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Featured stories from Southern California Life Magazine

in Featured, Things To Do

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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Memorial Day BBQ Recipes & Wine Pairings

Shrimp Kebabs with Flatbreads and Spicy Yogurt Sauce by Sutter Home Serves: 4 Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano 1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced Salt and pepper 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon harissa 1 tablespoon lemon juice 4 flatbreads 4 cups arugula Directions: Soak 4 wooden skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Preheat a grill or broiler and oil the grates of the grill. Toss the shrimp in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, oregano, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the shrimp, dividing evenly on the skewers and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, harissa, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Grill the shrimp 2 minutes per side. Grill the flatbreads 1-2 minutes per side. To serve, place a flatbread on each plate. Top with the arugula and a shrimp skewer. Serve with the yogurt sauce. Add harissa to taste (optional). Pair with chilled sweet wines such as Sutter Home White Zinfandel, Moscato and Pink Moscato.   Shrimp and Scallop Aguachile by Chicano Eats/Sutter Home Serves:…

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Muscle Beach Venice : Beach Next to the Santa Monica Pier Put LA’s Beautiful People on the Map

During the Great Depression, in an effort to improve the health and welfare of its citizens, the Works Progress Administration would install numbered playgrounds on many the beaches throughout Los Angeles. The program, which was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” aimed to provide the “3 Rs”—relief, recovery and reform—for Angelenos faced with the many hardships of the time. New schools, parks, bridges and playgrounds went up in record numbers around the city, providing paid jobs for scads of unemployed men and women, and in turn, boosting the morale of people who’d lost all hope. Beach Playground #4 was located right next to the Santa Monica Pier. In addition to swings and slides, it included a plethora of athletic equipment. Within a short time, Hollywood stunt men, circus performers and variety acts began congregating there to train and stay limber. The beach would really gain a reputation for good-looking athletes and perfect physiques, when the UCLA men’s gymnastics team began training there regularly. It’s been said that the section of beach just north of the Pier was such a popular spot for students to study, that it was nicknamed “Brain Beach.” The many strongmen posing and flexing in the…

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