Even though the hot summer weather will likely continue into fall, kids will be headed back to school in Southwest Riverside in the next couple of weeks.
Here are some ideas to squeeze some family fun in around the region before kids hit the books:
The Living Desert: It may not be ‘world famous’ like the San Diego Zoo, but Palm Spring’s Living Desert is a must see. Native gardens weave throughout the property labeled with interesting facts. The zoo houses many animals from Africa including giraffes and zebras. Summer hours are 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and tickets are under $20. Trams are available for a motorized journey through the zoo.
Mom and Daughter Mani/Pedi: The Inland Empire is peppered with nail salons and even a few day spas that pamper and polish. A day at the spa or simply an hour having your nails beautified is a relaxing way for moms and daughters to spend some time before the hectic pace of the school year begins.
Pole Position Raceway: There are several tracks in and around Riverside County to get behind the wheel and put the pedal to the metal. You don’t have to be a professional race car driver to experience the excitement of racing. Pole Position in Murrieta is home to 30-40 electric karts. There are junior and adult-sized models so adults and kids can have fun together. They have clinics, party space or people can ‘arrive and drive’.
March Field Air Museum: Grab the kids and head up the I-215 to the March Field Air Museum for a day of viewing and inspecting over 70 planes ranging in size and scope. Some of the planes are open, allowing museum guests to sit in the cockpit and experience the plane up close and personal. Visitors can also watch impressive military aircraft take off and land daily on the runway adjacent to the museum. The museum is open six days a week and tickets are $10 and under.
Pool Day: The weather forecast is looking toasty for the next several weeks, making a pool day a perfect way to cool off before school starts. Many neighborhoods in Southwest Riverside have community pools and most cities have public pools. Grab some friends, pack up a picnic and splish-splash your way through a fun day.
Miniature Golf: Who doesn’t like to hit colorful little golf balls in an obstacle course setting? The Inland Empire is home to several miniature golf course facilities for some good ol’ family fun. Most courses have other activities to enjoy in addition to golf. Mulligans Family Fun Center in Murrieta has go-carts, water buggies, laser tag, batting cages and a handful of kiddie rides.
Beach Day: With miles of coastline to the west, a family beach day is a simple drive from most places in Riverside County. Many beaches are family-friendly with plenty of parking, bathrooms and some even have nearby restaurants to grab a bite. Belmont Park at Mission Beach in San Diego features a boardwalk with a giant wooden roller-coaster and other amusement park rides, a giant wave machine, restaurants and shopping set in a boardwalk atmosphere.
Lake Elsinore Storm baseball game: Take the kids out to a minor league baseball game in Lake Elsinore at Diamond Stadium. Storm games are known for being chock-full of fun with entertaining skits and contests between innings. Team mascot Thunder wanders around the stadium throughout the game bringing hijinks wherever he goes.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.