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Rainy day activities around town


Last updated 1/10/2008 at Noon

Downtown Fallbrook has many fine shops, restaurants and art galleries.

Being one of those native Californians who are a bit wary of venturing forth in the rain, I thought I’d write a piece on things to do on a rainy day that are in our own “backyard” and are fun and easy to reach.

Pop up your umbrella and stroll down Main in downtown Fallbrook. There are many fine shops as well as unique restaurants. Find an elegant flower arrangement at Chattels or an exotic photo frame inside At Home On Main Street.

Grab a cup of hot coffee or a steaming bowl of soup and settle in to read or visit with friends at the cozy Farmhouse Coffee on the corner of Mission Road and Fallbrook Street. Patrons to this homey establishment feel as if they are sitting in a family room that evokes an atmosphere that encourages lingering – soft sofas, wingback chairs and a coffee bar with swivel stools.

The downtown galleries are nice dry places to be on a rainy day and each of these galleries offers varied works of art, some for sale.

The Art Center at Fallbrook will be hosting a show entitled “Art of Today, Artists of Tomorrow,” January 13-27. The focus is on teen artists of our region.

In business since 1977, the Brandon Gallery offers many fine pieces for sale as well as for viewing. It is a nonprofit cooperative art gallery featuring all facets of two- and three-dimensional work by regional artists. The members are juried.

The gallery changes exhibits every month or so and features approximately thirty artists who work with various mediums. You will even be able to find a unique greeting card or a piece of jewelry. Brandon Gallery also stocks various art supplies.

Looking for contemporary American Art? Fallbrook Fine Art offers works in oil, watercolors and bronze. Their mission is to bring important American artists to the Southern California collector.

Next door to Fallbrook Fine Art is the Pinnell Gallery, which features paintings and sculpture by both local and nationally known artists.

The Jacques Company is not downtown, but you can find it on South Mission Road in a tranquil setting with a deck overlooking Ostrich Creek. Paintings by local artists are displayed with a recent show by Jack Ragland and an ongoing display of paintings by Fredonia French Jacques, also a local artist.

Movies are a great way to pass time on a rainy day and Bonsall’s UltraStar River Village theater is a warm and comfortable place to view them. Last year the theater was renovated and the new reclining high-backed seats would make you want to take a nap if the movies weren’t so exciting. Most of the films shown utilize pure digital cinema rather than 35mm film. So, cozy up in a cushy seat with your box of kettle corn and forget the rain!

If your rainy day happens to fall on a Thursday or a Sunday afternoon stop by the Fallbrook Historical Society’s museum on Rockycrest Road. In addition to the main building the museum includes a lovely restored Victorian house. In the lower level of the main museum visitors will find two antique Fords – a Model T and a Model A. The main museum houses a collection of military and firefighting items and Fallbrook High School memorabilia, among other fascinating pieces concerning Fallbrook’s history.

At the center of the museum is the Geno Somacal Train Exhibit. The miniature houses are finely crafted works of art. Somacal, at age 50, began to build this train feature at his home. Included are small buildings that are replicas of historic Fallbrook buildings such as the Methodist Church and the Fallbrook (Reche) School.

Somacal created the miniatures from 1950 through 1971 using mainly historical photos and records. The buildings are constructed of 1/16” mahogany plywood. Many of the original full-sized structures are no longer in existence.

Next door to the main building, but still a part of the museum, is the Pittenger House, which is decorated with furniture and antiques that were not actually in the Victorian era home at the time the Pittengers lived there but are mostly from the same time period. The home was built by Medal of Honor soldier William Pittenger.

The Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum, operated by the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society, is a downtown indoor destination on West Alvarado with a fascinating collection of fossils, gems and minerals. A replica of a mastodon skull complete with tusks can be seen, as well as fossils of mastodon leg bones and a partial fossilized tusk. Local fossils and several from throughout the world are also featured.

Rain-spotted cars line the parking lot of the Ultra-Star Cinema in Bonsall.

Pieces of mammoth ivory from Russia are on display. One of the most unique items is a ball of mammoth hair found in 1997 in Siberia. The thick and matted hair is light brown, almost blond.

Also on display are various minerals from throughout San Diego County: quartz from De Luz, tourmaline from Ramona and columbite from Pala. A large display case shows a reconstruction of an actual tourmaline gem pocket found in Pala.

After viewing the museum, take time to look at the wide variety of minerals for sale in the gift shop. Beautifully designed gem and mineral jewelry is also available, which is reasonably priced.

Rainy days don’t have to be depressing in Fallbrook with the various cultural, culinary and shopping experiences just waiting for you!


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