You’re out of school and it’s hot … now what? While most summers are filled with backyard barbecues and beach days, there are many other day and nighttime activities that you can explore in order to keep the sun’s rays at bay.

Instead of pulling out the sunscreen and towel and heading to the beach or the pool, try a couple new ways to stay cool this summer. From going to that water park you loved when you were a kid to having a good old-fashioned water fight, you’d be surprised at all the ways you can have a great time while chilling.

Build a Sand Castle

When you were a kid, you probably thought you were a mastermind at creating sand castles, so why not rekindle that old spirit and hit the sand? There are several sand castle-building contests held throughout the summer at local L.A. beaches, so why not … grab your shovels and buckets and enter one?

You will be at the beach with friends and playing in the sand; what better way to keep cool and have a good time? For sculpture tips, visit

Hermosa Beach Sunset Concert Series

This well kept secret is one of the best ways Angelenos can keep cool this summer! Grab a beach chair, a cooler, a few friends and a picnic basket and head down to the south side of the Hermosa Beach Pier for three amazing concerts (July 19, 26, Aug. 2) followed by a beautiful California sunset.

Each concert starts at 6 p.m. and continues until sunset. This year is going to be the best yet featuring California reggae stars Rebelution, and the head of Brushfire records, Zach Gill, and his band ALO.

Ice Skating

After a long day at the beach or at the family barbecue, what can you do at night to keep cool? How about ice skating?

Not only will you have a good time trying to keep your balance, but most likely you will end up on your rear end, feeling the coolest surface the summer has to offer – ice. The L.A. area features a couple year-round rinks located in El Segundo and Palos Verdes that are great for a date or just to have a good time reminiscing about your childhood.

Ice Chalet (550 Deep Valley Drive, # 130, Palos Verdes Estates; is open from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a live DJ on Friday nights. Admission is $7 and $3 for skate rental. The Toyota Sports Center (555 N. Nash St.,?El Segundo; offers public skating for $8 and skate rentals for $3.50. Culver Ice Arena (4545 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; presents MoonLight Skating for the 18 and older set every Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.; $9 includes free skate rental.

Jet Skiing/Boating

If you have a need for speed, there is nothing more exhilarating than riding a WaveRunner or jet ski! With plenty of rental shops located in Southern California, pick your spot and check out the jet skis for rent.

Although this pastime can be quite expensive, ranging from $75 to $150 an hour, one hour is all you need and you will be hooked! With speeds up to 50 mph and whipping turns, you’ll have a blast.

One great place to rent is Toy Box (161 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach;, which offers jet skis, jet boats and motorcycles. Yes, it is expensive, but if you can afford it, it’s a thrill a minute.

Learn How to Surf

While many Californians already love and enjoy this great sport, if you’re not one of them, get out and give it a try! Besides being challenging and a great work out, you will have a blast and keep cool.

Whether you go and rent a board and try it with a couple friends, or take a formal lesson, you will not be disappointed. And who knows, maybe you’ll get a crush on your instructor? For more information, visit, or your local surf shop.

Shakespeare by the Sea

Get out and enjoy your local parks with Shakespeare by the Sea. This will be the 11th season for the group, and they have five weeks (through Aug. 8) scheduled in San Pedro’s Point Fermin Park (an excellent location) and several other places throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, including Beverly Hills, El Segundo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, Newport and South Pasadena. This year the group is performing “As You Like It,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “Hamlet II.”

Water parks

If you’re looking for a great day of fun in the water, hit the park. The water park, that is! With the likes of Raging Waters (, Soak City (, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor ( and Wild Rivers ( all within an hour commute from Los Angeles, your day of wild, winding rides and lazy rivers is not far away.

With rates ranging from $30 to $34 per adult and hours of operation from 10 a.m to 8 p.m, these parks are a great change of pace from your regular summer activities and will prove to be tons of fun