Much like the highway that inspired its name, Route 66 Roadhouse & Tavern is steeped in old-school tradition. The cozy neighborhood bar stays open until 2 a.m. seven nights a week, inviting patrons to set aside the stresses of work and everyday life by enjoying a cold beer in an unpretentious setting. To accompany its brews and cocktails, the tavern features a menu of classic American comfort foods that includes roast beef sandwiches, house-made potato chips, and a signature half-pound Roadhouse burger laden with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms.
Pool tables, dartboards, and glowing televisions keep guests occupied while they enjoy their food and drinks, although Route 66 Roadhouse & Tavern’s live music draws the crowds as well. The bar hosts everything from classic rock groups to punk bands throughout the week, and DJs also energize the atmosphere with their spirited sets. Additionally, open blues jam sessions are held every Thursday and karaoke nights allow patrons to take the mic and perform their favorite chart-topping hit or presidential concession speech.
PickUp USA takes the infamous pitfalls of pickup basketball—uneven teams, sloppy play, and incessant arguing over fouls and whose mama gives the best hugs—and replaces them with officiated and organized game play without the restrictions of a league. Its members hit the courts in a pristine 17,000-square-foot space, which features a lounge, a stretching area, and courts built by the designers who create them for the NCAA and NBA.
Championship-level karts and professional Formula 1 racers grip the asphalt turns and straights at Allen Berg Racing Schools' duo of private racing tracks. Navigating Auto Club Speedway's 13 twists and turns in a fleet of competition-grade racecars, the speed-smitten staff demonstrates the art of tire burning and swift pizza delivery. Alternatively, along Varsity Chrysler Speed Park's 1.1-kilometre track in Calgary, miniaturized karts reach up to 120 kilometres per hour while staying inside the new-and-improved safety barriers. During the road-car program, experienced instructors crank the speedometers of street-legal cars to teach students the art of lapping, slalom, and how to achieve speedy drive-thru chicken-nugget orders. At the cap of engine-revving sessions, the vehicles' HD cameras capture the full experience in an on-board video.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
Though freedom to choose your own pairings is good for believers in true love and eclectic décor, professionally paired flavor combos showcase the best qualities of each ingredient. A retail shop outfitted with a handsome tasting bar, California Wine and Cheese stocks wines produced exclusively in California, regularly consisting of over 200 selections. Wine flights consist of four to five samplings and change every Friday, giving customers a chance to gain a broad appreciation for all kinds of wine. If you've already sampled one or more wines from the flight, just wait a week and new choices of red or white wine will magically appear. To complement the characteristics of each wine, a sampling of imported and domestic cheeses accompanies each flight. Because California Wine and Cheese sells the goods to take home, you can purchase the wines and cheeses you like best to re-create the pairings at home for dinner guests and culinarily curious cats.