Get Out of Town
Ladies, this is your Year Plan a Valentine's Day He Won't Forget
February, 2012 - Issue #88
OK ladies, listen up. As the holidays have just passed, you know it's more blessed to give than to receive. Or at least that's the theory.

So with that in mind, I'm pulling a switcheroo with the annual Valentine's Day edition of Get Out of Town. This year, it's your turn to plan the festivities.

No, I'm not trying to weasel out of celebrating this Hallmark-mandated holiday. I'm just trying to share the love (so to speak) and bring a little gender equity to the party. Inject some testosterone into a day defined by pink.

As I've done for the gentlemen the last few years, I'll provide you with a menu of suggested activities (none of them involve chocolate, roses, or cards). You choose the one that best fits his preferences, and take it from there.

Speed Thrills
Get his motor running with a visit to MB2 Raceway, an indoor karting facility with tracks in Sylmar and Thousand Oaks.
It doesn't matter whether he normally drives a Prius or a Porsche - he'll find his inner racer and have fun slamming his foot on the pedal and tearing around the track in a Formula One-inspired electric kart. And so will you.

Racing gets competitive, and you'll both be jockeying for position and trying to beat each other, and your own lap times.

If you feel the need for speed, get more details - including hours, prices and directions - at

Make Him Star-struck
Perhaps your beau is more scientist than speedster. Then he'll appreciate visiting Mount Wilson Observatory, perched atop the San Gabriel Mountains overlooking the Los Angeles basin. The views down below of the city are just as spectacular as what you might see above in the night sky.
Because of its elevation and lack of wind, Mount Wilson was identified as an ideal observatory site before the turn of the last century. It quickly became a scientific hot spot and its multitude of telescopes was used to make a number of important discoveries.

Today, the grounds are open for wandering, and guided tours are available on weekends. You can even rent one of the observatories for the night, with docents on hand to help you manage the telescope and guide your viewing.
Since the observatory sits at an elevation of 5,715 feet and frequently gets snow, visits are limited during winter months. But special tours are available. Check out for details.

Home on the Range
If cars and stars aren't his thing, then break out the big guns - literally.

The Santa Clarita Valley boasts high-quality outdoor shooting ranges within a short drive. Head south on Interstate 5 to Oak Tree Gun Club. The well-appointed location features multiple ranges where he can put his pistol, rifle or shotgun skills to the test. They also offer targets, ear protection and extra ammunition.

Oak Tree takes it to the next level with onsite gun rentals. So instead of firing an AR-15 or AK-47 with a plastic PlayStation controller, he can grab hold of the real thing and pop some actual caps. Who knows, you might even try a pistol and find out just how satisfying it can be to hear that telltale ping when you've hit your target. Visit for all the gun 411.

Well ladies, I think my work here is done. Pair one of these activities with the restaurant of your choice and you've got yourself a perfectly manly Valentine's Day.
Eric Harnish lives in Castaic.
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