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WITH THE KIDS

A little of this, a little of that ...

September 07, 2006|Brenda Rees

This year, the L.A. County Fair is full of gut-wrenching rides (like the zero-gravity upchuck thrill of the Skycoaster, which combines skydiving and hang gliding) and gut-ripping foods (like the new Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich served with honey and optional slice of cheese), but there are plenty of activities that don't push the extreme envelope.

If you need to escape the scorching sun, head over to Winter Wonderland, where the fictional town of Snow Port Village is re-created with beachside and snowy decor. Kids can take a twirl on an ice rink, slide down a mini-toboggan run and pay a visit to Santa. Everyone can stay for a staged show every hour that ends with an unexpected flurry of floating white stuff.

Live animal shows, storytelling and daily presentations from children's authors await guests at the America's Kids/Education Expo. This year, the "Leap Into Literature" theme also features character appearances weekdays from such well-known books such as Stellaluna, the Berenstain Bears, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Madeline.

Saunter over to Heritage Square and watch -- or participate in -- myriad old-timey activities such as panning for gold, making adobe bricks, quilting and rag-doll sewing. Kids can play with vintage toys and games to find out what life was like before Xbox and iPods. For some Old West action, check out the new Gold Rush High Dive Show, which promises a lot of hootin' and hollerin', as well as a really big ladder.

Elsewhere, families can catch the daily fair parade led by the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales, admire the handiwork of Habitat for Humanity volunteers as they construct a 900-square-foot home that ultimately will be relocated to Chino, and tour the Fairplex Garden Railroad, where they can actually operate the mini-trains that span more than 5,000 feet of track.

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