Most people think sun and palm trees, but Southern California has fall foliage too! Beautiful garden trees brighten up our cities with their vibrant autumn colors. Keep an eye out for these beauties from October to January.
The Ginkgo tree is the first one that comes to mind with its large oak-like trunk. This tree turns from a luscious green to a brilliant yellow/gold color all at once. Expect to see this beauty around Christmas time as it makes a golden carpet of leaves on the ground. Here's a look at these golden beauties: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/394065036116100724/
The Chinese Pistache is also a California favorite. Most of the year this tree goes un noticed. The Pistache really comes to life in autumn with its orange, yellow, and red leaves. Check out the array of colors it produces: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/251709066647280783/
The Japanese Maple and the Japanese Persimmon bring us fall coloring and delicious fruit. The Japanese Maple is a strong tree that can tolerate more sun and heat. Choose from a variety of colors, the Japanese Maple steals the show. It’s sister, the Japanese Persimmon may not be as luscious and beautiful, but it bears the delicious persimmon fruit. This tree is perfect for Halloween because of its bare branches and orange fruit, which resemble hanging pumpkin lanterns. If you want to take trip to enjoy the foliage in person this year, Southern California's best places are typically: Temecula, Mt. Laguna and Julian. Of course if you are willing to make the trek to Yosemite you'll find some wold-class autumn scenery there.
California native trees that also yield beautiful fall colors every year:
• California Black Oak
• Southern California Black Walnut
• Mountain dogwood
• California Sycamore
Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
Of all the great South Bay weekends and events during the year, the signature Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair is easily among the most enjoyable. The fair offers a little bit for everyone while still managing to keep the feel of a hometown event that promotes the best of the community.
The annual Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair takes place on October 5-6 and again offers activities for the entire family. The activities include game booths where you can test your skills, more than 200 arts & crafts booths that feature many unique artist vendors, a free speech area for political groups and non-profit organizations, and the very popular Kid Country with returning attractions like pony rides and a petting zoo.
For many, the main attractions at the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair are the food booths and the beer garden. The amazing food selection from the booths on both Dorsey and Live Oak Fields include everything one could imagine, many of which are listed here. The beer garden, located at the North end of the fairgrounds on Dorsey Field, is also a highlight. Friends, neighbors and visitors alike congregate under the sun from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. If you’re a newbie, this review from the 2012 fair will give you an idea of what to expect.
There is also plenty of music at the fair, including the annual battle of the bands on the main stage near the beer garden where six bands will vie for the title. Along with a second stage, there is continuous music being played throughout both days of the fair. Here is this year’s schedule.
Thankfully, since beach parking is at such a premium even on a normal weekend, the fair offers free parking and shuttles that run every 15 minutes throughout both days of the fair. Check the official website for exact shuttle hours and locations.
Keep in mind the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair is organized by an all-volunteer, non-profit board of directors, and all profits benefit the community. For fair updates and photos of past celebrations, check out their Facebook page.
Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
P.O. Box 3068
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
To the everyday wanderer, the Point Vicente Lighthouse provides an idyllic reference point along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. With beautiful walkways around the cliffs of Palos Verdes, the lighthouse is the perfect place to bring friends, family and even dogs (as long as they are on a leash).
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is also an important landmark for ships and pleasure craft. This station has been guiding vessels to and from the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors since March 1926. Today it is owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard. The Point Vicente Lighthouse is open for tours on the second Saturday of each month from 10am to 3pm PST.
The Interpretive Center stands adjacent to the lighthouse along the peninsula. The original building was opened in 1984 to present the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The now almost 10,000 square foot center re-opened in July 2006 features exhibits on the early inhabitants of Palos Verdes and the local sea life, with emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. With its prime location, the Interpretive Center is a premier whale watching site during the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April. The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm, and park grounds are open until dusk.
Take this opportunity to see the picturesque view of a lighthouse on a cliff surrounded by palm trees with Catalina Island as a backdrop, and bring your camera!
Check their website for more information.
