Pumpkin Stations turn pumpkin shopping and family-park excursions into a one-stop trip. Each of the five Pumpkin Station locations houses a variety of family-fun activities, from giant slides and mini-trains to sky fighter rides and carousels. Mission Valley, for instance, enables visitors to get their sea legs with an on-site boat ride, while the El Cajon game zones gives them a place to rest in between activities. No matter the location, families, friends, and groups can stroll through an asphalt pumpkin patch to seek out a large, plump gourd to take home and carve into a jack-o-lantern.
Southern California Helicopters’ meticulous introductory flight-training program prepares students for supplemental instruction using classroom materials and hands-on experience. Neophyte pilots begin aviation explorations with 30 minutes of ground instruction, where a knowledgeable instructor imparts lessons on navigating the instrument console and understanding right-of-way at a four-way stop. With book smarts cemented, students climb into one of the school’s helicopters and ascend into the open skies, one-on-one with a pilot, for a 30-minute flight. At a safe altitude, instructors shift control to the pupils, giving them the opportunity to experience a thrill usually enjoyed only by weather balloons and mice that have stowed aboard a radio-controlled zeppelin.
From its beach-adjacent headquarters at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, OC Helicopters whisks clients away on aerial tours that deliver a rare vantage point for familiar southern California places and Orange County beaches. The owner and head pilot mans air-conditioned and reliable luxury helicopters and other aircraft that can comfortably seat three or four passengers in chairs that provide a 180-degree view. Customers choose from a number of aerial tour routes, veering south over Laguna Beach's luxury golf courses and sprawling houses or hovering near Crystal Cove and Newport Beach. Helicopters can also head northwest and take the Surf City Tour, which traces the shoreline while supplying an aviator's eyeful of Dana Point's population of surfers as they come ashore to lay their bronze eggs. OC Helicopters also offers custom tours.
Helmed by chief pilot Josh Jones, Channel Islands Helicopters soars over the sparkling Pacific during breathtaking tours around Channel Island National Park and Channel Island Marine Sanctuary. Guests load into a luxurious, bright-yellow steed of the sky, zipping out of Oxnard Airport and into the wide skyscape. Floating along a mountain-framed coastline, the sturdy chopper scrapes the clouds as guests peer into the waters below. Depending on the season, whales may frolic in the surf, carousing with sea lions or jubilant dolphin pods that leap out of the waters in hopes of catching a glimpse at the mythical creature known as the whirlybird. Clink glasses of champagne with a loved one or two friends to commemorate a magnificent midair adventure.
Sonoma Helicopter's fleet of choppers hardly ever stops spinning as they lead training, photography, and tour flights throughout the Sonoma Valley and wine country year round. Their thorough training program pairs classroom and flight sessions to produce pilots capable of taming wild helicopters, and the mountain-flying school further specializes chopper jockeys. Aside from aerial surveys that delve into animal populations, power-line patrols, and crop pollinations, the staff also takes to the air to give guests a bird's-eye view of Sonoma.