Today is the last day of school, and summer for most Valley kids begins. The question for parents: How do you keep your charges busy and/or cool during the next two months without busting the bank or driving yourself crazy?
* Public pools at Los Angeles city parks will open Saturday for the summer. They will operate on a limited schedule from 2 to 6 p.m. next week before going full time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting July 2. Admission is $1.25 for adults but free for those 17 and younger and 65 and older.
* The cities of Agoura Hills and Calabasas both offer weekday beach buses during the summer. The Calabasas bus costs $1 each way to and from Zuma Beach. Call (818) 880-6461 for more information. The Agoura Hills bus also goes to Zuma but is just 50 cents each way. Call (818) 597-7361.
A Topanga Canyon beach bus, sponsored by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's office, is also available weekdays and gives riders a choice of Topanga, Will Rogers or Santa Monica state beaches. Fare is 50 cents each way. Call (888) 769-1122.
MTA buses also go to the beach. The most direct route from the Valley is to catch the 561 bus as it travels south on Van Nuys Boulevard and take it over the hill into Westwood. From Westwood, you can catch the Metro Rapid Bus or one of the Santa Monica Big Blue Buses to Santa Monica Beach. Regular fare is $1.35 plus a 25-cent transfer. If the beach is a major part of your summer plans, discounts are available.
* Free summer concerts are popular. The Valley Cultural Center's Sunday afternoon Warner Park concerts continue through Aug. 27 and will feature acts such as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kim Carnes, Airto and Flora Purim. (818) 704-1587. Santa Clarita's Summer Concert series starts July 2 and will include performances by Eric Burdon and the New Animals, Royal Crown Revue, and Preston Smith. (661) 298-ARTS.