Though still the same game at heart, the bowling competitions at Valley Center Bowl take on a sci-fi spin. The center's 30 lanes use flat-screen televisions to report bowlers' scores, play 3-D graphics, and display a digital clock counting down to the robot uprising. During events such as the Rock-N-Bowl, black and colorful lights dance along the walls and floors while videos pour from six 42-inch screens. Electronic entertainment coaxes visitors away from the lanes an into a newly remodeled, 3,200-square-foot redemption arcade that sits beside the Lazer Frenzy laser maze. Recently renovated with comfortable seating and flat-panel screens, Monterey Lanes entices bowlers of all ages to strive for a perfect 300 score while enjoying good company and crisp refreshments from the cocktail lounge. Weekend glow bowling and an onsite arcade keep gamers amused, and the pro shop caters to more serious bowlers. Monterey Lanes routinely lends its slick surfaces to charity events, such as Bowl Over Breast Cancer.
Monterey Bay Aviation's instructors combine more than 18,000 logged flight hours to teach amateur aviators the principles of piloting. In the discovery flight lesson, soon-to-be-sky-people will first get acquainted with the surrounding Monterey Peninsula Airport in a brief facility tour. Learners will then meet with a pilot, who will explain the major parts of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, debrief with a pre-flight checklist, and teach mandatory secret handshakes. After a quick weather briefing, the student will plop down on the pilot seat next to their instructor, kick-start the engines, learn how to taxi the craft, and perform a run-up. Finally, with the client behind the knobs, together the co-pilots take to the skies for about 45 minutes to revel in the panoramic local scenery and the assistance of an in-flight genie. Once grounded, the aeronaut will dish out post-flight details and future flight training options, such as official programs or investments in kite-suits.
Opened in 1964 and completely resurfaced in 2007, the greens at Santa Cruz Bowls Club host lawn bowling, an outdoor sport lauded by the Santa Cruz Sentinal for the low-impact exercise it provides and its inherent tendency to foster community. Players fly solo or in teams of three atop the 120'x120' swathe of artificial turf, sliced into separate playing lanes and ringed with redwoods. Athletes exhibit focus and precision as opposed to brute force, carefully rolling bowls that, like buses containing both football players and water boys, are weighted on one side. To reach targets, players must carefully assess the terrain and speed with which they throw the spheres. Usually games encompass 14 rounds, or "ends," during which competitors take aim at a small white ball known as the "jack." The team or player that whirls the bowl closest to the jack, enlisting both forehand and backhand shots, seizes one point in a running tally that determines the recipient of glory. Club members enjoy unlimited access to the green and all necessary equipment, as well as club events that include bowling tournaments.