Thoughtful Thursday: Earth Day Plant Drop

Fairplex plantdrop 300x266 Thoughtful Thursday: Earth Day Plant Drop Last week 25 members from our leadership team joined Miguel Santana (our CEO) as we hand-delivered more than 400 plants from our Farm to our neighbors in celebration of Earth Day!

Taking care of the environment is a top priority for us, not only in The Farm at Fairplex, but throughout the rest of our 487-acre campus as well.

Learn more about our sustainability efforts here and here.

Mother’s Day at Fairplex

here is always something to be thankful for. 300x300 Mothers Day at Fairplex

No one does a buffet quite like McKinley’s Grille! Every year we get to see moms celebrated at our annual Mother’s Day brunch.

It’s a lovely day full of family, food and flowers galore, and one of our favorite holidays to work.

Like Fairplex itself, there is something for everyone on Mother’s Day! Check out the menu for a quick look:


• buttermilk pancakes
• applewood-smoked bacon
• maple sausage
• scrambled eggs

croissants, cinnamon rolls, assorted muffins
jams & sweet butter

omelets made to order with choice of toppings

• Garlic and herb-crusted beef strip loin, au jus, horseradish cream
• Pink peppercorn and sage-rubbed tom turkey, IPA mustard, roasted garlic gravy

• Penne pasta with traditional bolognese sauce
• Japanese pumpkin ravioli, spigarello, roasted garlic, pea tendrils, pecorino

• Pan-roasted chicken breast, cured orange and anise glaze
• Seared mahi, stewed tomato & caper
• Potato au gratin, gruyere cheese, parmesan, garlic, herbs
• Seasonal farm vegetables

• Wild rice and root vegetable salad, lemon vinaigrette
• Traditional caesar salad focaccia croutons
• Farm greens, pomegranate vinaigrette
• Lemongrass-lime leaf poached shrimp, rustic cocktail sauce
• Seasonal fruit selection

• Brandy-soaked strawberries, dark rum-soaked bananas, fresh whipped cream

assorted cakes, tortes and cupcakes

• mac and cheese
• chicken tenders
• mini burgers and corn dogs
• celery and carrot sticks, ranch dressing
• grapes and strawberries

Buffet includes unlimited Tazo iced teas, Starbucks coffee, soft drinks and mimosas

$38.95 per person (+ tax & service charge)
$15 children (ages 12 and under, + tax & service charge)
Children 5 and younger free

National Volunteer Appreciation Week

volunteer week 5 National Volunteer Appreciation Week It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week! We want to give a big thank-you to our wonderful volunteers. From leading field trips in The Farm at Fairplex to helping us set up and run our neighborhood parties (and so much more), they are part of our very core.

Their passion, dedication and love for the programs at Fairplex make our guests feel special while learning new things. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Fairplex Ambassadors, for all that you do! We truly appreciate you icon smile National Volunteer Appreciation Week

To learn more about becoming a Fairplex Ambassador yourself, click here. We’re always looking for new team members!

The LA County Fair is on Carnival Eats!

The Cooking Channel’s Carnival Eats show covers the craziest food in the world, and they’re starting their journey tonight at the LA County Fair.

jalapeno pepepr The LA County Fair is on Carnival Eats!

Photo Cred: @carnivaleats (Instagram)

The Carnival Eats crew visited us during the 2016 LA County Fair and — in line with our Dare to Fair theme — tasted the wildest, juciest, gooiest, strangest foods our Fair has to offer. You can watch it all on The Cooking Channel tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

We look forward to reliving the 2016 Fair! Stay tuned to see what wild foods we have planned for the 2017 Fair…

Our Favorite Eats at McKinley’s Grille

McKinley’s Grille is our hotel restaurant, tucked into a cozy corner of the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. We hold a lot of lunch meetings there and occasionally sneak away for a meal during Fair season (because there is such a thing as too many deep-fried s’mores!)

Their menu is seasonal as they often use vegetables, herbs and fruit selected from The Farm at Fairplex. Here are some of our current favorites:

Appetizer: Crispy Pancetta Mac & Cheese
Raclette cheese sauce, pancetta and caramelized onion. Cheesy, gooey, and incredibly satisfying.

