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
In 1938, Kurt and Max Laemmle, the nephews of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, opened their very own movie house dedicated to Hollywood and foreign pictures alike. Though it's since grown to encompass seven locations, Laemmle Theaters is still a family-run business that remains dedicated to its original mission.
A mix of blockbuster and art-house flicks are projected digitally into auditoriums with stadium seating, and share showtimes with special events such as premieres and one-night screenings. To spotlight smaller films, the Sneak Preview Club features upcoming movies for free, an easier way to see new releases than changing your name to Steven Spielberg. Complement each cinematic voyage with one of Laemmle Theaters' classic concessions, such as popcorn drenched in real butter.
At Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, which earned CityVoter's Best Sports and Recreational Activity title in 2009, visiting motorists whirl around a 1,200-foot indoor track designed by former IKF racers. Drivers suit up with protective helmets and neck collars before strapping themselves into Sodi karts, whose gas-powered Honda 200-cubic-centimeter engines and miniature horses power them through 10- to 12-minute races. The indoor facility’s professionally engineered exhaust system ensures safe, clean air for all racers as they wind through the course with up to 11 other competitors. Computerized timing systems accurately record photo finishes, and video helmets and race suits are available to enhance the experience. A slew of celebrity guests have been known to frequent the track, giving visitors a rare opportunity to outwit IndyCar drivers or trade high-speed knock-knock jokes with Hollywood comedians.
With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 20+ locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts.
Scandia Amusement Park adds a Nordic theme to classic amusement-park rides. Towering over the park, the signature Scandia Screamer Coaster sends riders through more high-speed drops, twists, and turns than that time they tried to cartwheel down the stairs. Shrieks of excitement echo at Cliff Jumper, a 100-foot-drop tower, and the Viking Ship, which swings like a giant pendulum through the air. A kiddie section treats young visitors to less-intense rides, including a carousel and the aptly named Little Dipper Coaster.
Back on the ground, more than 12,000 vibrant flowers line two Scandavian-themed putt-putt courses. Waterfalls and trickling streams calm players as they putt golf balls through challenging obstacles such as a stone castle. The competition continues at batting cages, which hurl baseballs and scoops of ice cream at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. Aside from these everyday attractions, Scandia Amusement Park lures in visitors with birthday-party packages and a seasonal haunted house.