The experienced instructors at Leslie Thomson Training forge respectful bonds between humans and horses while cultivating basic riding and Western show skills in both parties. Across rollicking fields of grass, teachers demonstrate how to navigate trail patterns and control the steed's stride and speed. Students also learn proper stallion care, as well as how to use tongue clicks to signal sightings of the ice-cream truck.
Faces literally glow at Gamer Realm. That’s because they’re in front of luminescent screens playing more than a dozen PC and Xbox games such as Halo 4, FIFA 13, and World of Warcraft. The crew there also hosts LAN parties and tournaments for games such as StarCraft II, pitting seasoned and novice RTS player against each other and awarding prizes to winners.
Under strings of lanterns and the night's canopy of stars, kids scamper through a field filled with thousands of pumpkins, each one searching for the biggest, roundest one. Finding it is one thing; lifting it is another. The bountiful Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm began a bit by happenstance—the owners originally began selling pumpkins out of the back of their pickup and steadily added on amusements as more people came each year. More than 30 years later, the one-month harvest festival sets up each October with attractions ranging from pony rides to puppet shows. As they explore the area amid bales of hay, teepees, character cutouts, and other props, kids can feed baby goats and sheep at the petting zoo or sit on an authentic tractor from 1932. Once guests have procured the perfect pumpkin to carve into the likeness of their favorite monster, they can get their picture taken with Pumpkin Jack, hop on rides such as the Goliath Slide or Pumpkin City Express Train, or visit Gone Fishing, Knock 'Em Down, and other game booths.
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.
As friends sup quietly in a private banquet hall, chaos reigns a floor below. There, stones hurtle toward the wall, forming piles of rubble soon swept away and forgotten in the clamor. Still, the friends dine peacefully, unaware of the destruction happening under their feet. At the two-story Irvine Lanes, bowlers topple pins on the first floor's 40 lanes while the second floor hosts private parties and catered events in an elegant setting. Of course, a snack bar lets bowlers eat downstairs, too, and a full arcade, bar, and smoking patio keep outings interesting as the machine whittles new pins between frames.
Operated by a staff of skating enthusiasts, The 949 Roller Hockey Center supplies a safe and thrilling wheel-whirling experience for skaters of all ages. After lacing up a sleek pair of clean, rentable rollers, customers can meet a need for grounded speed by racing their friends, playing roller tag, or attempting to be the first skater to break the sound barrier. After open skate, drained wheel jockeys can replenish their stomach tanks at the snack bar or vie for video-game glory in the quarters arcade (not included with this Groupon).