Nestled in the historic Rancho Santa Anita—a homestead originally inhabited by the Gabrieleno Tongva tribe—Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden houses wildlife and plants from all over the globe on 127 acres. Its creators opened the Arboretum in 1947 to promote environmental awareness in a sanctuary that reflects the distinct history, flora, and culture of southern California. The grounds reflect the founders' aim—hummingbirds flutter among the colorful blooms in the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden, and wildflowers, herbs, and veggies spring to life at the hands of community volunteers in the educational Garden for All Seasons. Tropical and temperate blossoms embellish the Meyberg waterfall's sun-drenched stone face and blue-gum trees stand guard in front of the Queen Anne cottage, one of several historic sites that was constructed in 1885 to encapsulate Victorian opulence. Peacocks and great egrets strut among living plant collections, which explode into flowery canopies whenever the right garden sprites are available to aid in pollination.
Members often gain exclusive access to the Arboretum's slate of events, which includes workshops, tours, Yoga in the Garden, and live music performances in the summer months. The Arboretum Summer Nights series kicks off with David Correa and Cascada on July 11, followed by Sour Mash Hug Band on July 25, Ooks of Hazzard on August 1, and closes out with Steve Rushingwind on August 8. Summer camps reawaken brains that usually hibernate until September, and Bookworms Story Time captures attention year-round. Members can also take advantage of free tram rides during SpringTopia on May 3–4.
The Mission Galleria Cafe & Hideaway serves savory sandwiches, soups, and salads from its post at Mission Galleria Antique Mall, nestled in downtown Riverside. Classic appetizers such as hot wings and jalapeño poppers give way to café food including a barbecue-chicken salad and a BLT or french dip sandwich. Sweet desserts such as lemon bars, brownies, and slices of blackout cake punctuate meals, reminding guests of a home-cooked meal without having to dance for their food like in their real homes. Evening-time guests can also enjoy a drink of beer or wine, served at the café counter.
Plants, mankind’s greatest enemy, are finally on the ropes thanks to global warming. Teach your children how to hunt the last of these enormous nitrogen junkies by observing them in captivity with today's Groupon. For $30, you'll get a yearlong family membership to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (a $60 value). Founded in 1927, the garden is now the largest living museum exhibit of California’s native plants.
A family membership to the garden provides two adult membership cards, free admission for children of the household, a quarterly newsletter, a 10% discount in the Garden Shop, discounts on classes, early admission to plant sales, late release from plant variety shows, a one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and more. Open year-round, the garden offers a rotating cast of floral stars depending on the season. The winter collection, ending in early March, features manzanitas, while spring will offer a colorful bouquet of spring wildflowers, perennials, and shrubs. During the summer and fall, the garden will parade an array of native fruits and seeds—in the winter, the garden will ice parade them.
Rancho Santa Ana supplements its seasonal offerings with a busy calendar of events that are educational and inspirational. On March 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rancho Santa Ana will sell a variety of California native wildflowers that can turn any home garden into a home garden with California native wildflowers. From April 2-4, browse a special selection of Pacific Coast hybrid irises and coral bells. On May 7, come for National Public Gardens Day, or on May 23, observe Mafia Day by bringing the corpse of your favorite stoolie to fertilize the wild lilacs.
This Groupon is not available for current members of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
The Los Angeles Times has featured Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, saying:
- Prepare for romance. There is nothing that quite compares with the first stroll through Rancho. – Emily Green
Nine Yelpers give the garden a 4.5-star average, and three Insider Pagers give it five:
- I love this garden! This is the best place to see California native plants in a garden setting. There is a wonderful wildflower garden in the spring, and the entrance goes through a lovely desert garden. – Naomi F., Insider Pages
- Enjoy a stroll through this beautiful botanic garden dedicated to California's native plants. 86 acres of paths taking you on a journey into nature. – Ann F., Insider Pages
Exhilarating music pulses amid the remains of a downed cargo airliner, its wreckage scattered across 4,000 square feet of fog-filled tropical beach. Two teams navigate through these surroundings—dodging strewn pieces of cargo, abandoned huts, and a miniature volcano. Black lights cause Laser Island's neon hues to burst to life. The red-orange glow of the volcano's lava, the vibrant green of the painted palm fronds, and the cerulean blue of the walls' ocean horizon all shine alongside the green flashes of streaking lasers. After roughly 20 minutes, the guests emerge and discover which team scored the most points.
Beyond laser tag, the family-friendly entertainment center features a number of activities for virtually all ages. A nine-hole tiki-themed miniature-golf course challenges hand-eye coordination, and the CoCo Climb station allows adventurers to scale a 20-foot coconut tree while safely supported by a weight-bearing harness and an invisible force field. The arcade section tempts passersby to spend a few tokens on games such as Ms. Pac-Man or Time Crisis 3, and certain games reward players with tickets that they can redeem for prizes at the Ticket Hut. In between games or laser-tag matches, Laser Island refuels visitors with a snack-bar menu that includes everything from pizzas and toasted sandwiches to salads and buffalo wings.
As its main rotor starts to whir, rotating faster and faster above the grounds of southern California, a Sky 5 helicopter starts to levitate, soon cutting across the sandy beaches and towering peaks of the west coast. The pilots of these aircrafts lead daytime or sunset cruises along the coastline and downtown Los Angeles as well as Laguna Beach, the San Gabriel Mountain range, and Knots Berry Farm. The company also conducts aerial photography and flight-training services and even extends its flight paths up to San Diego and down to Mexico, having built a lifelong rapport with the gruff golden eagles patrolling the border's skies.