Tucked in the southwestern corner of San Bernardino County in California, Ontario is a small city about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Amid the lemon and olive groves, mountain views and, of course, palm trees, fun activities for toddlers can be found. Whether you're a Californian-for-life or a traveler seeking some sun, you and your child will find plenty of tot-friendly entertainment in Ontario.
Finally, a real-life application of "Old MacDonald!" Ee-i-ee-i-oh your way to Amy's Farm (amysfarm.com), a real, working farm known for its hand-on guided tours. Your toddler will be in heaven as she learns about fruits and veggies, sees a mother cow and learns the "Story of Milk," pets goats and sheep in the petting zoo, feeds veggies to pigs, and sees chickens, roosters, turkeys, geese and ducks. How's that for the ultimate sensory experience? And there's more: Depending on the season, she may be able to hold newborn bunnies and chicks, feed chickens lettuce greens and collect eggs, and take an orchard walk.
Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park
If you're looking to have a laid-back day with your toddler, check out Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park (cms.sbcounty.gov/parks). Set on 150 acres, this park is the perfect place to unwind as a family. Pack your suits so you can visit the swim complex, which has water slides and a zero-depth water play park. After your tot has worked up an appetite splashing around, head to one of the shaded picnic tables and break out the snacks. Cucamonga-Guasti also has a large bird population, so your little one can enjoy watching blue herons and wood ducks as she lunches.
A national chain currently located in 13 states, the Rainforest Cafe (rainforestcafe.com) is like a mini-Disney World. Your toddler will be so busy checking out the plants, mist, waterfalls and robotic animals and insects, you just might actually be able to finish your dinner. How's that for a first? Best of all, there's a full kids' menu with plenty of options for discerning tastebuds: Your toddler may dig the Jurassic Chicken Bits (dino-shaped nuggets), Gorilla Grilled Cheese (American cheese on Texas toast) or Rainforest Rascals (mini-burgers). For an after-dinner treat, order up some Lava Mud (creamy chocolate pudding with crushed oreo cookies and gummy worms).
Scandia (scandiafun.com) is an amusement park geared toward all-aged kids, but there are a handful of rides aimed at the smaller set. Fashioned to look like the medieval kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Scandia has castles, knights, peasants and Vikings galore. Not that your toddler will necessary notice all these geographic and cultural references, but he's sure to love riding on the Skagarrak Zoo, Copenhagen Carousel, Norway Flyer, Denmark Railway, Hagar's Truck Co., or Little Dipper Coaster -- all fine for little bodies, as long as they're 36 inches tall. If not, they can ride with a parent. Hold on tight, Mama!