Though many things have changed during the L.A. County Fair’s 90 years, the one constant has been the large crowds it attracts with the classic sights and sounds of an outdoor carnival. Lights race past as carnival rides fly overhead, and riffs from battling bands carry through the air. Stingray Island, a new attraction in 2012, brings fair-goers face to fin with octopuses, schools of shrimp, and stingrays swimming inside a 17,000-gallon salt-water tank. Inside FairView Farms, fair-goers can see firsthand what it takes to work a farm by watching live workers tend to pastures and baby animals at the nursery. In 2011, more than 1,490,000 people explored the fairgrounds, making it the second-highest attendance year recorded outside of 1991, when everyone showed up with their stunt double.
On the site of the first school in Alta Loma, the Rancho Heritage School continues a tradition of educating local students that began nearly a century ago. Its programs offer curriculum-based learning for students from preschool through second grade. Kids study a full complement of math, science, language-arts, and physical-education courses in classes with no more than 15 students. During the summer, the school transforms into a camp, still retaining a strong focus on education. Weeklong themed camp sessions teach kids about forest creatures, the Olympics, and the local geography on a trip to Mt. Baldy Nature Center.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for every age from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month-long membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule).
Fullerton Dancesport Center owner Stuart Cole has made a career out of dancing with style. His long list of achievements and gigs include Scottish amateur ten-dance champion, US National Team representative to the World Championships, and film dancer in Dance with Me and Heaven’s Gate. So it is with this illustrious background that Stuart works with his team of instructors to bring their personal flair to dance lessons for students of all skill levels.
Whether in social groups or private sessions, students can dance seven days a week with a schedule of classes that range from the Latin-inspired salsa and cha cha to the more homegrown country line dancing and West Coast Swing. Wedding dance lessons help bride and groom glide across the floor or bowling lane during their first dance, while youth classes for dancers ages four and up impart basic ballroom and Latin dance techniques along with rhythm and posture. For a more sweat-inducing workout, Zumba fitness classes blend the dance styles taught in Latin lessons with energetic music.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
As the days shorten and the temperature drops, the Anaheim Fall Festival celebrates the harvest season as it has for more than 75 years. This year, sponsors Anaheim Muzeo, Brookfield Homes, Bill Dalati, Hi-Tech Haunts, and Anaheim YMCA team up to host the annual festivities. Visitors can wander through a pumpkin patch and listen to live music while enjoying carnival games, trick-or-treating, or entering a costume contest. Guests may also catch a special appearance by Miss Anaheim Fall Festival along with some of their favorite animated characters. The Halloween Parade on October 25 shows off costumed riders, elaborately decorated floats, and one confused carload of out-of-towners trundling behind the marching band. Meanwhile at the Motel 6 Feet Under haunted house, open from Ocrober 24–November 1, ghoulish haunts await; parental discretion is advised.