Crispy Pancetta Mac n Cheese Our Favorite Eats at McKinleys Grille

In our opinion, this appetizer can be a meal on its own (although we highly recommend following this with one of the following:

Entree Salad: Pacific Rim
Greens, cabbage, farm citrus, cilantro, pickled ginger, wonton crisps and sesame ginger vinaigrette. All McKinley’s Grille salads are packed with healthy vegetables, herbs and tantalizing flavors. The Pacific Rim salad is both refreshing and satisfying. 

pacific rim salad1 Our Favorite Eats at McKinleys Grille Main Course: Roasted Skuna Bay Salmon
Cured orange & cilantro chimichurri, seasonal vegetables and potato carrot puree. If you’re looking for a delicious way to meet your protein goals, this is the way to go.   Salmon Our Favorite Eats at McKinleys Grille The McKinley’s Grille menu has a nice blend of healthy and indulgent options, and depending on our mood, we pick and choose from both! What are your favorites?

To view the full menu, special events, promotions and hours, click here.

Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap

Last week we hosted our first official Strategic Planning meeting. As we look at the future of Fairplex begin planning for the 100-year anniversary of the LA County Fair in 2022 we will look to these meetings for our next steps.

Strategic Planning Pic 1024x765 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Our strategic planning sessions are open to the public — all are welcome to join our discussions as we move forward. To learn more about how these meetings work, click here.

Each session focuses on specific topics related to Fairplex’s past, present and future. Last week we covered Agriculture and Food, and Education and Craft Skill Development. Here’s some of what was discussed:

Fairplex TLC ag 300x200 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Agriculture & Food
We looked back on our agricultural roots — how we started as a simple beet field and have transformed into the dynamic educational event space that we are today. We also took a look at our present ag efforts (the Farm expansion, bringing in livestock, etc) and how we can expand upon this in the future.

Our topic leader, Chef David Teig, also brought in thought leaders in the Ag & Food space to speak on these topics as a whole, and how this could / will affect Fairplex in the future. Subtopics included food & ag education, food trends, job growth and job training in the culinary work space.

After our presentations we had time to listen to what our guests had to say. From our neighbors to educators to government officials, the consensus was clear: to expand our potential, we need to remember our roots.

TLC CDC chalkboard 300x200 Strategic Planning Meeting #1 Recap Education & Craft Skill Development
While everyone knows that the LA County Fair is produced by Fairplex, not everyone knows about the work we do in education. The Learning Centers at Fairplex, which we wrote about last week, is a core part of who we are and what we do.

Our topic leader, Thomas Canavan of the Millard Sheets Art Center, gave a brief introduction for each of our centers, then moved into our vision for the future. Our ideas are centered around our students — preparing them for the future, creating more learning opportunities and allowing potential to thrive.

Lucas Rivera, vice president of Grand Park LA, spoke on how he has worked to create real, genuine community within the arts with the work he has done in the city of Los Angeles. Dr. Holly Reynolds, director of the Child Development Center, spoke more about the importance of education, especially in younger children.

Following their presentations, the room as a whole discussed various aspects of art and education both at Fairplex and in Southern California as a whole.

For a full copy of meeting notes, presentations and other documents, please visit our website. We look forward to upcoming meetings and the discussions to follow!

Meet The Learning Centers at Fairplex

Through the unique resources of Fairplex, The Learning Centers provide a wide spectrum of innovating and enriching education experiences that bring learning to life for all ages. Here is a quick glance at our centers and what each one is for:

Tlcfairplex Meet The Learning Centers at Fairplex For more information about The Learning Centers at Fairplex, visit

Fairplex Snapshot: The Hill at Fairplex

One of the best parts of working at Fairplex is the space. We love taking 10-15 minute walks around campus, just enjoying the scenery. The Hill at Fairplex offers shade and a view of the entire campus:

During Fairtime, this is one of our favorite spots to be. Guests are constantly running up the stairs and taking a turn down our giant slide, you can see the entire expanse of carnival rides and games, and you can hear the End of Summer Concert Series in the Grandstand.

It’s hard to believe there are less than five months to go. September hurry up and get here!

Weekend Recap: Street Machine Nationals

We like to share our weekend experiences through the eyes of our guests! ICYMI, here’s a quick look at what we had the pleasure of hosting:

Street Machine Nationals

Southern California Sports Club Soccer Match

Fairplex Garden Railroad Public Run

We had a blast learning, living and playing this weekend on our campus. See what’s coming up next at!