guided family night hikes. See night-blooming plants, spot a variety of critters after dark, and stargaze along with interactive games and hands-on exploration.

For Pottery Buffs

Along with themed year-round classes and camps in process art, printmaking, drawing and textiles, Purple Twig in Eagle Rock brings two-session ceramics workshops to families at home. Build individual pinch-and-coil pots or a collective family garland; next, glaze them. The art studio, run by talented arts educator Samara Caughey, will fire the pieces once dry and keep until you’re ready to pick up.

For Chefs in Training

Got a kiddo who’s glued to the Great British Bake Off and Chopped? Get them in the kitchen at Summer Culinary’s L.A. program, based at the Institute of Culinary Education in Pasadena. With pro chefs as teachers and mentors, kids ages 12–17 will learn a wide variety of skills as they make basil pesto, jambalaya, gulab jamun, quiche lorraine, strawberry shortcakes, tostones with salsa verde, stuffed zucchini blossoms, and much more.

For Rising Comedians

Cool Beans Comedy, the educational arm of The Ice House Comedy Club, offers weekly classes for kids ages 9–16 to learn joke structure, improv, and standup along with constructive critiques and a final showcase. Casting directors and agents are known to often sit in on showcases should your preteen or teen have their sights on the entertainment industry.