In this week's Footnotes:
Snowbirds have probably already seen the usual Southern Californian sights--Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Mann's (Grauman's) Chinese Theater. You could send them on free tours of Van Nuys Airport, (818) 785-8838, or the Santa Clarita Post Office, (805) 294-7635--but as fascinating as those may be to Valley residents, these birds could, no doubt, get similar tours almost anywhere in the U.S. So what do you do to give them a true Southern California experience?
* Nothing says Southern California more than movies and television. Warner Bros. Studios, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, offers a two-hour VIP tour for $30 per beak. Unlike that other studio tour in Universal City, this tour is an educational look at the way motion pictures are made, geared toward adults. Watching actual filming is not a regular feature, but it has been known to happen. No cameras or children under 8. The tours run every hour on the hour, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays except holidays, but reservations are required. (818) 954-1744.
* If your brood includes a hatchling or two, the NBC Studio Tour, 3000 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, offers a 70-minute tour of its television production facilities that allows kids. The price is $7 adults, $3.75 children 5 to 12, younger kids free. No reservations. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. (818) 840-3537.
* If your snowbird is not a movie and TV fan, try history. The San Fernando Mission, 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, founded in 1797, was the 17th of 21 California missions built by Spanish Roman Catholic clergy. Two hundred years later, the mission's historical treasures, restored chapel and tranquil gardens still attract thousands each year. Self-guided tours are offered daily from 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Docent-guided tours available Saturdays, 1-3 p.m. $4 general; $3 seniors and children 7 to 15; free for children 7 and under. (818) 361-0186.
It's that time of year again, when people from back home come visiting--looking for a little sunshine and an ultimate Southern California experience. The care and feeding of these snowbirds has fallen on your shoulders. You don't want to spend big money on these fair-weather friends, so besides a meal and a warm place to sleep, what else can you do for them? *