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HAVING FUN FROM FLOWERS TO FELINES, THERE'S PLENTY TO DO IN THE ANTELOPE VALLEY, WHERE RESIDENTS CAN ENJOY THE DESERT, THE MOUNTAINS AND EVEN OUTER SPACE. HERE IS A LOOK AT SOME FO THE ATTRACTIONS.

The Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster; (661) 723-5950; www.lpac.org. The 750-seat theater hosts touring entertainers and musicians, in addition to the Cedar Street Theatre Company. It opened in 1991 at a cost of $10 million.

Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. E., Palmdale; (661) 267-5685; www.thepalmdaleplayhouse.com. A 350-seat, city-run facility hosts entertainers, as well as community choirs, orchestras and writers groups. It opened in 1994 at a cost of $2.8 million.

Antelope Valley Fair, 2551 W. Ave. H, Lancaster; (661) 948-6060. The fair runs for 11 days every August, concluding on Labor Day. The entertainment lineup is expected to be announced this spring. The fairgrounds also hosts teen dances, bridal, computer and gun shows, and dog and cat shows. There is also an off-track betting center for horse-racing fans.

Clear Channel Stadium, 2400 W. Ave. I, Lancaster; (661) 726-5400; www.jethawks.com. Formerly known as Lancaster Municipal Stadium, the venue is home to the JetHawks baseball team. The JetHawks play in the Single-A California League and are a farm team for the world-champion Boston Red Sox. The stadium is also used for high school graduations, college baseball tournaments, auto shows and concerts.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, 15101 Lancaster Road, Lancaster; state park office, (661) 942-0662; poppy reserve visitors center, (661) 724-1180. The 1,745-acre site west of Lancaster is judged to be the most dependable area for California's state flower, Eschscholzia californica. The state park also boasts lupines, coreopsis, goldfields and other flowers, varying year by year according to rainfall. The park is open sunrise to sunset daily. The visitors center is open during wildflower season, usually about mid-March to early May, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking fees during wildflower season are $5 per vehicle, $4 for seniors age 62 and older. Off-season parking is $2 per vehicle, $1 for seniors age 62 and older.

Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, off Mojave-Tropico Road north of Rosamond Boulevard; (661) 256-3793. The facility's Feline Conservation Center houses more than 60 wild cats, ranging from the diminutive margay to jaguars, leopards and tigers, and also breeds wild cats for propagating rare species. The center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Wednesdays. It also has periodic Twilight Tours, when visitors can see special breeding areas and see animals unavailable for viewing during public hours. Daily admission is $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 3 to 18. Twilight Tours are $15 per person, age 18 and older.

Shambala Preserve, Acton, (661) 268-0380; www.shambala.com. Opened in 1972 by actress Tippi Hedren, Shambala has nearly 70 animals, including lions, tigers and elephants. Shambala is open one weekend a month to visitors 18 and older and for special events. Minimum donation is $40.

Edwards Air Force Base, www.edwards.af.mil/museum; (661) 277-8050. Base tours are offered the first and third Fridays of each month. The daylong tours include a visit to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in the morning, then a presentation at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum and a bus tour of the flight line in the afternoon. Reservations are due a week in advance by calling (661) 277-3517 or online at www.edwards.af.mil/trip. Aviation enthusiasts can also inspect retired military jets at the Flight Test Center Museum's annex, Blackbird Airpark, in Palmdale, which has SR-71, A-12 and U-2 spy planes on display, and at the adjoining Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark. Blackbird Airpark is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays at Avenue P at 25th Street East, Palmdale.

Los Angeles County Raceway, 6850 E. Ave. T, Palmdale, (661) 533-2224; www.lacr.net. Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, 3500 75th St. W., Rosamond, (661) 256-6666; www.willowspringsraceway.net. These venues offer every kind of motorcycle and auto racing. The raceway has a National Hot Rod Association championship drag strip for vehicles ranging from junior dragsters powered by lawn-mower engines to import sedans to street hot rods to all-out racers. It also has motocross tracks and drag-racing and stunt-driving schools. Willow Springs has road-race and oval tracks, as well as classes for motorcycle and auto racing.

Mountain High Resort, 24510 Highway 2, Wrightwood; (888) 754-7878; www.mthigh.com. This ski area has 47 trails and 12 chairlifts spread over 220 acres of skiable terrain. Originally opened in 1937, the resort also has snow-making equipment to provide snow when Mother Nature doesn't.

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(color) Fairgoers have a swinging good time at the Antelope Valley Fair.

Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 26, 2007
Words:767
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