Things to Do in the Claremont Village

Ahh, the Claremont Village–my favorite cartoon town. When I first got to campus I kept saying it looked like a theme park (this is a good thing). All the store fronts are so cute, with little striped awnings, and they’re such a fun, eclectic bunch of stores, like a crepe place and a toy store and an old-timey ice cream shop and several thrift stores and acai places and a little movie theater that keeps threatening to close and still hasn’t. It’s almost unreal, it’s just adorable.

And as you probably gathered from that list of stores, there are tons of cool things to do in the Village. Here’s a list of my favorites, in no particular order.

  1. Going to the little shops! In one Saturday afternoon you can poke around both thrift stores, enjoy an acai bowl in the park, get some work done at the tea shop with the Alice in Wonderland mural (Ck Cafe, such a hidden gem), and be back on campus in time for dinner. And then maybe come back to the village for ice cream or a candy apple. And this incredibly short list doesn’t come close to doing justice to the truly random and wonderful assortment of stores in the Village. There’s a whole store with clothes and accessories specifically for raves?! There’s a store that sells Tibetan singing bowls, and one that’s just called Viva Madrid! and I’m still not sure what’s in there. Truly one of the best places to just wander and see what you find.
  2. The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art! I feel like no one knows about this place–I discovered it essentially by accident because the Career Center took a small group of us on a field trip there–and it’s so awesome. It’s in the old Claremont train depot, which is this beautiful mission-style building down at the south end of the village. They do rotating exhibits with really cool local artists, and they also have an internship program where you get to teach art to local elementary kids! It’s a pretty small place, you can do it in an hour, and the people who work there are just the nicest. You’ve gotta go.
  3. Go to the movies! Over on the western end of the village there’s a bunch of stores together in this one open-air shopping center (that makes it sound much bigger than it is–it’s just one building with a fun courtyard in the middle, and all the stores open into the courtyard of the building they’re in), and the centerpiece of this area is the Claremont Laemmle! Laemmle movie theaters are a chain, and I think they are slowly dying out? But the Claremont location has been standing strong! And maybe because it’s an old chain or maybe just because Claremont is what it is, our Laemmle has such a nice small-town movie theater feel, with an old-school marquee and a ticket window. My friends and I love to walk down there on a Friday evening to catch any random movie.
  4. Go dancing!!! This is something I only just discovered at the beginning of this semester. My friend somehow discovered his sophomore year that on every Friday evening in the fall, local bands play at a little outdoor stage at Shelton Park in the village (it’s right at the beginning of the village as you walk from Pomona campus into the town area, it’s just a little square of grass with picnic tables and the stage, you can’t miss it), and he’s been going ever since! So he invited a group of us to all go, and every Friday night all semester-long, a group of 10-ish college kids showed up to the Village park and danced the night away (from 6:30 to 9pm). The local bands that played consisted of about 7-10 old guys who, in different configurations, formed a Beatles cover band, a classic rock cover band, and I believe at one point a jazz-rock group? It was just awesome and fun, and I cannot recommend enough going dancing with your friends on Friday nights.

And that’s just a few things!! I promise if you explore, go on a wander, a gander, you’ll discover even more cool and adorable things the Village has to offer that Claremonters before you have yet to find. Happy Villaging!