Today, we discovered a California history gem, right in our own backyard! Tucked into the stunning Los Cerritos neighborhood, flanked by a beautiful country club, Rancho Los Cerritos is “the largest and most impressive adobe residence erected in southern California during the Mexican period” (Charles W. Snell (February 6, 1967). “National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings: Los Cerritos Ranch House”), which is now a public museum with exceptionally beautiful grounds to explore!
Once a year, Rancho Los Cerritos holds a “Mud Mania/Celebration of Adobe” and we were pretty excited to check it out! Mark your calendar NOW to check their website for the 2018 date and ticket information. Tickets are $7/adult, $5 for kids, and children 3 and under are free.
We weren’t sure what to expect, aside from some HIGH temps. It was about 90 degrees when we left home, but we brought plenty of water. The garden area has tons of places to chill out under a tree, listen to some good country music and have a picnic. Strollers and wagons were permitted and made life easier. There was something to do for kids of all ages. Our absolute favorite was “throw your own pottery” on a wheel and they had artists there to help the kids make their own cup, bowl or little vase! All the various craft and activity tents were FREE, with the exception of the shirt painting, which was not too pricey, but we did opt to skip that one.
Based on the website, we were picturing mud pits for the kids to play in, but there was really only one small mud pit. My littles got so into all the crafts, by the time they were ready for mud, there was a BIG line. So if getting gloriously messy in the mud is a top priority, then I would suggest hitting that up first.
They also mentioned there being a selection of food vendors available on site and we are wondering if some may have canceled last minute due to the heat. There was an Italian ice vendor and a burger truck that said it would be about a 45 minute wait for a $12 cheeseburger, so we skipped that. As mentioned above though, they were lovely about people bringing their own food and water to picnic in the grass or on the picnic tables. There were plenty of restrooms, drinking fountains and folks handing out free bottled water everywhere you went.
I really enjoyed it, heat and all, we are looking forward to enjoying the celebration of Adobe and learning even more, next year. I have a feeling our homeschooling adventures will have us back at this beautiful piece of California history sooner than that!