L.A. Weekender: Drags, gold and trains at Fairplex

We’re sticking close to home for this edition of the L.A. Weekender. Whether you want to spend a couple days at the drags or keeping quieter company at an art walk or farmer’s market, we have you covered. Whatever your preference, Happy Friday!

NHRA L.A. Weekender: Drags, gold and trains at Fairplex NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway

NHRA Winternationals (Feb. 5-8): The 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicks off at Fairplex this weekend with the NHRA Winternationals. Come to the historic Auto Club Raceway for a roaring weekend of races, food, drinks and fun. For more information visit nhra.com.

Gold & Treasure Show (Feb. 7-8): Visit the Gold & Treasure Show with the whole family to learn, shop and explore the gold prospecting industry. Seminars are conducted by the best in the business on prospecting techniques, fine gold recovery, gold expeditions and more. You can even learn how to pan for gold. For more information, visit https://www.goldprospectors.org.

Fairplex Garden Railroad Open House (Feb. 8): Visit one of the world’s largest and oldest miniature railroads right here at Fairplex. On the second Sunday of each month, the railroad is open to the public from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., free of charge. For more information, visit fgrr.org.

The Fairplex L.A. Weekender is a calendar of weekend events throughout Los Angeles County, from the heart of downtown to the beach cities to the IE. Additional information about all listings can be found at the event’s official website. If you have suggestions for an event, leave a comment in the box below. 

Wine and dine al fresco at Fairplex

Al fresco dining is always a plus in Southern California and we try to host them as much as possible with our Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series.

Next month (March) we are inviting master sommelier Michael Jordan to bring his favorite California wines to The Farm for our second dinner of the year. Enjoy award-winning wines paired with ingredients taken straight from our Farm. View the menu below:

March Farm Dinner Menu Wine and dine al fresco at Fairplex

Our first Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series event is Feb. 21, featuring a scrumptious meal paired with perfectly aged bourbon. To make a reservation for either event, please call (909) 868-5916. There are still a few spots left!

Fairplex Snapshot: Fairplex Garden Railroad

When it comes to LACF, things change every year, but one exhibit has stayed strong since almost the beginning of Fair history: the Fairplex Garden Railroad.

What is now one of the oldest and possibly largest miniature railroads in the nation began as a special static exhibit at the third LA County Fair in 1924. Through the years it has grown into what it is now: a beautiful landscape of miniatures, open year-round, right here at Fairplex.

A couple years ago we strapped a GoPro onto one of the miniature trains and went on a ride through the miniature world. Take a look to see what life would be like on the railroad:

A ride through the Fairplex Garden Railroad 

The dedicated members of the local garden railroad club maintain its appearance year-round and keep the doors open to the public on the second Sunday of each month, and open each day of the Fair! For more information on the Fairplex Garden Railroad, visit fgrr.org.

4 Things To Do at Fairplex This Month

Where did January go? 

It seems like only a week ago that we came back to the Fairplex offices and started work again… but time flies when you’re having fun, and the fun never stops here! This month we are offering some great art programs at the Millard Sheets Art Center, plus some other exciting events headed your way. Check it out:

Blog PalatesClass 4 Things To Do at Fairplex This Month  Our January Palates & Palettes guests had a blast 

1. Millard Sheets Adult Art Classes (ongoing): Adult art classes kick off this week but you can join any time! Visit The Learning Centers at Fairplex (TLC) website and sign up for a course in pottery or watercolor painting. Why not try something new this year?  For more information, visit tlcfairplex.org.

2. NHRA Winternationals (Feb. 5-8): It’s pure adrenaline at the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the season is kicking off here with the Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway! The Winternationals are always an exciting time (not to mention loud) and it’s a must-do for drag racing enthusiasts. Visit the NHRA website to purchase tickets and subscribe to our Fairplex Happenings newsletter for a special promo code!

3. Valentine’s Day at McKinley’s Grille (Feb. 13-15): Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but McKinley’s Grille has you covered. We’re offering a special Valentine’s Day dinner all weekend long that incorporates our freshest fruits and vegetables from The Farm. Visit mckinleysgrille.com for the full menu.

4. Palates & Palettes – Food, wine and paint (Feb. 21): Our second Palates & Palettes party is on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Millard Sheets Art Center. Escape to Piemonte, Italy for a night and learn how to paint while enjoying wine and food pairings in theme with Italian culture. For more information and to RSVP your spot, visit tlcfairplex.org.

