Big Bear Funplex rules over a trifecta of family-friendly fun with an amusement center, The Bowling Barn’s bowling alley, and a sports bar. Gangs of friends and sadistic bowling pins can strap on rented gentle-soled shoes for an hour of bowling down 1 of 16 lanes. Automatic scoring reduces the risk of feud or pin scams, and bumpers keep the game easy for kids. After the bowling extravaganza, an amusement center package gains admission to one ride on the Himalaya mini rollercoaster, along with a rapid-fire 15-minute laser-tag session, and a ride on the bumper cars, releasing drivers from road rage and cars from blasé existences within white painted lines.
From the shores of Big Bear Lake and Dana Point, it's not uncommon to see someone flying high above the waves. But they're not using a hang-glider or an albatross on growth hormones. They're riding one of Action Aqua Flight's flyboards, contraptions that allow their riders to shoot into the air and cut through the surf atop plumes of water. A board beneath the rider's feet thrusts them upward via two massive jets, while two arm-based streams allow the wearer to stabilize and turn. All the while, an instructor follows behind on a jet ski, supplying the board with pressurized water and relaying instructions via headset. Sessions are bookended by calming cruises aboard a pontoon boat, and riders can opt to have their flights recorded for posterity.
All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.
As the name suggests, Just Cruzin Productions specializes in events with a lot of horsepower. Guests browse more than 1,000 hot rods and classic cars at The Classic at Pismo Beach, an annual show that has been drawing droves of auto enthusiasts to central California for almost three decades. Its expertly maintained autos on display are in mint condition—they're judged based on areas from their interiors to their engine compartments, as well as on the owner's overall attention to detail, making it hard to win just by taping cardboard cutouts of a Corvette to a wagon. But the company also produces other major open-air shindigs, such as The Wagon Wheel Country Music Festival.
What unites its large portfolio of events is a passion for charitable giving. Through the Just Cruzin’ Life Foundation, it's directed millions of dollars in event proceeds to organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and the Jerry L. Pettis Loma Linda Veterans Hospital.
Reps for Life stages an all-fronts attack on flab with energetic classes, a gym filled with workout gear, and adept personal-training sessions. More than 16 group fitness classes, ranging from Zumba and cycling to intense plyometric intervals, help to drop pounds, whereas a 25-foot rock-climbing wall heightens adrenaline more effectively than bungee jumps off a bunk bed. Pelts find chic new hues within onsite tanning booths, and muscle soreness abates under the deft manipulations of Reps for Life's massage therapist. The sweat haven's expansive facility is outfitted with locker rooms for the safe storage of purses, wallets, or space-station blueprints during workouts, along with a steamy sauna and refreshing showers for post-workout fresheners.
RIley's Farm recreates the convivial, rustic atmosphere of an 18th century public house, serving up freshly baked bread, Scottish beef pies, and cider-baked ham alongside mugs of ale and glasses of wine. In the nearby orchards and berry fields, visitors can pick their own bushels of apples, pears, and strawberries, and a schedule of living-history reenactments sends audiences deep into America's past to witness scenes from the Revolutionary War and Gold Rush.