WHEN WE THink about summer, we think vacation, time off and fun. It probably goes back to our school days, when there was no year-round school and we all rejoiced in that last day of school knowing we didn’t have to return until September. While many families take trips and exciting vacations, and several families send their children to camp, many more of us enjoy the time at home. Well, that doesn’t mean we miss out on summer fun. Day trips and exciting activities can fill our day.
The many unique cities that make up the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys have something for everyone. From August 31 to September 23, the LA County Fair offers a wide variety of attractions and things to do. There are musical concerts featuring local performers, museums showcasing classic cars, cooking demonstrations, animal exhibits and stories of California’s history. One can easily spend more than one day there enjoying the exhibits and tasting the fair delicacies.
There is something for everyone.
The Fair takes place at the Pomona Fairplex, near the border of the San Gabriel Valley and the Pomona Valley. During the month of September, the Fairplex is home to delicious fried food galore, including the enticing smell of funnel cake, nostalgic carnival games, live shows, and family fun during the LA County Fair. For the other 11 months of the year, the Fairplex hosts Food Truck Thursday, music festivals, Oktoberfest, 5k runs, expos of all kinds, and more. Check out the event calendar ahead of time to see upcoming events and to get tickets. Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA, (909) 623-3111
For those who seek a more physical experience, the city of Claremont is a bicycle-friendly community. At just 14 square miles, families can enjoy a lovely ride through tree-lined streets. The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park has an additional 10 miles of mountain bike trails and five miles of shared-use pathways.
For horseback riding enthusiasts there is horseback riding at Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center just north of the city, including opportunities for guided trail rides and pony rides for youngsters.
Let’s not forget the cultural experiences available to the whole family. The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) was founded in 2001 and opened in September 2004. Located at 399 North Garey Ave, Pomona CA 91767 (909) 865-3146, AMOCA is one of the few museums in the United States devoted exclusively to ceramic art and historic innovations in ceramic technology. The area around it abounds with ceramic history and internationally recognized clay artists from the Arts and Crafts Movement, the 60s Clay Revolution and the current Studio Pottery Era. “Geographically, the building is located in an urban downtown district where art is an important element of the continuing and successful community revitalization program. The home community consists of a rich ethnic mix and a large academic constituency with approximately fifteen institutions of higher learning within an eight-mile radius,” explains the website.
For kids there are day camps, trampoline and bounce houses, classes, shows and museums. The 13th Room Company has escape room experiences all within a short walk from each other. The original 13th Room experience, Alchemy and Wizardry and The New Sherlock Holmes: Night of the Vampire. The Mayfair Hotel was built in 1915 and is purported to have been frequented by such stars as Clark Gable, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. During its heyday, rumors of strange happenings swirled, but nothing solid ever came to the surface. Then in 1938, something terrible happened in room #13… The 13th Room is a challenge of wit and willpower in the form of an escape room with an eerie theme. Groups can only advance in their adventure by working together to solve riddles, logic puzzles and math problems, providing ample opportunities for friend and family bonding, corporate team-building and test practice for the rope-course portion of the SATs. As an added challenge, each group must pass through all the rooms in under an hour. There are three choices: Sherlock Holmes Escape Room Experience for Two and Four, Sherlock Holmes Escape Room Experience for Four and Sherlock Holmes Private Room-Escape Game Experience for Up to Ten.
“Within the Sherlock Holmes Room, you and your team will partner with the infamous Sherlock Holmes to solve a case that has him questioning his very own sanity. Within their newest and largest room (over 1,500 square feet), you will have up to 75 minutes to solve this baffling case!” claims its website. The 13th Room- 185 E 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766
Rabbi Florence L. Dann, Beit Sefer Director of Temple Beth Israel of Pomona, has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.