Zander’s first outing (when he was 2 weeks old) was the International Date Festival in Indio. Beyond the great date shakes,  it’s also the Riverside County Fair with rides, dart games, the s.c.r.a.p. gallery, a petting zoo and lots of other silliness.

Now that he’s a year old, Zander got a bit more out of it.

We started with the s.c.r.a.p. gallery which is a display of recycled art and always has some fun bikes on exhibit.

From there, we went to the petting zoo, where Zander saw some donkeys, a huge hog, and lots of energetic kids running around with handfuls of a birdseed looking mix of treats for the animals.

Now, last year I don’t even remember seeing dart games, basketball throwing scams (picture very ovalized hoop that BARELY fits a basketball) and air gun shootout games. It could have been because I was 2 weeks post postpartum and pretty out of it. So, this year, we were set on winning the kiddo a HUGE stuffed animal. It didn’t exactly work out that way and about $30 later we had a 4″ tall monkey, which he LOVES, thanks to Brendan’s skills with darts.

Last year, we ate a good sampling of fair food to include terriyaki-on-a-stick, fresh squeezed lemonade, date shakes, a huge pretzel, corn-on-the cob, and who knows what else… also related to the post-partum condition where I wanted to eat everything in sight. This year, we limited it to the pretzel, lemonade and obligatory date shake. It probably helped that we found a superb Mexican food place in Indio and ate before we went to the festival.

By the end of the day, we were all a bit spent, but, it was great getting off of the cold mountain and we will definitely keep the tradition going – especially for  the collection of photo booth pics we’ll build.

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