Friday, December 16, 2011

#222: The Muzeo Museum

What do you get when you mix science fiction and fantasy in a Victorian setting? One word: Steampunk.  The Muzeo Museum in Anaheim is currently featuring a Steampunk exhibit. On display are artist models of futuristic technology as Victorians might have envisioned them back in the day.  

Ray guns

Bird mask

Ray guns, crazy corset costumes and mad scientist walking canes fill the rooms of this imaginative exhibit. Looking at all the crazy inventions, I couldn't help but be reminded of the prop store jAdis (#220).  

Walking canes

The exhibit also includes props and replicas from various science fiction films. Fans of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will be delighted by a replica of The Nautilus and a full size Time Machine from the 1960 film.

General admission is a steep $13 for adults, but we got a Groupon 2-for-1 deal. Admission includes entry into both the Steampunk and the Victorian Art wings.  

Speaking of the Victorian Art wing, if you like walking canes and pipes, you are in luck. I've never seen such a large collection of the two. There are canes that turn into guns, canes that hide swords inside them, canes that act as compasses... It was fascinating, even for someone like me who is not so nuts for Victorian Art. 

While we were there, they were hosting some sort of festival where they were giving out free cocoa and popcorn. These people were having a jolly time dancing in the square:

Our friends Ron and Fran came with us to this event. Read Fran's post on the event here.  

Have you been to The Muzeo Museum? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Outdoor Ice Skating in L.A.

Ice skating in a t-shirt with the sun beating down... Yet another thing that Angelenos can brag about to their East Coast friends.

You don't have to go far to find an outdoor ice skating rink near you. Here are some of the best:

photo from laist

Go ice skating just steps from the beach! Admission includes unlimited time in the rink, and on Fridays and Saturdays you can skate until midnight. While you're there, take a stroll down the Promenade. $12 admission, including skate rental. 

photo from blogdowntown

Pershing Square: Downtown On Ice

Skate until 10 pm in this downtown winter wonderland. The square is right across the street from the Biltmore Hotel, so be sure to check out this historic hotel while you're there! $6 for an hour session, with $2 skate rental.

W Hotel Chill Ice Rink

Enjoy a 1600 square foot ice skating rink with cabanas, bar, and cocktails. Snow falls every hour, and between 11 AM and 1 PM there's a children's cookie decorating station. $10 for one hour of skating, including skate rental.

Irvine Spectrum Center: Holiday on Ice

Skate in this outdoor shopping center, with a ferris wheel as your backdrop. $12-14 for a 75 minute session, with $2 skate rental. Helmets are complimentary.

Woodland Hills Ice

This is the only outdoor skating rink in the San Fernando Valley. $12-15 for unlimited skating, including skate rentals. On Fridays and Saturdays, skate till midnight!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#221: California Heritage Museum

"No waves today. Guess I'm not surfing," sighed Brad.  I couldn't stand the sad look in his eyes any longer, so I suggested we drive out to Santa Monica to check out the Shortboard Revolution exhibit at the California Heritage Museum.

If you've ever been to Santa Monica's Farmers Market on Main Street (#91), you've probably sat on the Heritage Museum's front lawn to scarf down your market munchies. The house-turned-museum was built in 1894 for Roy Jones, the son of Senator John Percival Jones who founded the city of Santa Monica. In 1979 the Roy Jones House was named a City Landmark. Now the museum is dedicated to presenting displays of American art and promoting the passion of collecting.

I really enjoyed seeing the vintage surfboards on display and reading about how they evolved over time. It was a small exhibit though--not as big as the Shortboard exhibit at The California Surf Museum (#199). I also love the location of the museum--right on bustling Main Street. While there, we also checked out jAdis (#220) and ate a wonderful brunch at Amelia's.

 I do have a few gripes about the museum. The first is the admission cost. $8 per person feels a bit too steep for such a small museum; we were in and out in about 20 minutes. I also felt stalked by the docent there. I noticed there were no security cameras in the rooms, so a docent followed us into each room, keeping an eye on us. We were the only ones in the museum, so it was really obvious that we were being watched the entire time. Lastly, I was a little disappointed by the Aloha Spirit: Hawaii's Influence on California Lifestyle exhibit. It was basically a living and dining room decorated in a Hawaiian style with tiki mugs and Hawaiian dinner ware. I was hoping for more reading material or signs explaining the significance of things in the room, but there wasn't much.

Overall, though, I think this museum is a worthy stop if you're in the Santa Monica area, especially if you're a surfer or enjoy vintage surfboards.

Have you been to the California Heritage Museum? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

The California Heritage Museum