Although it originally opened in 1974 as a picnic, camping, and fishing site, the area currently known as Wild Water Adventure Park has changed dramatically over the decades. The three fishing lakes are still there—stocked with everything from bass and catfish to bluegill and sushi rolls—but its 52 verdant acres now hold 38 water slides and 20 different attractions, creating an expansive all-ages retreat at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
More than one million gallons of crystalline water power the massive wave pool's four-foot waves. On the slide side, tube-riders can brave the pitch-black twists of the Vortex and the Sidewinder's three-story plunge. Even younger children can savor appropriately scaled thrills in the play area's splash pool plus 15,000 square feet of toddler-friendly activities. This range of aquatic amenities has made Wild Water Adventure Park a perennial staple on The Fresno Bee's People's Choice Awards, routinely winning the title of Best Water Park.
Not every activity at Wild Water Adventure Park requires a bathing suit, however. Sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a softball diamond all provide ample space for outdoor fun. Numerous barbecue stations dot the grass, allowing families to cook up a hearty lunch.
When 20-year climbing veteran Zeke Federman started a rock-climbing guide service, he needed to situate its headquarters someplace that was more than simply rocky. The spot he settled on falls squarely in Joshua Tree National Park—an area boasting a varied landscape and steady climate that is friendly to year-round mountaineering and offers challenging routes to both beginners and experienced climbers with their own pet mountain goats. Zeke's climbing academy, Joshua Tree Guides, sets its students loose on guided excursions across the region's higher-altitude cliffs. His staff of Professional Climbing Guides Institute–trained guides has won points with clients for combining an easygoing demeanor with a serious attentiveness to safety and the needs of beginners to go slowly. In addition to small groups, the company has also guided successful climbing outings for large corporations such as Google and Frito-Lay.
Our Playroom's indoor play and enrichment center entertains sock-clad youngsters below the age of 6 with engaging rides, toys, and classes. Kids can race down the rocket-ship slide, scale the rock-climbing fort, or throw their hands up during drops on the mini roller coaster. Elsewhere they can bounce on trampolines, stock up on plastic food at the grocery stand, and perform the unabridged text of King Lear at the puppet theater.
As the older children play, those younger than 1 can explore the infant corner's soft play mats, while adults use the facility's free WiFi or join their kids for peanut- and nut-free bites at the snack bar. Along with open play, Our Playroom hosts engaging classes ranging from story times and art projects to basic cheerleading instruction and kid-friendly Zumba led by a certified Zumba teacher.
Though pizza and beer are a time-honored combination, BC's Pizza & Beer puts a new spin on the tradition with innovative pizzas and an abundance of uncommon beers. As its chefs load crusts with inspired arrangements of more than 40 fresh toppings—such as jamaican jerk spices with chicken and shrimp or mexican refried beans with ground beef and jalapeños—bartenders dole out pints of German and Belgian beers. At their fingertips are 33 tap handles and more than 80 import and craft bottles.
Out in the dining room, beer signs and playful knickknacks hang on the walls. Flat-screen televisions broadcast sports games in which football players zoom down fields and Lifetime movies in which football players learn valuable lessons about the wisdom of children.
By dooming yourself with a VIP Combo Ticket, you'll be tricked out and treated to front-of-the-line access to all four of Fright Night Scream Park's ghoulishly garish attractions. Flex your trembling muscles in the undead quarters of Necropolis reVAMPed, or unicycle through three rings of terror in the clownscaped Psychosis in 3D gallery. Scare-savorers can become besties with the misunderstood zombies in Desecration: Quarantine, and the Asylum unleashes lobotomized lurkers on Mensa members and the average-of-intelligence alike.
A traditional Irish pub with a robust menu, a full bar, and an outdoor beer garden, Groggs wages a tactical twin strike on hunger and thirst. Patrons can test the waters with Dublin hot wings ($7.95), cordon bleu balls ($3.95), or Irish chips ($1.95) before wildly cannonballing into the deep end of a hearty soup. Options such as the meaty bowl, jammed with cheesesteak filling, grilled pastrami, green onions, and cabbage ($10.95), and the bucket o’ chowder—clam chowder served with Irish chips ($8.95)—come in bread bowls. Named after an old Irish crime-fighting duo, the banger and spuds fights the injustice of hunger with two grilled sausages, whole potatoes, and a slab o’ garlic bread ($9.95), and the German bratwursts served on a French baguette celebrate delicious globalization ($8.95).