Fourth of July: Gaze up, after the sun has gone down, on the fourth day of the seventh month, and you're bound to see all sorts of sparkly waterfalls and chrysanthemums and brocades. We're talking about different styles of fireworks, of course, and the pyrotechnics spectaculars will be plentiful around Southern California, from Burbank to Disneyland to Marina del Rey to Riverside to Valencia. Where will you go, with a picnic blanket, or your best buddy, or simply a sense of patriotic wonder? Here's a map of the scintillating sky shows set for Thursday, July 4 'round our region.
Fourth of July, Non-Fireworks Edition: So you'd like to have some holiday-style fun on Independence Day, but you'd like to do while it is daylight, and fireworks aren't crackling over head? There are festive options to ponder, from the 4th of July Barn Dance at Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon to The Great American Kids' Bike Parade in Long Beach (for sure, cycles'll be wearing their patriotic splendor, as will riders). As for the parade scene? There'll be several, including the procession in Pacific Palisades, where the Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K and Kids' Fun Run are also part of the celebration.
Military Days: Ever gone from the desert to the mountains in a matter of minutes? Probably not, as driving up a winding road takes time. But the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway can whisk you from a toasty afternoon to a chill-out hike in almost no time at all, making it a prime attraction to visit when the sun cranks up the July dial. July also happens to be when the famous tram launches its annual Military Days program, which gives members of the military, "active, former, and retired," free admission on the tram. And four of their friends or family will enjoy 25% off their ticket, sweet. Discover more about this month-long promotion now, and dream of going from hot to cool in an instant.
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle: It's mighty sunny out there, and the general levelness of a hot-a-tude seems to be on the rise, too, as they do in summertime. And yet? There are places that have an autumnal vibe around town, where the moon is queen and darkness is the spooky scene. Univeral Studios Hollywood's state-of-the-art projection show for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter returned in late June after a short hiatus, giving visiting wizards a cinematic thrill. Interested in experiencing this thrill yourself? It's now happening nightly through Aug. 11 at the castle, with music, effects, and a wowza conclusion, too.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Summer Songs @ Descanso Gardens: Enjoying leafy evening of serene strolling among some of Southern California's most magnificent oaks? It's a chance that doesn't come around too often, but if you're at the La Cañada Flintridge destination on July 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., you can soak in this nature-based revelry. The Flashdance DJs will be spinning, and vinyl will be the vibe. And shall there be a chance to commune with the roses? The flowers are also one of Descanso's most delightful sights. Find out more about tickets, now, and plan to be under the sky, and among the oaks, on Fourth of July eve.
Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company NBC Universal.