At The Pumpkin Factory, festive gourds bring an orange glow to the atmosphere, setting the scene for an exciting fall carnival. At three locations, kids leap into the air in inflatable bounce houses, converse with the goats at the petting zoo, and trot around on gentle ponies. In Corona, a special EuroBobble attraction lets guests play buoy, rolling atop a pool in a clear, inflatable bubble. At the Westminster Pumpkin Factory, helicopters take flight for scenic tours of the fairgrounds. At the end of the day, families can take home a pumpkin of their own to create a gruesome jack 'o' lantern doppelganger of their neighbor.
PIEAM houses a huge assortment of ethnic art from all over Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia, and Hypernesia. The museum was founded by the late medical doctor and Oceania enthusiast Robert Gumbiner, who wanted to preserve the various sculptures, paintings, jewelry, carvings, and tools forged by Pacific Islanders. Tour the facility for a day with a friend, significant other, or sentient shadow or opt for an ultimate membership, which gets two adults and any kids or grandkids under 18 a full year of access to the museum's chambers, as well as eight guest passes, a complimentary copy of The Birds of Yap, and recognition as a founding member in PIEAM promo materials. Click here for current and upcoming exhibitions.
The brainchild of three wine- and beer-loving friends, The Wine Bar cultivates a refined palate with an intimate bar area serving 22 wines sourced from around the world and a menu of small, sharable plates. Tasting duos recline in cushy couches as they work through a sampling flight of wines, sniffing selections such as the Rusack ’08 chardonnay and tossing glasses of Filus ’09 malbec over their shoulders for good luck. A hardwood bar and tables polished to a mirror sheen cradle palate-cleansing appetizers, such as smoked salmon served with capers, sour cream, and crackers, and creamy spinach dip flanked by dunkable strips of warm pita. Tall, arched windows give a light-streaked view of the outdoor patio seating, lined with assorted greenery and bushes trimmed in the shape of yearning, while works by local artists and eclectic music include eyes and ears in the sensory cavalcade.
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The SEA Lab is a hands-on coastal science education center in Redondo Beach that offers educational field trips throughout the year to explorers of all ages.
The SEA Lab extends its learning opportunities through fun summer camp programs that highlight the local marine environment.
Featured in dozens of publications from the Los Angeles Times to Complex, Gallery1988 hangs a colorful assortment of pop-culture-themed original artwork and prints from emerging artists on its minimalistic walls. At each of the galleries, visitors can see and purchase works by artists prior to their big breaks, avoiding the price increases and long, boring Sotheby's auctions that coincide with fame. Current gallery selections include Rezatron's 4"x5" watercolor Siskel & Q*Bert ($50), a humorous mash-up of the famous film-critic duo and the 1982 arcade game, 2Cents' series of 16"x20" screenprints ($20) inspired by popular movie icons, such as Back to the Future's Doc, filmmaker Kevin Smith, and Willy Wonka, and Billy Perkins' tribute to Blue Velvet (as seen above).
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, and Yoga in the Garden. Summer camps reawaken brains that usually hibernate until September, and Bookworms Story Time captures attention year-round.