"Shake it!" your headset blares as you push on the jet's throttle. Your nose tips, the ground becomes a wall, and you're diving in a last-ditch effort to lose the fighter behind you. Its shots go wide and it swoops overhead, leaving you to level out just as the radio tower ends the dogfight: "Knock it off, knock it off." With your wheels back on the ground, you step out of the simulator's cockpit and catch your friend?s eye: Missed me.
At Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center, aerial battles between friends take place on the ground. The screens of nine authentic military fighter-jet simulators broadcast the same views a pilot might see while soaring at 600 knots. Though the simulators remain on the ground, all the controls, radio orders, and UFO weigh stations mirror those encountered on an actual flight. People may come in with a friend or with a party, where guests and friends target one another during virtual missions, from the introductory Fox-1 experience to the three-hour Viper-1 course, which covers advanced topics such as missile avoidance. After team-building events, participants can even receive personalized dog tags as souvenirs.
Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center also has an exact replica of a Boeing 737-700 cockpit. Inside, a 180-degree wraparound screen transports pilots to airport runways from around the world. Commercial-flight drills present common challenges such as piloting through turbulence and wiping spilled coffee off the controls, testing visitors between their takeoff and landing.
Shawn Crawford has been climbing for more than 40 years, working with wilderness search and rescue at age 13 and later serving as a park ranger. Today, he’s the owner and head instructor at Rock City Climbing, where he puts his American Mountaineering and Guiding Association certification to use as he teaches climbers of all experience levels techniques of top-rope climbing, belaying, rappelling, and bouldering.
Inside a gym equipped with more than 10,000 feet of climbing walls, as well as top-rope and bouldering areas, students learn basic and advanced climbing techniques in a range of classes. As they climb, instructors introduce techniques such as hand and foot placement and what to do if gravity starts working in reverse. Visitors can leave the main floor to explore a tunnel maze behind the climbing walls, filled with trap doors, narrow passageways, and drops of up to 11 feet.
When not overseeing his gym, Shawn leads outdoor climbing excursions to challenging locales such as Joshua Tree, Riverside Quarry, and the Statue of Liberty. He also oversees a nearby ropes course, where staffers help groups and individuals navigate two ziplines, as well as more than 20 aerial challenges at heights of up to 60 feet.
The Rinks offers both inline and ice skating for all ages and all skill levels. The Westminster and Yorba Linda centers boast NHL-size rinks, and Anaheim and Lakewood boast Olympic-size rinks. In addition, Anaheim's league-certified surface is used as the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks. Skaters can take to the ice for classes on such blade-top pursuits as hockey, figure skating, public skating, curling, broomball, and more. For the ice-averse, The Rinks has three inline-skating centers in Corona, Huntington Beach, and Irvine which play host to youth and adult roller hockey leagues, skating clinics, public skates, and more. Open-skate sessions give aficionados the chance to take a few laps with friends and family, riding atop their own blades or donning a rental pair from the front desk. On Friday and Saturday nights, rinks morph into icy dance clubs, blasting hit music booming through the speakers and projecting music videos onto a jumbo screen. Birthday packages are also available at both locations.
Pure Barre program founder Carrie Rezabek Dorr continuously tweaks her dance-inspired workout regimen, relying on the traditional ballet accouterment to support body-lengthening moves. Dorr started her first class in the basement of an office building in 2001 without so much as a mirror to call her own, but in the intervening years, she managed to grow her workout into a national franchise. Her method involves a ballet barre, which practitioners grasp as they perform isometric movements of discreet muscle groups. Such movements isolate the buttocks, thighs, and core to build strength and burn calories. Though results vary on an individual basis, some students report seeing the beginning developments of long, lean ballet muscle after just 10 classes, which, incidentally, is the same number of eggs one must break to improve at the art of omelet making.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
Bowling isn’t just a hobby at 300 New York—it’s a vibrant social experience worthy of luxurious flourishes. That’s why cushioned lounge seats flank each of the 32 mood-lit lanes in the main concourse area. Each of these lanes faces a large screen that flashes music videos and tutorials on how to remove stuck fingers from bowling balls. Up in The Loft, bowlers can lounge and take in views of the concourse while sipping cocktails from the full-service bar. A dedicated wait staff connects them to offerings from the onsite bar and restaurant—an eatery known for serving dishes from executive chef Chad Bowser’s menu. Some of Chad’s creations include two-bite chicken or beef sliders and hand-battered fried calamari that can be paired with anything from beer to specialty martinis.