Other events: Aside from our own events we have a lot of fun things coming through Fairplex all month long. The Insane Inflatable 5K, SoCal Pet Spectacular, free family art workshops and Quinceanera Expo are just a few more events we’re having at Fairplex in February. Can’t wait!

To see a full list of events, visit us at fairplex.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Fun Runs at Fairplex!

In 2015 we are hosting 10 fun runs at Fairplex and that includes everything from the Graffiti Run 5K to a giant inflatable obstacle course to bubbles. Check em’ all out below:

Fun Run 2015 calendar banner2 Fun Runs at Fairplex!


Which run looks the most fun to you? Tell us in the comments section below! 

Fairplex Weekend Recap: Horse Expo Pomona

It was a Super Bowl-less Sunday here at Fairplex but it wasn’t boring by any means, thanks to the Horse Expo Pomona!

Twitter HorseExpo 1 Fairplex Weekend Recap: Horse Expo Pomona Horse Expo Pomona 

This weekend was all about horses.

Equine experts shared their tips, tricks and tools they use to train and care for their horses. Top competitors participated in the stock horse championship for $15,000 in prizes. Our expo halls were filled with vendors selling the best and latest products for every equine category. And of course, there were plenty of horses all over Fairplex!

We love watching our barns and Farm areas put to use during off-Fair season and we loved having Horse Expo Pomona back on our grounds again. All in all? Another fun weekend at Fairplex.

To see what’s happening next at Fairplex visit our online Events Calendar and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

L.A. Weekender: Horse Expo Pomona

Cheers to the weekend! We’re looking forward to quite the equestrian weekend, with the Horse Expo Pomona staying with us, but there is plenty to see, eat and do (for free!) in LA too. Keep reading for our recreational recommendations in this edition’s L.A. Weekender:

ID 100178790 L.A. Weekender: Horse Expo PomonaPhoto courtesy of Tina Phillips from FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Horse Expo Pomona (Jan. 30 – Feb. 1): Join your fellow horse enthusiasts at Fairplex for a full weekend of competitions, workshops, agility demonstrations, shopping and more. Our campus will feature beautiful horses and the latest and greatest in the equine industry, Friday – Sunday. For additional information visit http://horseexpoevents.com.

Free-For-All Museum Saturday (Jan. 31): Once a year, two dozen museums throughout L.A. County open their doors to the public, free of charge. Locations include LACMA, the Getty, Hammer Museum and others. To see a full list of participating organizations, click here.

Night on Broadway (Jan. 31): Night on Broadway is another fun free event, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Celebrating the many 1920s-era theaters on Broadway, Night on Broadway is filling each venue with live performances, films and stop-and-watch happenings. This is all part of City Councilmember Huizar’s Bring Back Broadway campaign, free to the public. For more information, click here.

Super Bowl Sunday at Finish Line Sports Grill (Feb. 1): It’s Seahawks vs. Patriots, Russell vs. Brady this Sunday at what is looking to be one of the most exciting Super Bowls we’ve seen in awhile. Hit up Finish Line Sports Grill for the ultimate Sunday Funday and your share of wings, drinks and partying for Super Bowl XLIX.

Share your Fairplex experience with us on social media! Follow and tag us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you.

The Fairplex L.A. Weekender is a calendar of weekend events throughout Los Angeles County, from the heart of downtown to the beach cities to the IE. Additional information about all listings can be found at the event’s official website. If you have suggestions for an event, leave a comment in the box below or email us at tanji@fairplex.com

Volunteer with Fairplex!

We love our Fairplex Ambassadors! Our volunteers play a big part in fostering a love of learning and curiosity in our students. Their enthusiasm and hard work mean a lot to us and we wouldn’t be the same without them!

Our ambassadors directly impact our TLC programs by volunteering at fundraisers, art shows, and even field trips to the LA County Fair. We have a couple volunteer opportunities coming up next month:

Art Reach Logo Volunteer with Fairplex!