Back to School Safety Tips
As a parent, you’re well aware that it can be a bit worrisome when summer draws to a close and it’s time for the little ones to go back to school.
Accidents can, and do, happen when it come school-aged children. Research shows that an estimated 2.2 million children less than 14 years old are injured in school-related accidents each year, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. But these accidents and unintentional injuries can be avoided, and it starts when parents talk to their children about school safety, and are on the lookout for potential hazards.
Here are some helpful and practical back-to-school safety tips to help protect your children:
Plan a walking route to school.
Choose a direct route with the fewest street crossings and walk it beforehand with your child. Avoid any places where there are not a lot of people around.
Travel in groups.
If possible, be sure your child walks or rides to school with other kids, preferably along with an adult. They should never talk to anyone they do not know.
Talk about basic traffic sense.
Make sure your kids know to always walk on a sidewalk if one is available, or against traffic on the road. Always look both ways before stepping off a curb and crossing any street, which is safest at an intersection. Never run, or dart out in front of a parked car.
Go over bicycle safety.
Along with always wearing a helmet, kids should know to always ride on the right side of the road, obey all traffic signals and come to a complete stop before crossing any street.
Teach how to ride the bus.
Kids should stay off the street and three big steps from the bus until it is at a complete stop before approaching the bus. They should be sure the bus driver can always see them, and never walk behind the bus.
The right bus behavior.
Children should always remain seated on the bus and always keep their heads and arms inside. They should wait until the bus has stopped completely before moving around.
Choose the right backpack.
Don’t over stuff a backpack. It should never weigh more than 10-20 percent of a child’s body weight. Wear both straps, and the size of the pack should match the size of the child.
Teach kids proper playground behavior.
This includes no pushing, shoving or crowding other kids.
Check the playground equipment at the school.
You can talk to your kids about what things to avoid, but check for potential hazards yourself and report them to the school.
Talk about bullying.
Give your kids strategies on how to deal with bullies and the correct responses, such as when to walk away and when to contact an adult.
We all at the South Bay Team wish you a wonderful school year! Click on the school name below for the school supply database to help you with your back-to-school shopping!
Manhattan Beach Unified Elementary Schools
American Martyrs School
Alta Vista Elementary
Jefferson Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School
Parras Middle School
The above schools have listed their supplies. For a general supply and back-to-school resource click HERE.
Awesome Back to School Lunches
It’s not always easy packing a lunch for your school-aged kids. There are some notoriously picky eaters out there, and you never want your child left hungry at school and coming home with a half-eaten lunch.
You don’t want to find yourself stuck in that rut of packing the same old lunch or not knowing what to pack today, tomorrow or next week. It can be quite easy to add some variety of your kid’s lunches with these seven quick, healthy and fun ideas:
Dip away – Kids love to dip things. Use cookie cutters or simply slice vegetables, fruits and other items like bread to make fun shapes. Serve with hummus, yogurt or ranch dressing for dipping. Kids also love to dip chips and salsa.
Grilled cheese with a twist – Slice up a traditional grilled cheese and serve with a small container of tomato soup so kids can dip their sandwich slices, or pour the soup over the top.
Creative taco box – Pack ingredients like guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese in different compartments and let your kids get creative making their own tacos, like these beef and black been corn tacos.
Already ready – This lunch with leftovers – meatballs, mozzarella, garlic toast and marinara – can be pre-packed and go straight from the fridge to the lunch box with almost no fuss.
Pizza Bento Lunch box – Tired of packing the traditional lunch box, and looking for something more creative and even healthy? This bento box idea includes veggies, berries, cheese and ham. Kids can even help by cutting the veggies into their favorite shapes.
Pasta salad – It doesn't get much easier than this pasta and vegetable salad (such as broccoli) with parmesan cheese which can be made ahead of time.
Hot and ready chili – A warm meal at lunch is nice, and this one is filling too. Put leftover chili in an insulated container to keep warm, and pack chips and cheese to let kids put it all together.