Run by fourth-generation apricot farmer Paul Fantozzi, Fantozzi Farms spends the majority of its efforts growing a variety of crops such as apricots, olives, corn, and gourds. But since 2003, the farm has also shown its love of fall by providing an autumnal corn maze. Spanning 25 acres and more than 5 miles of paths, the maze conceals 12 checkpoints for intrepid explorers to discover. Meanwhile, the courtyard holds child-friendly attractions such as a hay-bale pyramid, weekend pig races, and corn cannons—with sharpshooters winning a free pumpkin from the patch. And for those who'd like to check their heartbeats with frights and scares after relaxing at a large picnic area and visiting the farm animals, Friday and Saturday evening showcase a haunted corn maze—where visitors carrying flashlights test their wits against costumed frighteners.
Very few people alive today can remember a time when the Stanislaus County Fair wasn’t around. The 10-day summer festival began humbly in 1911 as the Melon Carnival, but expanded throughout the decades in length and notoriety, with California recognizing its Arch Gate as a State Point of Historical Interest in 1999.
The fair’s headlining acts complement entertainment on secondary stages, whose performances range from community square dancing shows to canine daredevil acts. Meanwhile in the carnival area, visitors shoot down sudden rollercoaster drops and spin in dizzying circles, as tots frolic on size-appropriate kiddie rides and plot ways to turn their classrooms into zero-gravity chambers. Broncos attempt to buck riders to the ground in the rodeo, whereas those who prefer mechanical steeds can check out monster-truck shows, motocross contests, and motorcycle daredevils.
Tina Kelly and Diane Flores, sisters and founders of Venus Pole Fitness, have always preferred doing things together. Throughout their adult years, they attended dance classes and boot camps, constantly in search of an exercise regime that was not only fun but effective. When they discovered pole-dance fitness, they instantly loved it and quickly purchased a pole, stage, and DJ booth packed with pop-music CDs. Their purchases led to the eventual creation of Venus Pole Fitness, where the certified duo teach ladies of all fitness levels and friction coefficients how to spice up their exercise regime and build their confidence through hip swivels and spins.
At E&M Auto Service, technicians aim to keep cars and trucks on the road with oil changes, air-filter replacements, and brake checks. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, they detect problems relating to the everyday use of automobiles, attempting to ensure that while driving, hoses don't wear out, belts don't snap, and wheels don't fall off and into the arms of the nearest strongman. They also provide a complimentary email-reminder service, letting drivers know when they are due for routine maintenance.
Just in time for holidays and tax-form burnings, fresh flowers emerge from potted arrangements, such as the Spring Sonata ($39.95) and the Cotton Candy ($34.95), alongside bunches of pink tulips ($34.95). Click here to shop by occasion, price, color, and flower type.
The Floral Cottage arms caring friends with an arsenal of poignant bouquets ready to add color and fragrance to any life moment. Prep a mantelpiece for the coming cold with the stellar yellow arrangement ($45–$65), part of the winter assortment of bouquets, or symbolically remind the Christmas tree of its impending doom with an early unveiling of spring flowers ($40+). The custom-design ($55–$75) webpage tasks each customer with organic organization, showering flower fiends in options for special occasions such as graduating from graphology school or successfully forging one’s graphology school diploma.