Free Day at the Ranch

Kids can play cowboy at the historic Hart Ranch.

William S. Hart Ranch and Museum

HAPPY HART HAPPENING: Any time we have the opportunity to talk up the William S. Hart Ranch and Museum, we go the distance. After all, it is a gem in three ways, and possibly more. One? The house and hilltop Newhall setting are well worth a look for architecture and old California buffs. Two? Fans of the twenties feel like they've stepped back into that era, at least that era as it played out in rootin' tootin' Los Angeles. And three? The abode belonged to none other than the man whose name is still on it, one William S. Hart. Mr. Hart was a silent-screen cowboy, so famous and so beloved that his name is still on a building at Paramount Studios (that's no small feat, as you might imagine). It's a grand place, says us, and when there's a free day oriented toward young cowpokes, we talk it up. And one's just ahead, on Saturday, Sept. 29. It's called Day at the Ranch, and it is on from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

YIPPEE KI YAY ACTIVITIES: A scavenger hunt, cowboy vest making, and a cattle drive nature walk are just three of the family-oriented activities geared to little cowgirls and cowboys. Oh, and if you have the boots and the checkered shirt? Be sure to come in your best get-up. It's a nice way to welcome fall in a way that isn't about pumpkins or bats. Rather this has a out-on-the-range feel, a salute to movie-cowboy-dom, and a definite closer-to-nature bent. Yippee ki yay, indeed.

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