La Verne Magazine
Venues of Family Entertainment
by Angelica Martinez
photography by Naoko Yokota
Participating in a family party, the Weiss family retreats to San Dimas
Canyon Park to enjoy a family celebration.
On weekends, school and work take backseat to entertainment. But, in
La Verne, where can one go for an outing that is low in cost and high in
excitement? The answer: plenty of places.
For a family interested in wholesome fun, La Verne and its bordering
city of San Dimas have several avenues of entertainment. Following are 10
ideas for family fun.
During a weekend in La Verne, one can bring her loved ones to the Webber
House, administered by the La Verne Heritage Foundation. Used as an old
girls home for many years, it features a pumpkin patch and orange groves.
A barn and a windmill grace the grounds. The house has been part of La Verne
history for many years. Children can enjoy hay rides and orange picking
during the autumn season. "The revenue from the oranges is used to
maintain the house and its surroundings," says Marianne Loncar, employee
of the Heritage House Foundation.
If one's mood dictates a natural science ambiance, then a great place
to visit is the San Dimas Canyon Nature Center, with its trail side museum.
Children and families can view sights of coyotes, fox, raccoons, birds of
prey and reptiles -- all animals that are indigenous to Southern California.
A recent addition to the museum, the Children's Petting Zoo, offers
domestic animals like rabbits, sheep and ducks with which children can interact.
Suited comfortably near the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National
Forest, the San Dimas Canyon Nature Center has historical evidence of California
Indian inhabitancy. The 50-year-old park offers a large grass picnic area
for a nice day out. Camping and trail areas are designated in the park.
Both the park and the Nature Center are open for the public's use, and
trained volunteers are available to guide groups along the Nature Trail
and through the Wild Life Zoo.
Minutes away, the Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park and Puddingstone
Lake have offered many Southern Californians several outlets of entertainment,
all within a few minutes' distance.
Boat rentals, horseback riding, golfing and picnic areas are available
to the public. "We live in Montebello, but we come to Bonelli because
it is a nice area, and there is plenty to do. It is worth the drive,"
says Joe Veneziano, park visitor.
Puddingstone Hot Tubs, adjacent to Bonelli park, is also minutes away.
Hot Tubs facing Puddingstone Lake can be rented at an hourly rate. The gardens
are nicely groomed and kept looking fresh, along with their gazebos.
For couples looking for some sizzle in their life, smaller Hot Tubs
are available. All are independent and are surrounded by three walls for
privacy, with only a portion of the fourth wall open for viewing of the
lake. A radio, candles and a changing room are included in the tubs.
To use the park, visitors pay a parking fee of $6 for each vehicle;
$10 for RVs and $20 for buses. However, the prices for boat rentals, horseback
riding and use of the hot tubs are independent of the park and vary from
Need a little cooling down? Raging Waters is also another outlet of
recreation. The hot summer days can be refreshed by dozens of pool rides
and slides at Raging Waters. The water park is very popular among families
and youths during the summer months.
"It is a really safe environment. Parents can drop their children
off during the summer. It was a fun place to work at," says Mauricio
Ramirez, former Raging Waters employee.
Another new wave of entertainment, differing from parks and lakes, museums
and historical sites, is the Wayne Gretzky Roller Hockey rink, which is
a new addition to the La Verne community. Located on Puddingstone Drive,
the rink is suited to fit the interests of young children, teens and adults
fascinated by the sport of roller hockey.
Long gone are the days when children used to simply skate on roller
skates. Today's children are geared up with pads, helmets, roller blades
and a hockey stick. The rink, primarily opened for the public during the
weekends, costs a low $6; skate rental is $2.50, and children under the
age of 3 are free. People can join a league and pay $139.99 plus a $40 membership
fee. The rink is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on the weekends for the public's
use. Most of the week, the rink is used by leagues.
Also opening during summer '99 is the San Dimas Skate Park that will
relieve frustrations caused by the no-skate laws enforced within the community.
Located in Pioneer Park, it is designed to provide skateboard and in-line
skaters a place to go. The park is free of cost and open to the public during
the regular Pioneer Park hours.
For a relaxed mode of recreation, families can stroll down to downtown
San Dimas on Wednesday nights and find the San Dimas Marketplace. Welcoming
smiles from owners and customers alike describe the happiness found when
businesses bring forth their best wares. Passers-by gain a glimpse, smell
or taste of what each business has to offer, all just inches from them as
they promenade through the area.
If exercise and gym fees do not work into your monthly schedule or budget,
there are alternatives. On a sunny day or starlit night, a brisk walk near
Brackett Airport can make your experience more complete. The airport gives
walkers an incredibly close view of small, usually private-owned airplanes
arriving and departing.
Small planes landing on a black sea of asphalt, guided by tiny little
blue lights, can give a short walk a touch of relaxation during the evening
Old Town La Verne is also a quaint area to visit during those hot summer
months when a breath of fresh air in the evening is all that is needed.
Window shoppers can view antiques and knick knacks sold in shops in the
Blocks away rests Bonita High School that beckons family bonding through
small competitive games of basketball. Bonita High School has done its part
by opening its gym to the public at no cost.
At the end of the week, both La Verne and San Dimas, with their small
picturesque neighborhoods and their charmed hide-aways, give families the
chance to enjoy some time together.
Top Family Eat-Outs
2307 D St., La Verne
A small Japanese restaurant on the corner of Third and D Street. The price
is right, and a small patio allows people to eat while enjoying the view
of Old Town La Verne. Teriyaki bowls, combo meals, lunch or dinner $7.95.
Hours: 11 a.m. -9 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends.
NORM'S HANGAR Coffee Shop
1615 McKinley Ave., La Verne
With an incredible view facing Brackett Airport's runway, customers eat
while they see their very own air show. Side orders can run as low as $1.
The steak and eggs platter, the most expensive meal on the menu, is only
Hours: Open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., everyday.
301 S. Garey Ave., La Verne
A simple Mexican style restaurant with low prices and plenty of rice and
beans to go with your order. Price ranges are $.95 for sides and $6.75 for
a large combo plate with beans, rice and tortillas.
Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends.
1912 Foothill Blvd., La Verne
The local hang-out for after business hours, the bar and grill restaurant
gives customers the opportunity to catch a meal or relax with a mixed drink.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight, Friday-Saturday;
11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sundays.
2086 Foothill Blvd., La Verne
For lovers of orange chicken, this restaurant offers large quantities of
great food, served in a relaxing restaurant atmosphere. Lunch specials are
$4.25, and dinner specials are $8.95.
Hours: 11:30 a.m- 9:30 p.m., all week.
ROXY'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
2232 D Street, La Verne
New to the area, Roxy's prepares Mexican style food in large quantities
while having it ready to eat within minutes. The average dinner is $6.
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday;
closed on Sunday.
LOS JARRITOS MEXICAN FOOD
3191 N. Garey Ave., Pomona
Los Jarritos offers its most elaborate and large plate at $8.50 with rice,
beans and tortillas aside from the main meal. A sit down Mexican style meal
restaurant, Los Jarritos prepares food similar to the way it is prepared
and presented in Mexico.
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday.
2340 D Street, La Verne
The place to go with friends, family, teams and groups, Warehouse has earned
the title of the top family restaurant by university students and locals
alike. Sandwiches, Italian food, pizza and side orders are available. A
couple of bucks can buy a salad, garlic bread or cheese bread. Sandwiches
are $4.50, and the most expensive pizza is $17.50.
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Monday-Saturday; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
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