The first weekend in September marks the official end of summer and start of Fall for hundreds of thousands of L.A. families, who get to enjoy one last three-day weekend before shifting into the madness of school schedules (and the all-too-soon arrival of the holiday season).
Here are some family-friendly activities around the Southland for those who want to do a little more than just loll around the backyard barbecue:
Saturday, September 3
Labor Day Celebration at the Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
The Orange County Labor Federation, along with several other union organizations, is sponsoring a special day at the zoo to celebrate Labor Day. Zoo admission is free to Labor Day celebrants. Bring your picnic blanket and folding chairs to the Zoo’s Amphitheatre Park area for a little food, entertainment and Labor Day fun.
Monday, September 5, 10:00 am
2011 Labor Day Solidarity Parade and Rally
1331 Eubank Ave.
Wilmington, CA 90744
The 32nd annual Los Angeles/Long Beach Labor Day parade serves as a reminder that this holiday is not just another three-day weekend, but a commemoration of the achievements of the Labor movement. Many of the region’s active unions are gathering early Monday morning for this old-fashioned march along Avalon Blvd, which begins at 10:00 A.M., culminating at a 12:00 noon rally in Banning Park. The flyer promises speakers, music, hot dogs and sodas — and shuttle buses back to the start point for the marchers.
30th ANNUAL MALIBU CHILI COOK-OFF, CARNIVAL AND FAIR
23789 Stuart Ranch Road (at Civic Center Way)
Malibu, CA 90265
The only thing better than spending the last summer weekend with the kids at the beach in Malibu is finishing it off with carnival rides and chili. This year’s annual fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club offers rides, games and entertainment by local performers. These iinclude Nia Peeples and Dick Van Dyke, who will be drawing the winning ticket for a 2011 Mercedes Benz C-Class… only 999 tickets will be sold, but be warned, they’re not cheap. More affordable items may be found at the silent auction, which will feature autographed memorabilia donated by some of the many professional athletes and celebrities who live in the area. Who knows? You might actually see a few.
Entry is $10 per person per day, $5 for kids 5-11 years old, under 5 FREE
Parking at Malibu Civic Center
Orange International Street Fair
Chapman Ave and Glassell St
For 39 years, the organizers of this event have offered the community bands, games, and of course, food — from all over the world (hence the “international” moniker). This year’s theme is “A World of Flavor at Your Fingertips!” One of the Fair’s “streets” is dedicated to kids, with inflatables, rock climbing, and games.
Proceeds from the Fair benefit some 50 different charities located in the city of Orange. Admission is free, but fees charged for some activities and events. Parking: at Chapman University. Residential parking also available. Attendees warned to expect to walk several blocks to get to the fair.
September 4 – October 30
Old World’s Beer Garden
7561 Center Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
It may only be September, but the folks at Huntington Beach’s Old World have not let that stop them from opening their annual Oktoberfest celebration a little bit early — and Sundays have been designated Kinderfest (kinder=”child”) days, with activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family: moon bounces, carnival games and dachsund races are on the menu, along with Old World’s mainstays of ‘Oom pa pa bands,” bratwurst, pretzels and the one commodity you absolutely need at an Oktoberfest celebration: beer.
Admission: $5, $3 for kids ages 6-12, 5 and under FREE
Donna Schwartz Mills celebrates endless summer at SoCal Mom.