Each three-hour class at Laguna Culinary Arts caters to any skill level, from expert chefs to certified microwave users. With no more than 10 people per class, the intimate classes cultivate individual, hands-on instruction, and guarantee that no one gets lost and eaten by bears during training. De-hibernate your china and entertain friends, neighbors, or your glass menagerie collection with the skills you pick up in one of Laguna's party-throwing classes. Learn how to grill goat-cheese-stuffed radicchio wrapped in pancetta and brush up your Crème Catalan skills to throw a Spanish paella party. Or craft an elegant menu of blue-cheese-dressing salad and filet mignon with blackberry sauce, ending with a chocolate soufflé ($95 per person, or $115 with wine pairings). At the end of each class, sit down to enjoy the dinner everyone has worked together to create, minus the piled dishes usually left for gnomes to clean.
The pristine sheet of ice at Ice Palace’s outpost in Lake Forest serves as well-kept tundras ideal for diversions such as hockey, figure-skating, and public-skating sessions. Future NHL stars and misinformed basketball players can both sharpen their stick-handling skills in the facility's Learn to Play Hockey programs, whereas Learn to Figure Skate sessions teach beginners everything from forward and backward moves to entry-level jumps and spins. Held throughout the week, open-skating sessions allow the general public to let loose as couples slip on their skates, hold hands, and fearlessly tie each other's laces.
Like a real jungle, Scooter’s Jungle is full of vibrant colors and potential for adventure; unlike a real jungle, however, most of its attractions are inflatable. Named for its tropical theme, the indoor family-fun center’s inflatables range from gargantuan slides and a zip line to an obstacle course, where kids can build the agility necessary to finally outrun their shadows. For a break from the pillowy structures, kids can play ping-pong and air hockey at the free game tables, or nosh on pizza during private birthday parties.
At Bistro K, traditional Italian recipes merge with eclectic New World flavors for a menu that's reflective of the international history of the family behind it. That story starts back in Italy with the four Bagatta brothers, all chefs who later traveled on to France, South Africa, and Southern California. It was during these wanderings that Tony Bagatta met Massimiliana, the woman who would become his wife. Today, Massimiliana and her daughter Katia run Bistro K as a mother-daughter team, serving up hearty plates from traditional Italian gnocchi to gourmet burgers smothered in gruyère.
Cannons Seafood Grill, perched atop a picturesque cliff overlooking the Dana Point Marina, has delighted diners since 1972 with its menu of fresh, savory seafood. Dive into meals such as the signature lobster bruschetta, a layer of melted blue cheese covering fresh tomato, tarragon bruschetta, and pieces of lobster clinging to one another atop a grilled-sourdough-bread dance floor ($12.95). The grilled swordfish steak Mediterranean brandishes red and yellow tomatoes, sweet red peppers, and artichoke hearts ($25.95), and the sizzling New York sirloin arrives tableside ready to be seared and sporting a rakish derby (29.95). A wide selection of cocktails, such as the Thin Mint, made with Absolut Vanilla, Bailey's Irish Cream, and DeKuper Green Crème de Menthe ($11.50), helps ease first-date jitters.
Dedicated to spreading nautical know-how, Aventura Sailing Association has been supplying aspiring seafarers with sailing instruction, boat rentals, and knowledgeable skippers since 1976. Captain Mark Howe helms the association's sailing school, which instills students with safety guidelines and sailing theory in a classroom setting before taking to the waves for hands-on experience with navigation and popular pirate songs. Instead of suffering the expenses of boat ownership, Aventura Sailing Association members are free to rent vessels from the association's stable of well-maintained 30- to 43-foot sailboats, paying only for the time spent atop the waves. Membership ($55 for each additional month) also grants discounted pricing on sailing school, access to various sailing events, and the opportunity to shadow more experienced sailors and glean subtle tricks of the trade.