In the middle of The Wave Waterpark, people lie upon colorful rafts that float gently down the lazy river. It’s a serene way to soak up some rays and keep cool. But in the center of the lazy river, separated by raised concrete and a foot bridge, an adventure awaits: the Flow Rider. This simulated surfable ocean wave dares visitors to try and hang ten without falling off their boards into the safe, if rollicking waters.
These two attractions represent the broad spectrum of activity at The Wave, a family-friendly destination equally suited to mild-mannered relaxation, adventurous fun, or something in between. Other rides include a tangle of waterslides, such as the Slam Dunk, an enclosed-tunnel body slide with plenty of twists, and Rippity’s Rainforest, a kid-friendly playground gushing with fountains and waterfalls.
From April to September, lifeguards teach swim lessons in the park’s competition pool for kids as young as 6 months, as well as adults. The Wave is also an ideal spot for birthday parties, with rental cabanas that can fit as many as 30 people or one enormous birthday clown, and a Surf Spot Grill that refuels revelers with burgers, burritos, and pizza.
For those humans who are lamentably landlocked, SEA LIFE Aquarium offers a hands-on, educational aquatic experience filled with up-close animal viewings, fishy feeding frenzies, interactive encounters, and more. Seafaring adventure awaits across the multi-faceted aquarium map, which is highlighted by the Lost City of Atlantis, where you can take a stroll through a 200,000-gallon mini-sea filled with sharks, stingrays, and other sea creatures. Around the bend, the Southern California Tide Pool hosts a meet ’n’ greet for starfish fanatics and human-hungry sea stars alike. Catch a variety of aquarium activities throughout the week, including shark, octopus, and seahorse feedings; puppet shows; and close encounters with nature's most misunderstood predatory polyp, the sea anemone.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arena bounces socked striplings high off the ground with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Trained, amiable staffers supervise fun-filled visits where parents can leap around with their kids through gargantuan, air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Attendees can also focus their free play for special events, such as custom birthday parties and themed, private team parties. These themed soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The giant arena is climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by the well-trained staff and local police. Supplementing its thorough rule enforcement with expert installation and anchoring, Pump It Up holds itself to strict safety standards.
It's a clear day, the blue sky stretching on into the distant horizon. Over a nearby hill, a strange shape appears. Round and colorful, it floats serenely, leaving viewers on the ground to wonder if they've somehow stepped into Around the World in 80 Days. This isn't science fiction, of course. It's just another day for the operators at California Balloon Rides. Since 1975, they've maintained one of southern California's finest hot air balloon fleets. Using a mixture of time-tested know-how and modern aerostatic innovations, they lead breathtaking tours over the rolling hills of Perris-Temecula Valley. Trips are leisurely affairs, with pre-flight snacks and celebratory post-flight champagne toasts along with breakfast at the airport cafe, adding extra bits of luxury to already memorable outings.
Painted Earth makes it simple for amateur artisans and ceramic virtuosos to produce colorful pottery pieces using a variety of stencils, stamps, and patterns. Start by choosing your desired vessel from a vast selection of more than 500 ceramic pieces ($6–$70), including coffee mugs ($10–$17), dinner plates ($14–$20), and miniature figurines ($8–$30) to festoon with the likeness of a pet or distant relative. Pick a design from the store's volumes of idea books, select from more than 100 colors, and then create a design for an earthenware masterpiece. For artists suffering from painter's block, Painted Earth hosts an online inspiration gallery, and friendly staff members stand ready to assist with the pigmenting process. Glazing, firing, and vibrantly hued paints are included in the flat studio fee ($6 per person per visit), and polished objects are ready one week later.
Commercial pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration welcome guests to tours of Southern California aboard hot air balloons. As guests enter into sheared baskets, the pilots offer them complimentary champagne and non-alcoholic beverages before taking off. Sightseeing trips include flights over Temecula Wine Country at sunrise as well as romantic rides along the Pacific coast at sunset.