The press certainly likes California Family Fitness, granting the exercise venue such awards as a top spot on KCRA-3's 2012 A-List and Sacramento News and Review's Best of Sacramento 2012 Award. The press, however, isn't the top priority for the gym's staff; they believe that, to quote their about CFF page, “awards don't greet you at the door.” Instead, they depend upon their dedicated staffers at the front desk, chaperones at the Kidz Club play zone, and personal trainers to make families of clients feel at home. Certified personal trainers take aspiring exercisers of all ages through regimens that make use of the 16 available locations' ample workout machinery. Seasoned instructors, meanwhile, hold group fitness classes, free with a membership, fostering community as they incinerate calories during high-energy Zumba, step aerobics, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. Nine of the locations boast pools that host swim lessons taught by certified water-safety instructors.
While hitting the gym, parents can drop wee ones at childcare havens lined with playgrounds and age-appropriate investment manuals. After breaking a sweat on the exercise floor, clients can also shed excess body moisture in saunas and tanning beds.
Surfing indoors typically requires an open-face waterbed and a high-powered hair dryer, but not at Surf Xtreme. The recreation center’s automated surf simulator, the Flowrider, creates the illusion of surfing with shallow, fast-moving water, which flows at speeds of up to 30 mph. Constructed of a trampoline-like material, the floor cushions falls as effectively as the marshmallow floors of Candy Land’s retirement homes, and CPR-certified attendants ensure surfers cruise safely through the ride’s heated waters.
For a break from aquatic shenanigans, guests can bound about the 2,400-square-foot trampoline area that flanks the simulator. Kids and adults can cavort with unrestrained glee, ricocheting off the walls bordered by protective padding. Alternatively, youngsters can take to the paintball field, whose customizable bunkers can be configured for games of Capture the Flag or Last Man Standing.
Since 1972, Spare Time Clubs has evolved into a 10-club, full-service family sports club company that includes programs for both adults and children. Each location varies in size—some boasting multiple complexes—and houses amenities such as lighted tennis courts, pools, kids’ play areas, and fitness centers. At the Diamond Hills and El Dorado Hills locations, members can shine up in the onsite European spas, and the jewel of the Gold River club is a lighted stadium court encircled by a 5,000 square-foot observation deck. In the event of inclement weather or courts being overrun by ball-chasing dogs, players can schedule time at the dedicated indoor-tennis center, where eight fully sectioned-off, championship courts glow under the power of tournament-level lighting. World-class coaches develop kids’ court skills at the junior tennis academy, students of which can practice with an unlimited number of sessions at any of Spare Time’s other clubs.
In the horror films of the 1960s and '70s, zombies were represented as hordes of frightening—albeit sluggish—undead. These days, the typical zombie has a little more spring in his step. During zombie apocalypse–themed tag at Play2Survive, the undead chase after humans who seek shelter at several designated checkpoints. Fortunately, the zombies are only fellow participants, who "infect" the living by tagging them. Meanwhile, racers who retain their humanity must reach a minimum of five checkpoints scattered around the course before crossing the finish line. The first survivors in the team and solo categories to make it back to headquarters receive prizes. The top flesh-eaters among the zombies also get rewards, presumably including a spot as a backup moaner on some pop star's new album.
The touring event is the brainchild of Project TMD, a group of friends who spent their college days scouring California for large-scale role-playing opportunities. Eager to share their passion for fitness and fun with others, the Project TMD crew now stages their own events across the state. The group also does its part to provide local high schools with resources for physical fitness and outdoor play. Project TMD encourages Play2Survive participants to sponsor a local high school of their choice. The school whose sponsors earn the most points receives a portion of the event's proceeds—as does the parks and recreation district hosting the game.
Diners seated in what used to be the Frasinetti's east cellar sate themselves on handcrafted Italian lunch and dinner dishes, surrounded by huge vats evoking the 112-year-old winery’s storied past. Dinners commence with starters such as crostini slathered in grilled brie and red-pepper chutney ($10) or steamed clams in white-wine sauce ($9). Next, certified non-android servers bring out entrees such as seafood manicotti, a mix of salmon, scallops, and crab packed in pasta ($15). Pine-nut-gorgonzola butter adds a zesty twist to the 12-ounce center-cut prime rib ($25), and the regal Atlantic salmon rests on a bed of mushroom risotto ($19), like an eccentric rice baron.
Since 1974, Leone Equestrians has saddled students upon gentle steeds amid the six arenas, pastures, and professional all-weather footing of its show stable. Drawing from years of international horse-show experience, professional instructors guide students of all experience levels through hunter and jumper techniques, providing students with an alternative travel method to mule-pulled shopping carts. Students learn to groom, saddle, and care for their horses, and may linger in the stable outside of class times to witness staff members exercising the noble beasts. Students should prepare for lessons with helmets, long pants, and heeled boots, and abstain from wearing loose jewelry or cumbersome chain-mail veils.
The Scribner family has been a fixture of the Sacramento River Delta since 1893, when George Washington Scribner settled along the river bend that would eventually bear his name. Five generations since the fertile soil first beckoned the patriarch, the family is still putting the original barn to good use—now as a tasting room where the Scribners' award-winning wines get the attention and ambiance they deserve. The family’s alluring adult beverages reach their palate-pleasing potential thanks to the expertise of 50-year winemaker William Ghiglieri, who helps the Scribners maintain their century-old legacy. Visitors can rent out the vineyard for private events, lending a convivial elegance to such get-togethers as corporate parties, bridal showers, or pet goldfish funerals.