Summer Goal: Attend Outdoor Concerts

During the summer, outdoor concerts are great opportunities to enjoy music outside for low cost or even free. There are still many scheduled outdoor concerts in our area.

outdoor concerts janss
Janss Marketplace Summer Concerts – Wednesdays 6PM through August 24

In summer, we’re more relaxed, less busy, and in my case, a little bored. We traveled a lot early in the summer but now we’re in the home stretch between trips and back-to-school, so I look around for stuff to do with the family, hoping to spark my kids’ imagination and get their bodies moving. Otherwise? Video games and YouTube (gag me). I mean I love a good YouTube video, but not all day long. Can you feel me, parents?

So I rallied the kids and husband and we went out to Janss Marketplace (you know, the one with Toys R Us and the newly redone movie theater and that awesome fountain) for their Summer Concert night. It happens every Wednesday at 6PM through August 24. The concerts are outdoors, free, and feature great local cover bands.

outdoor concerts radio rebels band 80's covers

On the evening we first went, Radio Rebels played 80’s tunes, and not just the ones you hear on Flashback Friday on the radio all the time. They played Def Leppard and Cyndi Lauper and Billy Idol and Men at Work and they sounded great.

There’s plenty of seating on the lawn in chairs that the staff sets up beforehand, and people brought blankets and their own chairs and food for picnics. Kids and adults were dancing near the stage, or in the fountain, as my kids did:

outdoor concerts kids fountain play

We had a great time just chilling at a table and watching both the band and the kids. It was so easy! I won’t be slacking off and skipping these anymore. Next time we’ll bring snacks or grab some dinner or a beer at the new Dudes’ Brewing Company first and then mosey over to watch the music.

outdoor concerts big bang television skirball

Skirball Cultural Center Family Amphitheater Performances – Saturdays and Sundays 12PM and 2PM through September 4

Since it’s been so hot the last few weeks, we’ve stayed inside during the worst hours, but at Skirball Cultural Center (you know, that place you pass when you’re leaving the Valley on the 405 and you think “I should check that place out someday”) the concerts are held in a covered amphitheater right outside the popular Noah’s Ark exhibit. Seating is shaded, so when we visited to watch Big Bang Television, a band that describes itself as “Hollywood Garage Pop,” we were comfortable and entertained.

noahs ark

Since I had never been to the Center, we got timed entry for Noah’s Ark (as guests of the Center) and explored that exhibit before heading outside. Even my big kids enjoyed the interactive artwork and climbing opportunities. Everything used to make this multi-staged exhibit, arranged by rooms to tell the story of Noah’s Ark, was something else in its previous life. Sunglasses became butterflies. Car seats and gloves became a gorilla. Forks became the majestic fur around a lion’s neck.

outdoor concerts big bang television skirball audience

There was music inside, too, as two energetic performers led the children in Noah’s Ark in drum circle activities. It was a great prelude to the outdoor concert, which was lots of fun. Big Bang Television isn’t a kid’s band, but their original songs had upbeat spirit and the lead singer’s high pitched voice commanded the attention of even the little kids in attendance.

skirball baseball

The Skirball Center is a great place to spend a day with your kids. Besides Noah’s Ark, they currently have a baseball exhibit complete with a Dugout – a room filled with kids’ activities and even a wardrobe with a baseball uniforms you can wear for a photo opp! In the art studio, kids can make anything they want, but they can also follow the guided activity (on this visit, my son made a board game). Snacks and lunch are available in the cafe. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children 2-12.

Where are your favorite outdoor concerts in the area? Here are few that I want to check out:

Outdoor Concerts Near Agoura Hills

Agoura Hills Concerts in the Park – August 7 and 21, 6PM
Chumash Park
5550 Medea Valley Dr
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Saturday Concerts in the Park – Platinum Groove, August 20, 7PM
Berniece Bennett Park
31800 Village Center Road
Westlake Village, CA

Sun Sets Concert Series – August 7 and 28, 6PM
Calabasas Lake
enter at Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center
23400 Park Sorrento
Calabasas, CA 91302
Free and open to the public

Malibu Wines – live music on weekends (21 and over only)
31740 Mulholland Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
Free Admission, wine purchase suggested (and I recommend!)

Summer Jazz Concert Series – Sundays through August 28, 5:00-6:30PM
Gardens of the World
2001 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Summer Concerts in the Park – August 15 and September 5, 5PM
Conejo Community Park
1175 Hendrix Ave
Thousand Oaks, CA

Concert in the Park – Led Zepagain, August 20, 6:30PM
Rancho Simi Community Park
1765 Royal Ave
Simi Valley, CA

Concerts on the Green – Sundays through August 28, 6PM
Warner Park
5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA
Free (but the most convenient parking is $15)

The Village Unplugged – Acoustic sets on Sundays at 3PM and occasionally during the week
The Village at Topanga
6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Canoga Park CA 91303
Free (there is a charge for parking in the Village’s lots and garage)

Frontier Treats Thousand Oaks to Star Trek Beyond

Cable company takes local guests to the final Frontier by treating them to a free screening of Star Trek Beyond. (See what I did there?)

prince family star trek beyond

Last week my family and I got to see a pre-release screening of Star Trek Beyond at Muvico in Thousand Oaks. Frontier Communications brought this special experience to the community as a way of introducing themselves as a leading cable, internet, and phone service provider in our area. I must say, this was way better than a simple postcard in the mailbox!

