New event space opens in Lake Elsinore

Wonderland at the Whitney in Lake Elsinore holds an open house to introduce the public to the event venue grounds, Feb. 29. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

The Whitney Estate in Lake Elsinore has a long and storied history. Starting Saturday, Feb. 29, the next chapter has begun to be written.

Wonderland at the Whitney is now accepting reservations as a special event and performance venue on the 20-acre property that used to be called the Whitney Estate.

“Mr. Whitney used to let the public come in here in fish, because there are catfish 25 pounds out here,” Suzanne Johnson said. “There’s some pretty big fish in the water and it’s a historic RV site.”

Johnson, who owns Johnson Catering and Events, is one of the event coordinators facilitating the booking of the property for a variety of activities, including graduations, family reunions, camp activities and more.

At some point, the event coordinator group that includes sound engineer and entertainment provider David Cota will add a wedding venue component to the property.

“It’s an active working environment over there,” Cota said. “This is actually our first public event, and when all goes well, we’d like to host Park After Dark kind of events and partner with the city of Wildomar and Lake Elsinore to utilize our facility and bring some entertainment in.”

Because it has RV hookups and water and a clubhouse, the property can be used in a variety of ways, and the group is just now working discovering all the ways it could be used.

“I am hoping to partner up with some glamping type options where everybody gets their own RV and then they congregate down here closer to the clubhouse in the water,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, the property is unlike anything else in the area.

“What’s special about Wonderland at the Whitney is more the fact that it has a natural lagoon here. There’s a well and it’s freshwater and there’s fish in the water and there are ducks and geese and there is a flamingo here. It’s really kind of like eclectic. It’s unique. There’s no venue out here like this, and I’ve been working out here for him close to 17 years.”

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at