Though people come to Brickhouse Cardio Club for the heart-pumping workouts, they stay for the irresistible international rhythms. Zumba tends to have that effect, ensnaring exercisers with its Latin choreography and dance-party vibe. The floors at the Oceanside club pulse with 11 Zumba sessions every week, along with energetic Brickhouse Burn toning and sculpting classes and invigorating yoga sessions. The club also hosts Bokwa sessions, embracing the new workout system that finds students tracing the shapes of numbers and letters during dance-like sessions set to booty-shaking beats. Since its inception, Brickhouse has blossomed into a franchise, expanding into 25 locations with new sites recently opened in the United Kingdom, where it hopes to supplant aerobic chimney sweeping. No matter the location, each club hosts its signature workouts in pared-down studios with the franchise’s familiar electric-blue and neon-green walls surrounding a stage.
From the colorful rides to an on-site candy store, Lollipop Park lets visitors of all ages escape into a whimsical wonderland. Go-karts let drivers hone their turns on a winding track, while a carousel taps into the imagination of kids and adults, perfectly encapsulating both the gallop of horse and the aimlessness of one's 20s. Other family-friendly activities include a mini-golf course, a hall of fun mirrors, and train rides along the sparkling waters of Lake Arrowhead.
Giant Paintball's five locations spider across Southern California, causing flickering rainbows of color that splatter players failing to find cover. Shelter such as castle walls or Old West storefronts dot fields at the Alpine and Lakeside locations, and in Bellflower, Hollywood Sports places players in a 23-acre universe populated with authentic movie sets from the likes of Starship Troopers and Godzilla. At SC Village in Chino, camouflaged paintballers trek through 25 fields of jungle and desert landscape, popping off rounds from behind mesh-covered tanks and army-green helicopters. The wide open battle zones of California Paintball Park in Castaic, meanwhile, challenges competitors' long-distance sharpshooting as they navigate gigantic wooden spindles and wooden forts.
At each of Giant Paintball's sprawling venues, teams rent gear such as Tippmann guns and buy battle-proven equipment at their pro shops. Players also engage in airsoft matches—a game that uses plastic BBs instead of paintballs–at the Hollywood Sports and SC Village locations. Rock climbing, BMX racing, indoor soccer, a two-story arcade, a restaurant, and other athletic diversions can also be found at Hollywood Sports enormous entertainment complex.
Under the expert tutelage of former pro Brandon Sieh, ball-swatting beginners will learn tennis basics, while rehearsed racketeers will discover new techniques to close out matches and improve their games. During the 60-minute lesson, Brandon, a specialist in women's doubles play, can help better backhands, spring a spin on serves, fine-tune footwork, shine up short angle shots, and key students in on which shade of white tennis shorts proves most distracting to opponents.
In the quiet, northern end of San Diego County lies the lush, green gem of Wild Wonders, Inc., a multipurpose facility that celebrates California's natural beauty and maintains artificial habitats for more than 150 exotic animals. The staff calls their charges "animal ambassadors," conditioning and training each of them to serve in close, educational encounters with wildlife enthusiasts of all ages. Through their Zoo Camp program, educators give kids a chance try their hand at zoo keeping, including rare opportunities to help feed, clean, and care for the animal ambassadors during intimate interactions.
The onsite staff obtained the park's residents—many of which were deemed non-releasable native wildlife—from other educational facilities as well as more dangerous reaches, such as lands riddled by the illegal pet trade. Resident wonders include big-eared foxes, armored armadillos, giant centipedes, and talkative african gray parrots.