During the pandemic, we’ve all had plenty of time to reflect on the beauty and freedoms we took for granted. On a good day, for instance, I can get to the beach from home in 20 minutes flat, but did our family take advantage of that nearly enough? You know the answer. And so, when the beaches were off limits, we’d drive by, straining our necks to see the ocean, opening our windows to let the scent of salt water make its way into our car.
Now that L.A. County is (at the time of this writing) in stage 2 of reopening, we can (following proper social distance protocols) return to our beaches. Getting back to the basics never felt so good. This Father’s Day, June 21, the beach is one of only a few places you might be able to get out and enjoy with Dad, but that’s OK. The important thing is that you’re together and taking measures to stay healthy.
Last year, the Los Angeles Maritime Institute hosted a “Father’s Day Appreciation Sail,” but that doesn’t appear to be happening this year. If you have your own sailboat or access to one: score! Sailing appears to be allowed. The rest of us will wave from ashore.
Other great places you can safely celebrate Father’s Day includes tennis courts, community gardens, archery ranges, golf courses, hiking trails and equestrian centers. Click here for updates on COVID-19 restrictions.
To spice up your Father’s Day, check out archery ranges such as the Easton-Rancho Park Archery Range at 2551 Motor Avenue in L.A. It is open for use by archers with their own equipment, subject to a laundry list of restrictions.
If you don’t have archery equipment laying around, get Dad off the couch with a trip to enjoy the beautiful blooms and walking trails at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes Peninsula and Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, where the waterfalls will soothe and the peacocks will delight you. Reserve your tickets online at these spots and bring your face masks when you go.
Since we’re hearing so much these days about back-to-basics essentials such as gardening, canning and dehydrating foods, why not visit a pick-your-own farm? There’s something special about seeing where our food comes from and using our own hands to pick it – and the produce is fresh and delicious. Nearby options include the Underwood Family Farms’ PYO Somis, where admission is $3 per person and free for ages 2 and under, and PYO Moorpark, where admission is $5 per person and free for ages 2 and under. Tractor rides to the fields and use of pull wagons are included with admission. Masks must be worn. See each website for additional details.
What can we say about the Original Farmers Market that we haven’t already said? It’s open for your food-buying pleasure, and it’s one of the best slices of L.A. You can support local farmers, grab some good wine, soak in some sunshine and feel like part of the larger community.
If you’re still looking for a gift for Dad, more businesses continue to be approved to open their doors for curbside pick-up. But I thought I’d throw in one gift idea for the baseball-loving dad. Topps, the exclusive trading card partner of Major League Baseball, is offering two great options for the sports fanatic father figure in your life:
2020 Series 1 Baseball Card Collection: This newest pack of cards celebrates 2020’s favorite superstars, record-breaking moments and randomly inserted tickets for Topps’ first-ever “Celebration of the Decades” party this November. Pricing ranges from $20 to $70.
Customized and Personalized Baseball Card: Upload your favorite picture of you and your dad, choose your favorite baseball team’s logo and add a sweet message on the back to create a unique and personalized card. Pricing starts at $9.99.
My family and I will likely find ourselves enjoying a hike at Griffith Park, which is gargantuan enough that people can easily keep more than a safe distance apart, or Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in the Sierra Pelona Mountains in the town of Agua Dulce.This majestic place still wows with its breathtaking hills of sediment formations, some portions dating back more than 30 million years. The 973-square-mile park has had starring role in films and TV shows such as “Star Trek,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Zorro,” “The Flintstones” and even “MacGyver.” It’s easy to imagine yourself in one of these roles with Dad as you hike, climb and hide behind ornamental rocks, but think, too, of the Tataviam people, who, according to Santa Clarita Valley TV, arrived in the area about 450 A.D. The Tataviam left behind “a vast treasure of rock art at Vasquez Rocks, which is thought to have been a major trading crossroads,” its website reports.
This Father’s Day, let’s celebrate our special dads and this city we call home.