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Savor the Summer in Palo Alto

Find fun and creative ways to be active in the community this summer

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, opportunities to get out and mingle abound in Palo Alto. Whether you’re a family looking to spend quality time together, a culture vulture looking for inspiration or a local looking for adventures outdoors or in books, there’s an amazing array of options to savor the summer in Palo Alto. Check out the following blog for some creative ideas as you solidify your summer plans.

FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Magical Bridge Summer Concerts

The Magical Music and Motion concerts offer free, family-friendly and sensory-friendly entertainment throughout the summer. Those who can’t attend the performance in person can livestream the performances — which take place on select Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — on their Facebook page. The next dates are:

  • Friday, June 17, 2022
  • Friday, July 08, 2022
  • Friday, July 29, 2022
  • Friday, August 05, 2022
  • Friday, August 12, 2022
  • Friday, August 19, 2022

Learn more about the series here.

Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo’s Super Family Sundays and Summer Camps

Throughout the summer, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) offers engaging, fun activities for families, from summer camps to Super Family Sundays.

Summer Camps

The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo provides interactive week-long science camps every summer, from physics and chemistry to wildlife. Although most camps are full, these below have availability:

  • Bay Camp, June 20–24, 3rd-4th grade, #28966
  • Camp Kinetic, June 20–24, exiting Kinder-2nd grade, #28938
  • Camp Kinetic, Aug 1–5, 5th-6th grade, #28946
  • Wildlife Camp, Aug 1–5, 3rd-4th grade, #28950

Learn more here.

Super Family Sundays

On select Sundays throughout the summer and beyond, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo opens exclusively to families with children who have disabilities, who can enjoy a non-crowded environment. Spots are limited and reservations are required for these free events, which take place June 26, July 17 and August 21. Reservations “sell out” quickly, so click here to learn more and sign up.

Hot Dog Productions at Palo Alto Children’s Theatre

Bring a blanket and picnic goodies to the popular Hot Dog Productions at Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, where you can enjoy the California sunshine paired with fun performances on Wednesday through Sunday evenings. Gates open at 5:45 p.m. and the shows start at 6:30 p.m.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: (June 22-July 3) features the classic tale of a happy family of porridge-hungry bears, along with a good-hearted lumberjack and his feisty daughter Goldi.

The Stinky Cheese Man: (July 20-August 7, 2022) shares a classic offbeat tale filled with beloved fairy tale characters and lots of frenzied fun.

Safety protocols are in effect: audience sizes remain limited, and social distancing is encouraged. The series makes a great sensory-friendly experience, as productions are performed in natural light, with no loud sound cues — plus, the outdoor seating is wiggle friendly, with quiet areas nearby. On the first Thursday of each run, we will also limit the audience size, giving every audience member a little extra space. Learn more here.

Twilight Concert Series

Music is in the air this summer at Rinconada and Mitchell parks, with twilight concerts on select Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.

Rinconada Park

  • June 25 — The Sun Kings (World Music Day festivities sponsored by the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation start at noon!)
  • July 9 — Petty Rocks
  • July 23 — Carnaval

Mitchell Park

  • August 6 — Mads Tolling
  • August 13 — Heartless
  • August 20 — Boys of Summer

Click here for more details.

July 4th Celebration

Celebrate this iconic American holiday at Mitchell Park with live music, food trucks, and fun games and activities for kids. Bring your own chairs, picnic mats, and reusable water bottles.

Click here for more information.

Family Movie Nights

Enjoy free movies with the kids under the stars during Family Movie Night on the Mitchell Park Southeast Athletic Field. Seating starts around 7 pm. and the shows begin at sunset. The remaining films showing are “Sing 2” on June 17 and “Luca” on July 22.

Registration is required here.

Municipal Services Center (MSC) Open House

Get an exciting, behind-the-scenes look at the City’s work for the community, while enjoying music, games, animals, demonstrations and more at the MSC Open House on June 18. Take a warehouse tour, check out a fire truck or patrol car, meet JMZ’s bald eagle Sequoia and get information from parks and open space and zero waste representatives. Ready to bring a fur baby into your family? Pets in Need will bring adoptable animals from the shelter.

Demonstrations range from utilities line crew pole climbing and heavy equipment, as well as how utilities are operated and staying safe near high voltage power lines. You can also learn about accessing rebates and efficiency programs. Learn more at www.cityofpaloalto.org/MSCOpenHouse

National Night Out

Join the Palo Alto Police Department on August 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m for National Night Out, which promotes police-community partnerships and camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while fostering a sense of community. The event also aims to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized.

The Palo Alto Police Department will host a block party open to the public on the 200 block of Forest Avenue in front of the police station, with popcorn, games, police vehicles on display, and officers with whom you can chat. Feel free to swing by and enjoy the evening with us!

Looking to host your own event in your neighborhood? Check out the National Night Out webpage for registration and more details if you’d like to host an event with your neighbors that our officers may visit. Learn more at www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDNationalNightOut.

