California’s Great America has been busy this offseason, and whenever it reopens from its pandemic-induced closure, guests will notice a spruced-up park, carrying the momentum of the previous years’ work....
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Donates to Playland-Not-at-the-Beach
On Friday, August 20th Charles Canfield (President), Ted Whiting III (Vice President General Services) and several other executives of the Santa Cruz Seaside Company (fondly known as the Beach Boardwalk) are planning a visit to Playland-Not-at-the-Beach in El Cerrito. And they are not coming empty-handed!
Last month Richard Tuck, Frank Biafore and four other ACE members attended a special “Lunch with the Legends” event at Santa Cruz which had been the grand prize at the ACE Yuletide Party last December. In addition to the lunch at the Boardwalk Bowl, the group was treated to a tour behind the scenes of the Cocoanut Grove personally led by Charles Canfield. The new Haunted Castle attraction had just recently opened, and the group got to hear the stories of what was involved with tearing open the boardwalk itself to build the 10,000 square foot ride underneath it.
During the lunch the executives from the Santa Cruz Seaside Company also got to hear about Playland-Not-at-the-Beach (PNATB) and expressed interest in a visit to see the attractions. PNATB already showcases Fascination tables that were donated from Santa Cruz last year. The El Cerrito Museum of Fun also plans to unveil a “Rollercoaster Rampage” attraction later this year; it will feature a car from the Giant Dipper (thanks to ACE members Nancy Redden and Mike Chew). Charles Canfield gave PNATB a generous supply of the 100th anniversary DVD history of the Boardwalk. Playland gave each of the legends a copy of the new “Remembering Playland” DVD.
Fascination tables donated by Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as seen at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach Photo: courtesy of Playland-Not-at-the-Beach
Now, on August 20th the Lunch with the Legends group is convening at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, and ACE members are invited to help out. “We want to return their hospitality,” Richard Tuck explains, “We will provide lunch and treats. Any ACE members who are available that Friday and would like to meet the executive team from Santa Cruz, just give me a call.” [Please call Richard at the number included in your email from ACE NorCal.] Charles Canfield and company are bringing a large truck with them to deliver a special gift to Playland-Not-at-the-Beach.
Upcoming activities at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach
August 7 – August 8
Super Heroes Weekend!
Playland’s annual Super Heroes Weekend is almost here! Wear a super heroes costume and win an instant prize. Play our Super Heroes and Super Villains Treasure Hunt. We’re entirely indoors so you can avoid the heat and cool breezes. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Green Lantern, Iron Man — you’re all welcome to compete! Don’t miss the fun for all ages! Prizes for everyone!
Sunday 2:30 – One Show Only – Magician Mike Della Penna (See his bio at http://www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org/entertainer_bio_penna_01.html .)
August 9 – 13
Ever want to learn how to become a magician? Or just learn some terrific ways to amaze your friends? Or do you have a child or friend who is fascinated with magic and would adore the opportunity to know more?
Due to the success and popularity of our first program, Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is very proud to announce a second Summer Magic Workshop from August 9th through the 13th. From 9 AM to 1 PM each day, popular magician, performer and grade-school teacher Mike Della Penna will instruct students on how to perform and enjoy the art of magic.
The cost for the full week is just $220, and each student receives a special book and all necessary equipment and props to make his or her show a success. The course will consist of five days of instruction, practice, coaching and performance development as well as live magic shows by guest magicians and historic footage of some of the world’s most famous magic acts.
This is a wonderful way to develop self-confidence and enjoy a great summer activity. Magic Camp is open to students of all ages from 7 to 107 years old.
This will sell out quickly, so call (510) 232-4264 ext. 24 to reserve a space.
August 14 – August 15
Laughing Sal’s Birthday
Learn Laughing Sal’s history and meet her family. Listen to the fascinating stories of what it was like to run the Fun House at Whitney’s Playland. Unlock the mysteries of where Sal originated. Find out about her choice of dresses, and who recorded that famous laugh that everyone loves or hates. At Playland-Not-at-the-Beach you will have the chance to meet not just Laughing Sal but also Sinister Sal! Bring your cameras!Come dressed as Sal and win prizes!
August 21 – August 22
This weekend we will be honoring the masterpieces of animation being produced by Pixar Studios. See how many characters and stories you and your children can identify. Come dressed as a Pixar character and win prizes as you enter. On display will be some of the most famous scenes from Pixar classics. Tentatively we hope to have some artists describing the art of Pixar animation.
August 28 – August 29
Playland is bringing back one of our most popular weekends from last year. Ahoy, Matey! Come dressed as your favorite pirate lad or lass and face our “Walk the Plank” challenge! There will be treasure hunts, mounds of gold, but watch out for that gold-toothed villain — Black Bart. He might try to steal your rewards when you are not looking. Great fun for all ages and all indoors!
September 4, 5, & 6
Playland Lives On Forever!!
September 4, 1972 was the final day of operation for Whitney’s Playland at the Beach out at Ocean Beach. But Playland will live on forever in our hearts and in our Playland-Not-at-the-Beach Museum of Fun, as you will discover this 3-day weekend. We will be conducting behind the scenes tours showing how we built his museum, we will also be recruiting volunteers to carry on the tradition, and there will be special treats and contests for everyone. Bring the kids and the grandkids too. We’re all indoors so the heat won’t matter. Come have a grand time!
September 11 – 12
Playland’s Adventure Weekend
Put on your helmet and pull out your bullwhip. Become Indy Jones or Dora the Explorer as you try to solve our mysteries. We supply the treasure maps, the compasses, and all the tools to discover the hidden treasures. Beware the Chamber of Laughter and don’t get fooled by the Foolish Fortune Teller. She’s just trying to get you lost! These adventures are geared for every age from 5 to 105.
September 18 – 19
Playland Celebrates the IT’S-IT ICE CREAM BAR!!
Whitney’s Playland at the Beach introduced the IT’S-IT ice cream bar, one of the world’s foremost taste treats and rumored to be our webmaster’s favorite ice cream bar. This weekend the treat is for you! Come by and hear the origins of the incredible treat, and have a FREE It’s-It Ice Cream Bar this Weekend ONLY!
September 25 – 26
Land of the Dragons!
As you enter the Museum of Fun you will receive the egg of a Dragon. You must find the clues to the Dragon’s Nest before the egg starts to hatch. Surprises and laughs as everyone tries to find the correct nest for the eggs. Join us for a truly unique way to have fun! A brand new adventure, and you will find this only at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach!
Playland-Not-at-the-Beach nonprofit Museum of Fun, open to the public every Sat, Sun and school holiday. Open evenings for private events 365 days a year. 10979 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530 (510) 592-3002. http://www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org . Admission $10 for kids (to 13), $10 for seniors (55 and up), and $15 for general admission. Admission includes 34 free pinball machines, penny arcades, carnival games, treasure hunts, miniature dioramas, and surprises around every corner. ACE members receive a $5.00 discount on admission upon presentation of their ACE membership cards.
— Thanks go to Richard Tuck and Frank Biafore for contributing to this article.
web site: http://www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org