L.A. County Fair

January 2, 2011

We visited the L.A. County Fair in the fall through an amazing program for homeschoolers which is affiliated with their education program. We were able to get free tickets, which includes free parking and early morning entry – 9AM. I didn’t know if I was going to convince Mishy to wake up early or how traffic was going to be – it’s about an hour drive away in Pomona, CA, but somehow we woke up early, drove all the way to Pomona with traffic going the other way and stopped in to have delicious Vietnamese food about 10 minutes away from the fair. (By the time we left the fair, the food booths were not opened yet.)

We only visited one section of the fair – Mishy was 2.5 years old and I felt we could pace ourselves. We stayed to visit all of the animals and missed the rides.

Here are our highlights.

Mishy milked a goat!

We learned about how cows are milked in commercial farms in California.

Getting up close to the cow milking demonstration and show

Watched a sheep getting sheered.

During

After

And saw a variety of farm animals.

Details:

L.A. County Fair:

http://www.lacountyfair.com/

Last year, we saw the floats post Rose Bowl. This year, because I am much better organized, I thought it would be grand to catch as much pre Rose Bowl activities as possible. Mishy was game so I bought tickets over the phone and picked them up in person. Our first entry into Rose Bowl 2010 РEquestFest.  Located at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, EquestFest features horses which will be marching in the parade along with the floats. EquestFest is their time to shine.

Twenty-four EquestFest units participated including a group of prize winning Peruvian horses, Southern California Peruvian Paso Horse Club, All American Cowgirl Chicks Рwho rode into the field full speed, carrying a flag and sometimes not holding on to the reins!,  The Hermanos Banuelos Рwho provided several moments of fabulous lasso twirling. Their message is to show respect to children, parents, teachers, siblings, and animals.

Right before intermission, children aged 12 and under are invited inside the stable to dig for sliver dollars – actual Sacagawea dollars. Parents need to sign a waiver and it’s a good idea to sign this waiver prior to the event. We ran to participate and when we got on the field, I started digging. I really wanted to find a dollar for Mishy. I told Mishy to dig and she looked horrified. She told me to get up – why am I getting my hands dirty? – how can I carry her with my dirty hands? – I need to wash my hands right away. I told her, we’re digging for dollars. And she asked me why. I told her so we can keep them as souvenirs. When we were told to stop digging and Mishy looked all around her – seeing who got dollars and who didn’t, she asked if I found any. I told her no. She told me to dig! I told her I couldn’t anymore and we all had to leave the field. Tractors were coming and the tractors came to prepare the field for after the intermission.

During intermission, audience members could walk around the center and meet some of the horses. They could also do a fair amount of shopping for horse related products – hand designed horseshoes, stuffed animals in the shape of horses, marionette horses, etc. We bought a Cowgirl Calendar and got it signed by Mandee – who is on the month of November page. Children 46 inches and taller could ride a stimulated horse and watch a video trail ride – which there was a long line for and Mishy is not tall enough yet to ride the stimulated horse. A real horse yes, but not a pretend one – or at least not this one.

After the intermission, the Calvary came to participate in the show and we left. The Calvary came with their guns to shoot balloons and it was too loud and scary.

I would suggest earplugs for sensitive ears and being prepared to exit when it gets too loud or violent. (The Medieval Times Unit was too violent in my opinion for my daughter .) We arrived about half an hour after the show began and were able to get front row seats because the seats reserved for Wells Fargo guests had been opened up for regular audience members by the time we arrived.

Details:

Here is the link of EquestFest 2010

http://www.tournamentofroses.com/the-rose-parade/events/detail/equestfest-presented-by-wells-fargo

Looking for frogs and fishes

We love the Skirball Cultural Center. It is conveniently located off the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, parking is free and there is plenty of it – with two huge lots. There is a plethora of year round activities and exhibitions – including the Hanukah Festival. (In the summer, they have an excellent family music concert series which many musicians clamour to be a part of.) The Skirball Cultural Center is our place of choice to celebrate the Jewish Holidays since it’s an incredibly inclusive organization.

The Hanukah Festival featured some extraordinary entertainment at a variety of locations throughout the center – including an amazing jazz ensemble right in the cafeteria which had Mishy mesmerized. She also had her first taste of potato latkas. She loved them and we were given much more than the standard portion because the woman who was plating them loved how Mishy was eating them in line. There were many activities to choose from – including doll making, candle making and having timed entry to Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark is a fantastic permanent exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center. It occupies 8000 square feet or exploration, play and make believe. We are members of the Skirball Cultural Center and it has been one of our best investments.

Mishy with her newly made candles

Details:

Skirball Cultural Center

http://www.skirball.org/