The Experience

As events go, this screening was run smoothly by friendly professionals. The first things we saw outside the theater were a Frontier truck and a photo op area set up by Frontier for guests to pose for silly pix before they went inside.

star trek beyond screening photographer

star trek beyond audience 1

star trek beyond audience 2
There were some funny Star Trek props, and people really got into the spirit!

Inside, friendly and professional staffers checked guests in quickly, and got everyone into their seats with popcorn, drinks, and 3D glasses far ahead of the 7pm showtime. Check-in was easy and quick, and we were given these pretty tickets and some vouchers for snacks.

star trek beyond tickets popcorn

As a fun bonus, Frontier VP of Marketing Cameron Christian gave a short speech to the waiting audience, and he and his young daughter, “a total Trekkie,” he said to a round of chuckles in the theater, pulled a raffle winner from the pot of tickets that was distributed to guests as they checked in. The winner got a big bag of fun swag including Star Trek merchandise, and branded goodies from Frontier and Epix, a cable movie channel that partnered with the provider for this event.

The Movie

I love watching movies at the theater. Besides the impact of the big screen and the awesome audio, there’s something about seeing a film with a large group of people who are also sitting there hoping that the movie is really good. When everyone applauds at the end of film, you know it was a crowd pleaser. Well, a loud round of applause broke out at the end of Star Trek Beyond, even after we sat for a while waiting for the movie to start.

star trek beyond frontier epix welcome

This was the first Star Trek installment that my kids, who are 9 and 11, got to see on the big screen. They were blown away by the action and suspense, even if the tradition was lost on them. Nostalgia was a big part of the experience for me and my husband, who was amused by the deliberately cheesy touches: really big rocks for Captain Kirk and his crew to climb on and hike through, drab ugly uniforms, groan-worthy humor. I loved that Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, was one of the screenwriters. I also loved seeing Sulu embrace his male companion and their young child on a space station break, and that the iconic voiceover, played at the end of the film, includes the line “…where no one has gone before” instead of “where no man has gone before.”

But overall, I felt pure moviegoer joy during the scene with the giant tube wave and the blaring, totally awesome use of The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” deployed as a weapon in an epic moment. A new character, alien Jaylah, enjoys “the beats and shouting,” and knew exactly what track to play when it was needed. Enterprise crew actually called it “classical music!” You’ll have to see the film to understand. I hope you do!

jaylah star trek beyond

Jaylah. This year’s Halloween costume?

Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications acquired Verizon FiOS and provides internet, phone, and TV service in California. Learn more at FrontierSoCal. Personally, I wasn’t familiar with the brand, and I was delighted to meet them in this way! Our whole family had a great time before, during, and after the movie as we chattered about it together during the ride home. (We had to explain to the kids what “Live long and prosper” means.) It’s rare that all four of us enjoy the same entertainment, but Frontier’s screening of Star Trek Beyond was one of those delightful occasions. Now we are looking forward to going back to where it all began with original Star Trek TV series!

Have you seen Star Trek Beyond yet? What did you think?

This post is sponsored by Frontier Communications. All opinions are my own. Jaylah photo from Paramount Pictures.

Sharky’s Gift Card Giveaway


Sharky‘s Woodfired Mexican Grill is getting in the holiday spirit by giving to YOU if you buy a gift card for family, friends, co-workers, teachers and other special people. Guests who purchase $25 in gift cards between now and Thursday, December 24 will receive a $5 bonus card that can be redeemed from January 1 to March 1, 2016.


GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Congrats to Bernadette and Lucia!

To celebrate, Sharky’s is giving $25 gift cards to two of my readers! To enter just leave a comment on this post (one entry per person, please) by 11:59 PM on December 23. I will choose two winners by random drawing from qualified entries notify you by email.

Don’t know what to say in your comment? Well, it can be as easy as “Pick me!” or “Happy Holidays!” but I would love it if you would share with me your favorite local feature or resource. In 2016 I will be publishing Agoura Hills Mom’s Resource List – this will help people who are new to town or just visiting find the best: pediatrician, Mexican restaurant, karate studio, urgent care, hair stylist, etc. I have my own opinions after living here for 5 years but I’d love to hear and consider yours.

I’ll be asking for your input again, but why not start now, when you could win a free meal? Feel free to share this post, too.