Family Time
July, 2009 - Issue #57
Summer's "Funnest" Melon
Host an impromptu watermelon seed-spitting contest (Did you go seedless? Switch to a watermelon eating contest!) or mix watermelon juice with lemonade and ice for a lip-smacking hot-weather drink.

Fun on the Fourth
{Saturday, July 4}

77th-anniversary Fourth of July Parade
Beginning at 9 a.m. and traveling from Hart Park to 16th Street, watch as horses, floats, cars, music, fire trucks, kids' organizations and more share their "Fun in the SCV" patriotic spirit;

Bristol Farms and Bridgeport Marketplace
Present Fourth of July Picnic & Carnival

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bridgeport Marketplace located at the corner of McBean and Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia, experience live music, barbecue fare and sweet treats, dunk tank, petting zoo, pie-eating contest, pony rides and more. Admission is free. Seventy-five percent of carnival booth ticket proceeds will benefit local charities.

Annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast
From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. feast on homemade pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee for just $4 in the Roger Dunn parking lot located at 24200 San Fernando Road in Newhall. The breakfast is an annual tradition and a great way to kick off your viewing of the parade.

Santa Clarita Fireworks at Westfield Town Center
The free and fabulous show begins at 9:15 p.m. Log on to the site for best viewing locations and access to restrooms and trash bins;

July 2009: Knitting Camp for Kids
Children ages 9 and older who are interested in learning how to knit are in luck - Stitch Cafe is forming an interest list now. Get an early glimpse of the fun your little ones will have at the Valley Village location's big summer sale on Sunday, July 5, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Deep discounts will combine with prize giveaways, food, games, music and more; 818-980-1234

Father's Day is June 21!
There's still time to score a gift that will really impress. We love epoxy floors, which have become the must-have flooring for garages. Not only are they long lasting, durable and resistant to oils and many solvents, but they also come in a variety of colors and design options (like Dad's favorite sports team, hobby or brand). Mint Condition (251-5521) can transform his drab garage into a mecca of fun and functionality by making it over from top to bottom.

Fourth of July Fun for Years to Come
Nothing is more American than a good ol' family barbecue. Start making memories by treating your favorite people to fine meats, brats and vegetables hot off the grill. Right now, Barbeques Galore (284-6880) is offering $100 off the 26-inch STS grill (regularly $1,999) or $200 off the 32-inch version (regularly $2,499). Prices good until July 5.

When a special team of super-smart guinea pigs is decommissioned, a deranged billionaire hatches a plan to control the entire planet through common household appliances. The furry team (G-Force) then has to jump to action to ensure that he does not succeed.
Saturday, July 25
Edwards Valencia 12 Theatre Presents G Force Celebration

In celebration of Walt Disney's much-anticipated opening of G Force at the Edwards Valencia 12 movie theatre, the Regal Entertainment Group is hosting a spectacular collection of family-focused activities. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., experience free games, raffles and lots of fun. Local businesses like Gavin Espinosa's ATA Martial Arts Academy, RAS Motorsports, Paintball USA, Build A Bear, Color Me Mine, and Best Buy will be on hand to give away awesome items like posters, kids' tee-shirts, movie tickets and more. Regal Entertainment Group Edwards Valencia 12 is located on Town Center Drive in Valencia; 260-2960

"Cool" Family Fun
Splish Splash at Castaic Lake
Low admission prices and good ol' fashioned lake-side fun pair up at Castaic Lake in the summer. Regularly-hosted events like moonlight kayak classes, movie nights, nighttime tube fishing and kayaking (you get your own glowstick and whistle!), campfire talks and even chances to give back ("Pride in the Lake" clean up days are held the second Saturday of every month. Gloves and equipment are provided.) can be found on the Friends of Castaic Lake website; 257-4050

Dive-in Movies and More
The City's Summer Fun Pass gives you an all-access pass to volleyball, basketball, recreational swimming and more at the City's Sports Complex facilities, and recreational swim at all neighborhood City pools from Memorial Day through Labor Day. As a perk, pass-holders will also receive free admission to all Dive-In Movies, where guests can escape the summer heat and watch films on a big screen while floating in the pool at the City's Aquatics Center. $65 for youth 17 and under and $120 for adults 18 and over; 250-3700

"Check" to Prevent Water-based Tragedies
As we approach summer, it is important for parents to remember that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5 in the state of California. Take a moment to educate yourselves and your children; drowning is 100 percent preventable.

• Never leave your child unsupervised in or near any body of water
• Don't allow barriers, such as fences or walls, to give you a false sense of security
• Keep toys, tricycles and other children's play things away from the pool or spa
• Don't consider your children to be "drown-proof" even if they are enrolled in swimming lessons.
• Don't rely on "water wings" or inflatable devices to keep your child

• Fencing, walls, latched doors, covers and alarms should always be utilized
• Doors and windows leading to the pool area should be kept closed and locked
• Fence gates should have self-closing, self-latching mechanisms
• Door, window and gate latches should be out of reach of children
• Always drain standing (surface) water off of the pool or spa cover
• Your pool or spa should always have well-maintained barriers or "layers of safety"

Emergency Procedures
• Install a phone, or keep a cordless/cell phone, in the pool or spa area
• Know how to contact local emergency medical services
• Post emergency phone numbers in an easy-to-see location
• Child care-givers should always be familiar with emergency procedures
• Learn and practice how to administer lifesaving techniques (CPR) to children
Remember: There is no substitute for constant supervision and eye contact when a child is in or near water.

Checklist courtesy of Academy Swim Club 702-8585.

Summer Boredom Busters
Spots still Open for COC's Junior High Summer Institute Day Camp
The Junior High Summer Institute (JSI) at College of the Canyons appears to be a success, with several tracks nearly full to capacity. The career exploration camp - open to students entering sixth, seventh and eighth grade -provides hands-on opportunities in the areas of art, film, math and science and musical theatre. New to JSI this summer will be tracks focused on animation, 3-D design, teen fitness, lake recreation, and welding technology. The week-long curriculum is offered over six different weeks. The more popular tracks are repeated, allowing students to register in multiple weeks without missing out on a popular track like film or technology. JSI will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting June 15 through July 24 (no meeting July 3) and will consist of six one-week sessions. Parents have the option of enrolling their student in different tracks for as many as six weeks. For working parents, an extended care option will allow students to remain at JSI from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day at an additional cost of $60 per child per week; 362-3300

Kids take to the Trails this Summer
Valley Trails, SCV's only ACA-accredited camp, is dedicated to giving children K-9 a fun and safe day camp experience with free transportation and lunch. A few of their programs are a 500-foot zipline, trampoline, pioneer village and challenge course activities. Online enrollment is available; 257-0266
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