The smell of smoke in your hair, the taste of freshly roasted marshmallows, the singalongs with friends and family, summer is a great time to gather around a campfire or bonfire. Here in Los Angeles, because of our risk of wildfires, caution must always be observed but following the rules doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time. Below are some ideas for campfire and bonfire evenings in Los Angeles.
Park Campfire Events:
During the summer Santa Monica Conservancy hosts evening campfires in several local parks around Los Angeles including Franklin Canyon Park. Vista Hermosa Natural Park, and Temescal Gateway Park. These events are great fun for kids and include campfire songs, marshmallow roasting and a nature program. For more information visit: LAMountains.com.
Dockweiler Beach Fire Pits:
Per the County, no barbecues or bonfires are allowed on any of the Los Angeles County Beaches (or parking lots) except in the fire pits at Dockweiler Beach. The fire rings are open from dawn until 10 p.m. and even though there are over 50 of them they get crowded so you may have to go early to find a spot. Several beaches in Orange County and San Diego counties also allow beach bonfires–BeachCalifornia has a list of sites to try.
Campfires in Local Parks:
Campfire Permits are required for open fires, such as campfire, barbecues and portable stoves on federally controlled lands. You can obtain a printable campfire permit online. It is important to do this because some of our large fires were started from illegal campfires. The only type of fire allowed outside designated Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas at this time is a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.
Restaurants with Fire Pits:
You don’t have to go rustic to enjoy a fire pit. If you don’t have a friend with a backyard firepit, fear not, many local restaurants have great fire pits. Some local favorites include A-Frame and the Rooftop on Wilshire which offers a rooftop firepit with an amazing view. Check out more ideas on this list from Citysearch.
Heading to the beach isn’t the only way to beat the heat in Southern California. Especially if you have children a water park is a fantastic place to spend the day, keep cool, and return home happy and exhausted. Below are some of our favorite water parks. Many parks have rides that keep both older thrill seekers and younger water explorers perfectly entertained. Enjoy!
Raging Waters San Dimas is considered one of the best water parks in the country. People come from all over the country and around the world to spend the day playing in this massive park given over to waterslides ranging from mellow cruises to all out stomach-dropping high tubes. There are over 50 landscaped acres and 36 slides and attractions. The park also has a sand beach, the Flowrider surfing simulator and the Ragin’ Racer. Some rides reach speeds as high as 40 miles per hour making for a very exhilarating experience. The park also has fantastic options for the young ones including Kid’s Kingdom and Splash Island. Day passes are $38.99 and season passes are also available.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia has opened with new attractions. The Bonzai Pipelines are two thrill slides that sit side-by-side and have a unique launching capsule system on Taboo Tower. After reaching the top of the five-story tower, guests step into the enclosed vertical capsule where the floor drops out beneath them, sending riders free-falling 40 miles-per-hour down the slide. Stay cool and enjoy a movie with Friday Flicks Dive-In Movies, featuring family-friendly movies in the Forgotten Sea wave pool from Memorial Day through Labor Day.The 25-acre water park has water slides, rain curtains and squirting effects and rides including Tornado where riders begin their experience 75 feet in the air by blasting down a 132-foot long tunnel and end up in an open-ended funnel swirling into the cool pool below. Black Snake Summit is a 75-foot-tall tower featuring five speed water slides and Bamboo Racer is a unique six-lane racing attraction that places riders head first, side-by-side, on specially designed water toboggans to face down the 45-foot tall water slides. For more older kids and adults the 3.2 acre Lizard Lagoon has a tropical beach resort atmosphere with a three-and-a-half foot deep recreational pool with basketball hoops, water volleyball and comfortable lounge chairs beneath bamboo shade structures and swaying palm trees. General admission is $39.99 at the park but discounts are available online.
Knotts Berry Farm’s Soak City in Buena Park offers great options for both kids and adults. The Banzai Falls are multi-lane speed slides where riders are dispatched head first on a mat from a platform over 41 feet high. Rides include inter-tube slides, dark flumes, and the 63-ft.-high Old Man Falls. The Sunset River is over a third of a mile making it one of the biggest water park lazy rivers in the world. For little folk, Gremmie Lagoon offers a playground of interactive octopus, submarines and other oversized landmarks that squirt, sprinkle, soak and splash kids and parents. Adult passes are $30 if you order online.
The Legoland Water Park in Calabasas is a great addition to the much-beloved Legoland park. There is also new attraction, the Lego Chima Water Park which is included as part of the water park ticket. ￼Cragger’s Swamp is a hands-on water play area perfect for little ones because the water is only a foot deep. Because it’s Legoland there are building experiences. The Eglor’s Build-A-Boat follows in the unique interactive play experience introduced with Build-A-Raft River and lets kids built a boat and race each other.￼ This park offers less thrills and chills than some of the others but will delight younger kids.
Splash Kingdom Waterpark is a beach themed water park in Redlands, California. It features over 20 water slides and water attractions. The Tower of Kings is 165 feet and features eight thrilling water rides. The park’s tallest waterslide is the Anilelator at 90 feet tall. The waterpark includes the “Endless River” where guests float in tubes around a lazy river.
The Buccaneer Bay Waterpark in La Mirada is great for families. There are three two-story waterslides, a zero depth play structure, a lazy river, warm water spa, and more all with a pirate-them that includes a marooned ship. Season passes are reasonably priced and there is free parking. La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center also offers year-round swim lessons for all ages and ability levels.
For more great water parks that are more than a day trip away, check out the Travel Channel’s feature on amazing water parks.