J&J Polo's instructors impart top-shelf swing mechanics and riding techniques to everyone from children to collegiate riders and professional players. Tailored to each rider, individual lessons focus on how nuances in body positioning and pockets full of oats can influence hitting and riding ability. Trainers isolate swinging in hitting-cage lessons that employ a stationary horse or run four-hour clinics where groups of riders move through hitting drills, rules and strategy sessions, and practice chukkers under the guidance of a professional player.
Managing 27 grocery stores and more than 2,500 employees is a stressful task. Nob Hill Foods owner Michael Bonfante learned that the best way for him to manage that stress was to retreat to a shady, secluded spot surrounded by majestic trees. These occasional escapes into nature inspired Bonfante to found a park dedicated to teaching visitors of all ages?but especially children?how to appreciate horticulture, wildlife, and trees in particular. Along with his wife, Claudia, Bonfante eventually sold his grocery stores and committed all of his efforts to educating the public and spreading his love for nature.
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park receives virtually all of the Bonfantes' attention now, and it attracts visitors with combination of educational exhibits, carnival games, and amusement-park rides. The map features more than 40 possible destinations where guests can learn something new about local horticulture, enjoy an adrenaline-pumping joy ride, or simply enjoy the scenery. With family-friendly attractions available for all ages, the park includes everything from carousels to paddleboats to a mine-cart roller coaster that takes passengers through a thrilling series of dips and speedy turns. An interactive water attraction called Water Oasis and the Octonauts live show were just added to the roster in 2014.
Even while visitors are standing in line or buckled into a ride, they are still surrounded by nature at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park. Five waterfalls?representing the five major styles of waterfalls that occur in nature?gush with torrents of water. The grounds also feature 19 of Axel Erlandson's famous Circus Trees, which he created by grafting saplings so that they grew to form shapes such as hearts, lightning bolts, and basket weaves. In addition to touting the importance of animals such as monarch butterflies and honeybees, the park features six distinctive gardens brimming with informative displays and everything from conifers to tropical and subtropical flowers.
With more than 20 years of equine experience, Jeanette Arnaout instructs students of all skill levels on the fundamentals of horsemanship during lessons and riding camps. Each session carefully pairs riders with appropriate steeds for their skill level, allowing novices to learn basic techniques and experienced stallion tamers to trot to the beat of the hokey pokey. Small-group settings foster an educational atmosphere, and kind, well-trained horses guarantee hiccup-free learning. Lessons include instruction on horse cleaning and care—think grooming and hoof-picking—as well as riding time. Like a molting flamingo, students are encouraged to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes, but Jeanette provides all of the equipment necessary for camps. Those overwhelmed by unruly horses can turn them over to Jeanette for training, during which she gently boosts steeds' confidence to improve their obedience.
At Laser Recon’s outdoor playing field, players compete in teams for a variety of missions, such as capturing and defending strategic objectives or battling an army of zombies. Players of all ages and levels duck behind obstacles as they avoid incoming beams from laser guns. Prior to each refereed game, a mission coordinator briefs teams on safety rules, in addition to supervising players throughout the party, allowing parents to relax in the nearby covered picnic area.
Morgan Hill Bowl is a multi-purpose entertainment center with myriad games and activites for the whole family. Polished hardwood lanes sprawl from the play line to the pins, where friends and families trade high-fives and trash talk, and where things turn psychedelic with music and light shows during cosmic bowling. But the fun and games aren't just limited to bowling?Morgan Hill also features a bocce ball room with well maintained bocce courts and a connected wine bar. For beer and cocktails, bowlers can head to StriXe Lounge. StriXe is a 2,000 square foot bar with eight flat screen TVs for sports viewing, billiards, and darts. They also regularly host karaoke nights for guests to belt out their favorite song or mimic the sound of pins falling if there were nobody around to hear them.
Morgan Hill Bowl is a multi-purpose entertainment center with myriad games and activities for the whole family. Friends and families trade high-fives and trash talk as they practice their hooks and curves on polished hardwood lanes. Later, things turn psychedelic as music and light shows illuminate the alley during cosmic bowling, which also features music videos projected on drop-down screens.
But the fun and games aren't just limited to bowling?Morgan Hill also features a bocce ball room with well maintained courts and a connected wine bar. For pre- or post-game beer and cocktails, bowlers can head to StriXe Lounge, a 2,000 square foot bar with billiards, darts, and eight flat screen TVs for sports viewing. The bar also hosts regular karaoke nights, during which, guests can belt out their favorite tunes or use the mic to read aloud from a favorite bowling-themed novel.