The Splash Pad at Sylmar Recreation Center and San Fernando Public Library.


A. Garcia / SFVS

D. Martinez / SFVS

The heat’s on, school’s out and the lazy days of summer have made their way to the San Fernando Valley, which means it’s time for the little ones (and some older ones too) to have some fun.

Outdoors or indoors, there are several ways to keep your kids entertained, busy and — dare we say it — maybe have them learn something along the way.

Dinosaurs in Hansen Dam

The Discovery Cube at the Hansen Dam in Sylmar features an immersive prehistoric age exhibition that includes scenes of life-size, lifelike animatronic dinosaurs.

The experience brings to life tales of large-scale excavation sites from opposite sides of the globe, and reveals secrets about life on Earth millions of years ago.

“Dinosaurs Unearthed” has a fossil dig-site, full-size skeletons, real and replica fossils and much more to keep children ages 2-7 in the Jurassic Park mode.


If you love water, the northeast Valley has several pools to keep you cool this summer.

Two big ones are at Hansen Dam and El Cariso Park. Hansen Dam features both a beach and large man-made lake. The park also has equestrian and bicycle trails, and plenty of open, green space where you can practice just about any sport.

El Cariso Park in Sylmar is a large park with all kinds of sports facilities as well as a large pool. Next to Mission College, it features basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, and several play areas for kids.

Other options include the Hubert Humphrey Park in Pacoima that has a pool open year-round. The Sylmar Recreation Center also has a pool and splash area that all little ones, and even some adults love.

For a complete list of pools in the Valley, visit

If you’re into hiking, the Valley is surrounded by the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. Both offer numerous trails with various degrees of intensity. Just remember if you’re heading out into the wilderness, take plenty of water, a good hat, and let someone know where you’re going to minimize any problems.

For a more challenging effort, head to Stoney Point in Chatsworth, a rocky area with boulders of all sizes where rock climbers can hone their skills.


When the weather gets hot, the best place to be is in an air-conditioned setting. and the library can offer this (as well as free lunch plus books, magazines, videos and music).

All branches offer a variety of programs and events, and Sylmar Library is no exception.

There’s still time to join the Summer Reading Challenge. Kids, teens and adults get a free tote bag just for registering. In addition, notebooks and pens or pencils (board books for toddlers) are given to those who complet 10 hours of reading and four activities, like attending some of their free summer fun programs.

There are also events for tweens and teens like Henna Tattoos, DIY Soapmaking, a Rocks and Fossils Show, and an Astronomy Show with Astronomer Space-E Tracy to learn all about eclipses in preparation for the Great American Eclipse of 2017 on Monday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m.

Telescopes will be set up outside the library on the afternoons of July 17 and Aug. 14, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., to look at the Sun in safe solar-viewing telescopes with the Sidewalk Astronomers.

Also, all tweens and teens ages 10-19 are welcome to come for free pizza and lemonade on Teen Council Mondays on July 10 at 2:30 p.m., and Aug. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

On Saturdays, the Sylmar Library features regular yoga workouts for all ages on July 22 at 11:30 a.m., and Aug. 5, 12 and 26 at 11:30 a.m. On July 22 at 1 p.m., a special workshop called “Meditation for Stress Release with Dr. Jacinta,” will teach ways to reduce and release the daily stress through meditation.

San Fernando Library

The San Fernando Library in the City of San Fernando has many fun events this summer for young adults and kids and encourages everyone in the community to enjoy their public library. 

 Don’t be discouraged about coming to the library just because you might have a library fine.  The San Fernando Library has a program they call “The great read away,” and you can pay off your library fines by just reading at any L.A. County Library.  This program is available for anyone between the ages of 21 and under. 

You can also enjoy a nutritious free “Lunch at the Library” this summer.  The San Fernando Library will be 

free lunch for children and teens 18 years of age or under from noon -1:00 p. m  First come, first served. 

From pinata making, crafts, SAT practice sessions, citizenship classes and more, the San Fernando library has a lot to offer this summer. 

Local authors and artists will also be speaking and holding workships including local muralist, Kristi Sandoval. Sandoval will be a guest speaker at the library on Wednesday, July 19.  You will be inspired by her work and kids will have a  hands-on ART experience. You can register to attend starting July 12 and the second part of the event will be devoted to children ages 6 & up.

The Discovery Cube is located at 11800 Foothill Blvd., in Sylmar. You can also visit

The Sylmar library is located at 13059 Glenoaks Blvd.