Inspired by the same brainwaves as the Build-A-Bear Workshop, RIDEMAKERZ allows visitors construct a customized toy car from the axles up with dozens of options that add up to nearly 650 million unique combinations. Guests begin by choosing a body from a stock of Vipers, Corvettes, Mustangs, trucks, and hot rods that can then be accessorized with free stock parts or specialty chassis, tires, rims, and oil slicks. The hot-lava Chevy Camaro ($32) sports a metaphor for the rubber it plans to burn with orange flames on its sides, and the jewel-blue RZ Rascal body pairs its smooth curves with working headlights and taillights ($22). Sets of multicolored or racing slick tires maintain traction while pushed across carpets, hardwood floors, or up the sides of living-room furniture ($4 for two). Glistening hubcaps ($3–$4 for two), undercarriage-glow lighting ($10), and other car accessories offer further customization, while sound-effect chips ($3) relieve vocal cords strained by persistent engine imitations. Builders can also upgrade to a radio-controlled street chassis ($25) to assert hands-free control over the vehicle's movements.
For Books Inc., it's been a long road, and if you trace the lines back to its origins, it's California's oldest bookstore. After striking gold—literally—back in 1851, Anton Roman set up shop as a bookseller. Although the shop moved, was sold, burned down, changed hands again, and was rebuilt, the spirit remained intact, and today, multiple locations of the indie bookstore have sprouted up across The Golden State. Staff members keep the shelves lined with classic and contemporary tomes in all genres, and a myriad of book clubs help keep the love of literature alive. They also run a vibrant event program featuring author events and readings where patrons can enjoy an experience they can't download.
The OC Auto Show features cars from the entire automotive spectrum—classics, new models from major manufacturers, exotic vehicles, and Hooters. Toodle about in vehicles from Ford, GM, Nissan (the all-new electric LEAF), and Toyota; check out the adrenaline-fueled exotics from Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari, and The Green Hornet; and cram your soft, pathetically non-chromed brain matter with all manner of shiny new mechanical facts.
Since the shop first opened in 1991, the staff at Killer Dana Surf Shop have worked to uphold its original mission of "capturing the stoke of an old-fashioned 'sand on the carpet' California surf shop." While the store shows its appreciation for classic surf culture, their extensive in-store stock offers a distinctly modern spread of equipment and apparel for everything surf-related. Thrill-seekers can suit up in swimwear and wetsuits from tried-and-true brands such as O'Neill, Roxy, Billabong, and Quiksilver.
Most popular service: Eyelash extensions
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Refrain from caffeine two hours prior; bring relaxation materials (stress ball, headphones, etc.).