Summer Fairs for LA Families

By Michael Berick

summer activities

Have a whirl of excitement at the OC Fair this month. PHOTO COURTESY THE OC FAIR

Summer fun isn’t really limited to summer in Southern California. Major League Baseball? Those games are played into October. And we watch movies outdoors and go to the beach all year. But one kind of fun only happens in the summer, even here – the county fair! Summer fair season moves up the coast from Orange County to Ventura before heading east to Pomona.

The 126th OC Fair commences July 15 and is open from noon-midnight Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-midnight Sat.-Sun. until Aug. 14. Visitors are being challenged to “Get Your Fair Face On,” and that shouldn’t be difficult. You can explore the animal and agricultural exhibits, enjoy musical performances and action sport competitions, culinary demonstrations and sweet treats. There will also be two carnivals: the Kiddie Carnival for youngsters (with fun houses, slides and a carousel) and the Main Carnival with bigger thrills for older fairgoers. Find the fun at the OC Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa. Tickets are $12 adults, $7 ages 6-12.

From Aug. 3-14, you can visit “The County Fair With Ocean Air,” otherwise known as the Ventura County Fair. On the fairgrounds at 10 Harbor Blvd., Ventura, you’ll have a choice of carnival rides, live concerts, farm animals, floral gardens, rodeos, motor sports, gourmet food and pie-eating contests. And it is hard to beat the lovely view of the Pacific from the top of the Ferris wheel or watching fireworks light up the skies over the ocean. The fair is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and admission is $12 for adults, $9 for ages 5-12.

Last but not least is the L.A. County Fair, which returns to Pomona’s Fairplex at 1101 McKinley Ave. for its 94th edition Sept. 2-25. With this year’s “Dare To Fair” theme in mind, see how many great adventures you can experience at America’s largest county fair. Besides all of your favorite carnival games and rides, you can encounter 35 life-size animatronic dinosaurs in “Jurassic Plant” and go ice skating at the Igloo. Education meets fun at exhibits such as the sports-memorabilia-packed “Let The Games Begin,” the fascinating techy “Popnology” and the reimagined “Our Body” human anatomy exploration. Visitors can venture into Thunder Alley to check out cool new Hot Wheels cars and real hot rod racing. And where else can you decide whether you like deep-fried guacamole better than deep-fried Kool-Aid? The fair runs from noon-10 p.m. Wed., noon-11 p.m. Thur., noon-midnight Fri., 10 a.m.-midnight Sat. and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun., and has special extended hours Labor Day Weekend. Admission is $14-$20 for adults, $8-$12 ages 6-12.

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