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Featured stories from Southern California Life Magazine

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Ring in the Fourth with Fireworks

By Maria del Cisne Vital   The Fourth of July is a great way for families and friends to reunite and celebrate independence and the beauty of our great nation. Take pride in the U.S., sport some red, white and blue, and wave the American flag high this fourth. End your night with a bang— firework shows will be displayed all throughout SoCal!   The Big Bay Boom San Diego’s North Bay will light up this Fourth of July with a massive display of fireworks starting at 9 p.m. Lasting about 18 minutes, this show is the largest annual event in the western United States with over 500,000 people viewing, whether in person or at home watching. In order to get the best view, it’s recommended to go to Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North/South Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Little Italy and more locations throughout San Diego. This show is “a salute to the military families of our service heroes.” bigbayboom.com/   Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th Of July Block Party Enjoy an Independence Day celebration at L.A.’s Grand Park from 3 to 10 p.m. The festivities are kicked off with a fun block party with live performances on two…

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We All Scream for (Unique) Ice Cream

By Maria del Cisne Vital   We all know that summer time is best time for a deliciously sweet serving (or two) of ice cream. The perfect chocolate/vanilla swirl atop a waffle cone is a classic image that we can all appreciate. But sometimes classic is boring, and a spontaneous and daring option is as enticing as ever. SoCal is home to several ice cream shops that serve up wild flavors— Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, chicken and waffles, and avocado are just a few to mention. Forget vanilla, and celebrate Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day the right way at one of these shops:   The Coolhaus Shop  Coolhaus started out as two friends making ice cream sandwiches for fun, and ended up turning into a booming L.A. business. Its storefront in Culver City scoops up classic flavors, but also has some unique ones ready for you to try out. Their Fried Chicken and Waffles flavor features Brown Butter Maple ice cream with maple candied chicken skins and caramelized waffles. If meat and ice cream is too daring for you, settle for their Whiskey Lucky Charms flavor which is infused with Lucky Charms cereal and Jameson whiskey. Among the wacky flavors, there’s…

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Summer Solstice Smoothies

By Maria del Cisne Vital   The most refreshing— and the healthiest— thing to drink on a hot summer’s day is hands-down a smoothie. Of course, National Smoothie Day lands on June 21st, the official first day of summer. The dynamic duo of summertime and a smoothie only gets better when it’s incorporated into SoCal. The best places for smoothies to quench your summer thirst are listed below. Order up!   LIV Juice Bar and Smoothies This small San Diego smoothie joint is inconspicuous, but on the inside its friendly staff and colorful chalkboard menu tells you that this isn’t like any other place. With a bunch of fruit-filled options, the menu makes your mouth water. The LIV signature smoothie includes orange, strawberry, melon, apple, pineapple, mango, kale and spinach. One sip of that and you’ll feel cleansed for the day. They also serve up juices, acai and pitaya bowls, and sandwiches if you need some carbs to fill you up. (619) 688-3997 1251 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103   Kreation Juice A branch of Kreation Kafe, this juicery’s mission is to create beverages that are designed to invigorate the body and mind. All Kreation juices are made from Farmer’s…

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Celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month in SoCal

By Maria del Cisne Vital   June means summer break, time with family and friends, and the chance to have some fun in the sun. Ring in the summer with a visit to Southern California’s zoos and aquariums to celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month!   Santa Monica Pier Aquarium The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium has over 100 local species on exhibit. You can see baby sharks, seahorses, moon jellyfish and many more ocean friends. You can look, and you can touch! The aquarium’s touch tanks are filled with colorful starfish, hermit crabs and sea urchins. And don’t forget to get a look at the rotating weekly catch— the dive team goes out and collects local critters from right near the pier. Once you’ve indulged in the beauty of marine life, enjoy the rest of what the pier has to offer with everything from Dippin’ Dots to roller coaster rides. 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 393-6149 www.healthebay.org/aquarium/   The Ocean Institute  The Ocean Institute is located in the Dana Point Harbor, and is open seven days a week for family fun with an educational twist. Over 250,000 guests visit each year, and they leave with a…

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Father’s Day Fun

By Jessi Soporito   Father’s Day is coming up soon on June 17, and now is the perfect time to start planning a weekend of fun with Dad. Thankfully, Southern California is packed with activities to help you celebrate just how wonderful your dad is. Whether your dad is sporty, outdoorsy or a music aficionado, there is something for every dad in SoCal.   Baseball Fun Dodgers With Dad On Father’s Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers are facing their rival, the San Francisco Giants, at home. The Boys in Blue will be giving away a Father’s Day Money Clip to the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance. Get there early to secure your clip and catch some batting practice. Ticket prices range from $37 to $500+. mlb.com/dodgers/tickets Take a Tour The Anaheim Angels are playing in Oakland on June 17, but you and Dad can play catch in the outfield, hit in the batting cages, and even check out the behind-the-scenes workings of the stadium. Tickets are $75 for adults and $20 for kids (6-12). mlb.com/angels/tickets/specials/fathers-day   Car Heaven Visit a Museum For the auto-enthusiast, Dad is sure to love the Petersen Automotive Museum. Located in Miracle Mile, the museum…

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Make a Wave on World Oceans Day

By Maria Del Cisne Vital   Southern California is nothing without its beaches. But the most essential part of a beach (the beautiful ocean) often goes unrecognized and unappreciated. Help organizations across SoCal preserve and draw attention to the importance of our world’s oceans for World Oceans Day. Dive into the fun and educational opportunities below!   4Ocean Santa Monica Beach Cleanup June 8 @ 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  Approximately 16 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean each year, according to sciencemag.org. This year, 4Ocean is holding a beach cleanup to help lessen the amount of plastic our oceans have endured this year. All participants will receive a blue 4Ocean t-shirt and Limited Edition 4Ocean Bracelet. All volunteers will be provided with a reusable burlap bag and gloves. Bring a reusable water bottle if you have one, a great step towards reducing plastic use! Santa Monica State Beach (south of Santa Monica Pier) 16 Arcadia Terrace, Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, California 90401 4ocean.com/   Aquarium of the Pacific’s World Oceans Day June 8 With the cost of admission on June 8th, visitors of the aquarium will get the chance to learn about the issues affecting our oceans, such as…

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