The Fourth of July means fireworks, plain and simple. When we were little, we danced the hokey pokey at a bandstand on Cape Cod and then stretched out with our siblings on blankets in the middle of a football field to watch thefireworks. The memory is plenty potent and we've been challenged, as parents, to create the same type of memories here in Southern California. We have watched from thebeach (fun but oh-so-crowded), stayed home to watch fireworks in TV after a backyard party (big mistake, they're best observed in person) and once spent an evening on the101, kids asleep in their car seats after an all-day beach party, watching high-school fireworks celebrations going offin succession across the valley.
One of the most relaxing ways to spend the Fourth in LA is to cap off a concert at the Hollywood Bowl with their spectacular fireworks. The explosions are timed to the 1812 Overture, and the kids can simply gaze upwards and watch a terrific display. This year, the LA Phil has invited Darryl Hall and John Oates to headline three shows with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The pop-duo, who are members of members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, will play their own hits as well as plenty of good-old fashioned American music.