ArtReach: The Art of Music 
ArtReach is a student art exhibition that highlights what students and their teachers have worked on in the classroom. Paintings, ceramics, photography, mixed media, film, pottery and other pieces are displayed in the Millard Sheets Art Center. We are looking for Fairplex ambassadors to assist in the following roles:

Art Installers 
February 11 – 18

At the direction of the curator you will install student artwork for ArtReach. You and fellow volunteers will be hanging, measuring and doing basic install of artwork at Millard Sheets Art Center. If you are good with a measuring tape, able to stand, kneel and have a good eye for straight lines this is the job for you!

Gallery Attendants
ArtReach Weekends and Weekdays (Mar. 1 – 27, 2015)

As a gallery attendant you will be responsible for discussing the exhibition with visitors and ensuring the safety of the artwork.  It will be your responsibility to encompass all aspects in the gallery, from engaging patrons to providing knowledge about the exhibit and TLC/MSAC programs.

Don’t know anything about ArtReach? It’s okay, there’s an orientation for that! We ask that you simply have an engaging and welcoming attitude and bring your best customer service skills to the table.

For more information on the Fairplex Ambassador program, visit our Volunteer Hub. Follow us on Facebook for future volunteer opportunities!

NEW Adult Classes at Millard Sheets Art Center

The Learning Centers at Fairplex is very excited to introduce new adult art classes, Monday and Thursday evenings! You’re never too old to learn new art skills or unearth the artist within you.

Each course runs for nine weeks, held once a week from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. right here at Millard Sheets Art Center. We are kicking off our first semester next week and it’s not too late to sign up!

Classes offered:


Beginning Wheel Throwing
Instructor: C. Jake Yeager
Course Description: In this introductory ceramics course, students will learn the basic procedures of working on the potter’s wheel. Various wheel throwing techniques will be used to create functional items. Students will also will be exposed to clay preparation, specific vocabulary to the art of ceramics, basic forming, decorating, glazing methods, and kiln firing procedures at Mid fire temperatures(Cone 5). Basic tools will be provided.

Course Title: Chiaroscuro
Instructor: Macarena Atha
Course Description: This introductory course is to help you improve you observational drawing skills. Learning to draw what you see, via still life, by sharpening your ability to observe and accurately record what is in front of you. Working with charcoal, to develop the ability to use chiaroscuro shading, (shade without outlining) so that your objects appear convincingly three-dimensional.
Course Materials: A list of materials will be provided to you before class begins.


Course Title: The Joy of Watercolor Painting
Instructor: Richard Martinez
Course Description: In this course, students will learn techniques for composing and painting watercolor paintings. Throughout the course we will cover basic elements of art, elements of composition and design, techniques such as wet on wet, dry brush, overlapping transparent colors, and others. We will conduct classes both indoors and outdoors in plein air. A list of materials will be provided to you before class begins.

To sign up for classes or get additional information, visit the Millard Sheets Art Center website. Why not try something new this year?

Fairplex Weekend Recap: Cars, paint and wine

66th Annual Grand National Roadster Show

It was cars, cars and more cars at Fairplex this weekend for the 66th annual Grand National Roadster Show.

Instagram Blog Photo Fairplex Weekend Recap: Cars, paint and wine

Our campus was a beautiful cacophony of roaring engines, doo-wop music and the sizzle of burgers and hot dogs. Inside, more than 100 cars were on display, from the home-built custom hot rods at the Suede Palace (Expo Hall 10), to the beauties on display in Expo Hall 4.

18 vehicles were in the running for the coveted “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award, with the winner being Larry Olson’s 1933 Ford Roadster. Hot Rod Network did a great job of photographing all 18 entries, which you can view here.

Meanwhile over in Expo Hall 6, Victor Garcia won “America’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle” with his sleek 2014 Harley Davidson.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this weekend! We love having the Grand National Roadster Show here and look forward to next year’s event!

Palates & Palettes 

Blog PalatesClass Fairplex Weekend Recap: Cars, paint and wine  Palates & Palettes Food, Wine and Paint Party 

Motor enthusiasts weren’t the only ones to visit Fairplex campus this weekend. The first Palates & Palettes art party debuted Saturday night at the Millard Sheets Art Center (MSAC) for a relaxing time of culture, food, wine and learning.

MSAC also held its first family art workshop of the year, and hosted the opening reception of the Paula Izydorek art show on Friday evening. Not a bad way to kick off the new year!

To see what else is happening at Fairplex, visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Do you have any favorite memories at Fairplex this weekend?