Nothing says summer quite like warm nights, the smell of sunscreen and barbecues, and sand between the sheets. So to help heat up the summer kick off are free events and activities that will keep friends and family entertained without burning a whole in your summer budget.
1. Summer Solstice Health and Fitness Expo at Huntington Beach State Park June 21. Free admission, giveaways, prizes, free workout sessions and music for everyone to enjoy and get in shape for that swimsuit.
2. Movie Mondays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Mondays beginning July 7 through Aug. 4, Segerstrom Center for the Arts invites families and friends to gaze under the stars and enjoy Shirley Temple’s “The Little Colonel,” “Spice World,” “Gigi,” and many other summer flicks.
3. Children’s Museum of La Habra. First Sundays of every month admission is free from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays). Restrictions do apply, 500 people are admitted on these free Sundays and a maximum of 250 wristbands are distributed per session. Session times are 1 to 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 to 5 p.m.
4. Shakespeare By the Sea, July 19-20. First “Hamlet,” then “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. See how much of your high school English class you remember. Bonita Canyon Sports Park, 1990 Ford Road, Newport Beach, www.newportbeachca.gov
5. Cypress Community Festival, July 26. An all day affair, with a morning 5K/10K run and pancake breakfast. Following the run is a car show, chili cook-off, family games, food booths, children’s rides and everything that makes a true festival. Oak Knoll Park, 5700 Orange Ave., Cypress, www.cypressfestival.com
6. Vans U.S .Open of Surfing, July 26-Aug. 3. It’s why we call it surf city U.S.A. Spectators can cheer on their favorite surfers while they compete for the World Tour Huntington Beach Pier, www.vansusopenofsurfing.com
7. Orange International Street Fair, Aug. 29-31. 112 E. Chapman Ave. Explore the world one block at a time. There will be five ethnic streets – and one dedicated solely to children’s crafts and games – 42 food booths and plenty of entertainment. The fair is run by local nonprofits with all proceeds returning directly back to them. www.orangestreetfair.org
8. Carbon Canyon Regional Park Redwoods, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Just off the 57 you would never know that there was a major highway down the road. With all of the playground equipment and picnic benches of a neighborhood park, there is a vast canyon as the backdrop. Whether it’s to take the kids out, or train for your next half marathon this park will get you on your feet and off the couch. Located at 4422 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea. www.ocparks.com
9. Visit your local farmer’s market or swap meet, find your local honey maker or a hidden treasure at a swap meet. It’s a great way to get your children acquainted with their fruits and veggies and helping local farmers.
10. Art walks, with Art Walks in Fullerton, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and all around Orange County, it’s a great way discover up and coming, edgy artists. Many art walks include food trucks, music and other entertainment. Take a break from looking at the box and think outside the box by exploring local art galleries.
By Cristina Ramos, staff writer.