At Starlight Cinemas, cinephiles can get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities without worrying about security guards or the electric force field that keeps Ralph Macchio from aging. Two movie tickets grant you and a companion access to any 2-D or 3-D movie (subject to availability), projected in pristine HD digital in every auditorium. A large tub of popcorn fuels buttery snacking during trailers, and a free refill ensures patrons have snacks to eat during the feature or to toss over their shoulder during startling horror scenes. Though not valid with this Groupon, each theater is equipped with full concessions should you feel the urge for sodas, candy, or other popular cine-fare. Check Starlight Cinemas’ individual websites for current listings and showtimes.
Atop Pirate Coast Paddle Co.’s fleet of standup paddleboards, guests glide over the placid inlets of Newport Beach Back Bay in scenic excursions. The paddleboards—which look like slightly larger, heavier surfboards—offer a sturdy enough base for guests to stand upright and propel themselves with a single oar, an action that exercises core muscles better than doing sit-ups with a porpoise on your chest.
Led by a staff of nautical guides, paddleboarding tours send clients into the orange horizon during sunset paddle outings and enjoy an ocean view of the stars during full-moon SUP parties. Pirate Coast also offers private, semi-private, and group lessons. During all excursions, Pirate Coast provides boards and necessary equipment rentals, letting clients worry about how to stave off scurvy while on the ocean.
The adage that "there are no small parts, just small actors" rings truest at The Center Stage Studio, where budding thespians of all ages get their share of the spotlight. Under the experienced wand of director Tracey DiMiceli, a seasoned performer and theater instructor who also helmed Malibu's prestigious "Fitness by the Sea" summer camp, young actors develop the skills to sing, dance, and deliver heartfelt Tony Award acceptance speeches in a wealth of classes and camps.
In the family-tailored musical theater camps, which feature themes reflecting popular musicals and children's shows, lil' thespians learn the fundamentals of theater technique—including blocking, projecting, and stage direction—and cultivate skills that boost self-esteem and critical thinking. Camps end with a public performance where every child gets a spot in a major musical number and receives a speaking role, curbing the theatrical tradition of jealous prepubescent understudies.
Venture out onto open waters to see how the other half of the animal kingdom lives and tastes. For $29, today's Groupon gets you five hours of fishing on a licensed and Coast Guard–inspected boat, all the necessary rods and lines, and a food voucher for the boat's galley from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching (a $58.50 value). Kids 12 and under can come along and try their wriggly-wrasslin' skills for $22. And though, like barnacles on a whale's belly, kids can tag along with an adult for free on the 12:45 p.m. Sunday trips, you can buy here for a child's ticket good for any day of the week.
Evolution Swim Academy has one goal: help youngsters feel comfortable in the water. To that end, the pool is heated to a soothing temperature and expert instructors hone strokes such as the freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly while emphasizing safety. Their class sequence starts with the basics: a firm grasp of swimming fundamentals such as side-breathing, swimming short distances, and refraining from drinking all the pool water. Aquatic adventurers as young as six months are welcome, joining Parent & Me classes for fun kicking and floating drills. As they grow, children undergo more rigorous training, culminating in high-level courses that prep students for competition.