More than ever to do in California!

In the Loop

More than ever to do in California!By DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

June began with major announcements last week at IPW, the travel industry’s massive international trade show. For one, Big Bus Tours will expand into Los Angeles, inaugurating service this autumn. The world’s largest privately owned operator of open-top sightseeing tours, it plans three tours with live guides that will concentrate on Hollywood, Downtown and Venice/Santa Monica (www.bigbustours.com). But wait! June gets better, as you will read in this roundup of tips for short hops to nearby destinations and longer trips in California.

Also down below, Universal Studio Hollywood on Friday, June 15, reveals the all-new DreamWorks Theatre Featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest,” 180 degrees of immersive adventure. A few days later, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” returns on Sunday, June 24 (www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com; 800-864-8377).

The Hollywood Bowl presents Diana Ross on Saturday, June 16; Andrea Bocelli on Wednesday, June 20; Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper on Monday and Tuesday, June 25 and 26; and the 40th anniversary of “Grease” Sing-A-Long on Saturday, June 30 (www.hollywoodbowl.com; 323-850-2000).

In Anaheim Disneyland’s first-ever Pixar Fest continues through Monday, Sept. 3, with Pixar animation characters springing to life in parades, fireworks and surprises (www.disneyland.disney.go.com; 714-781-INFO or 714-781-4636).

Outside Santa Barbara on Saturday, June 9, the Santa Ynez Valley Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival delivers the best of local wineries and food prepared by 30 chefs, plus olive products and world-class live jazz (www.JazzandOliveFestival.org; 805-325-9280).

To the south and on the coast, San Diego Zoo Safari Park just debuted Walk About Australia, a walk-through jamboree of kangaroos, wombats, kookaburras and cassowaries (www.hsdzsafaripark.org; 619-231-1515). Last month at Sea World San Diego, the Electric Eel roller coaster premiered with its triple-launch experience and upside-down view of Mission Bay (www.seaworld.com/SanDiego; 619-222-4732). In March, SEA LIFE ® Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort welcomed visitors to two new made-for-kids exhibits, Sea Night and Shark Mission. For Sea Night, guests’ skipping and jumping create bioluminescent waves. In Shark Mission, youngsters learn about sharks through games and giant touch screens (www.visitsealife.com/California; 760-918-5346). The San Diego County Fair will run longer than a month, Friday, June 1 through Wednesday, July 4, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in June, it shifts to every day over the July 4th weekend (www.sdfair.com; 858-755-1161).

Looking northwest, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art concludes the heartbreaking photographic tribute “The Train: RFK’s Last Journey,” marking the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination (sfmoma.org; 415-357-4000). Following its SFMOMA appearance, the retrospective travels to the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in France.

Closer to home: The Lancaster Summer Concert Series starts on June 21 on the Bandstand Stage, Ehrlich Avenue and The BLVD. Held on Thursday evenings, 6 p.m. in conjunction with BLVD Market, it provides the unique opportunity to combine shopping along with entertainment (www.cityoflancasterca.org; 661-723-6077).

Story First Published: 2018-06-01