ARTS & CULTURE

Friday Night at the Art Center

Get inspired at the Palo Alto Art Center’s opening celebration for “RESTART” — the center’s first juried show in more than a decade! The exhibition, which runs June 25-August 20, explores the potential of art to promote healing and regeneration, and features work in a wide range of media by 44 artists from Northern California.

This free opening reception will include hands-on art activities, a chance to meet the artists and see the exhibition, and a cash bar provided by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation with a specialty RESTART cocktail. RSVP here.

Free Weekly Virtual Meditation Sessions

Join the Palo Alto Art Center for weekly virtual meditations with stress management consultant Julie Forbes, Ph.D. on Thursdays at noon through June 30. This free series, which can help reduce stress and boost creativity, is presented in conjunction with “Creative Attention: Art and Community Restoration.”

LIBRARY ACTIVITIES

Summer Reading Program

The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program is “All Together Now!” which is all about reading for a cause! For every participant who completes the program, the Library will donate $1 to the Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF), an organization which provides grants to non-profits that improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. Make sure to sign up soon, set your goal, attend events and earn prizes! Visit our Summer Reading Program page to sign up, set your reading goal and log your activities! Join us for a summer of in-person and virtual events every week.

Many thanks to our generous Friends of the Palo Alto Library and other sponsors for supporting our program, which aims to help our community thrive.

Financial Health and Wellness Webinars

Financial wellness instructor Brad Hamada of the Heartland Institute of Financial Education hosts a series of online workshops on financial health and wellness:

  • June 17: Your Health and Wealth
  • July 15: Understanding Asset Accumulation Strategies
  • August 19: Fulfilling Long Term Goals

Click here for more information.

Family Story Time

Join Librarian Alicia on Thursdays at 11 a.m. for Family Storytime at Mitchell Park Library. Come sing, rhyme, and read a story with us!

Little Ones Story Time

Join us every Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. for a special story time for kids under 2 and their caregivers in the Secret Garden between the Children’s Library and the Children’s Theatre.

What’s Up Wednesday: Music, Movement & Imagination with Andy Z

Award-winning children’s performer, singer/songwriter and educator Andy Z will entertain and engage the audience with character voices, puppets, movement, storytelling, and music in multiple genres. The events take place 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 15, July 6, July 20, July 27, August 17, and August 24. These events, which take place at the Bowl in Mitchell Park, are made possible by Friends of the Library. Learn more here.

STEAM Lab Saturday!

Join Librarian Alicia on the first Saturday of every month (July 2, August 6, Sept. 3) for a fun-filled livestream of STEAM activities on our Facebook page. Learn more here.

BIKING ACTIVITIES

Take part in the Peninsula’s thriving bicycle culture, increasing network of bike routes and amazing off trail places to ride bikes this summer.

Wheel Kids Palo Alto

Bike Camps — Choose between two summer camp programs this summer! Adventure Riding Camp is for kids entering 1st to 8th grade in the fall who know how to ride and are ready for bicycling adventures. The Two Wheelers Club helps kids entering kindergarten to 3rd grades in the fall learn to ride or build their riding confidence.

Classes — Kids ages 5 and up can take private lessons for any skill level. There is also a Middle School Bike Skills (MSBS) class during the summer for 6th to 8th graders to learn enhanced bicycle safety skills for traveling longer distances on the road.

Coach In TrainingThe Coach in Training (CIT) program offers middle school kids the chance to gain experience as junior-level coaches during the summer camp programs. CITs gain valuable skills in coaching, mentoring, leadership, and bicycling. An application and interview are required.

Whatever you choose to do this summer in Palo Alto, enjoy yourself, and stay safe and healthy by following all public health guidelines, as we reconnect together as a community. Find these events and more on the City’s web calendar.

Summer Heat Safety Tips and Cooling Centers

Extreme hot weather can result in heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, heat rash, and in some instances death. Please take safety measures to stay safe and lend a helping hand to family, friends, and neighbors. If you know of a vulnerable person without air conditioning, such as an elderly or infirm neighbor or someone with a drug or alcohol disorder or severe mental illness, please help them get to an air-conditioned space between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If you see someone on the street who may be having a life-threatening reaction to the heat, please call 911.

Hot Weather Safety Tips

  • Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty
  • Limit physical activity
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed, parked car
  • Wear cool, lightweight clothing
  • Do not bundle babies
  • Cover your head
  • Check on frail or elderly family, friends, and neighbors

Cooling Centers in Palo Alto

The Palo Alto City Library is hosting four cooling centers at branches around the City:

College Terrace Library, 2300 Wellesley St.

Hours of Operation

  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 through Saturday, June 25 from 10:00 a,m. — 6:00 p.m.

Downtown Library, 270 Forest Ave.

Hours of Operation

  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 through Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Mitchell Park Library, 2700 Middlefield Rd.

Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 through Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. — 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 24, 2022 through Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd.

Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 through Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 24, 2022 through Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

For more information about cooling centers and hot weather tips, go here.

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