With more than 16,000 square feet of climbing space, the vertical faces at City Beach Rock Club make climbers look like ants in regards to their comparative appearance and propensity to stick to walls. Routes are built with the latest climbing holds and are rerouted about every eight weeks for variety, giving the club's climbs height-defying on par with traversing a building's exterior using toilet plungers, dedication, and cartoon physics.
At Boomers! Livermore, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack any of five available attractions. Recreationists can wile away the hours at the helm of purring go-karts, scaled-down kiddie go-karts, and bumper boats or explore the vehicle-free joys housed inside the laser-tag arena, game room, and the game room's prize-redemption center. Unlimited-pass holders can also putt the golf course, which like all the best horses, marshmallows, and spy equipment, is miniature.
The male and female firearm experts of American Home Defense shape their shooting and self-defense classes around legal regulations with an emphasis on personal safety. In private shooting lessons, students learn to handle three of the most common handguns and home-defense classes equip participants with the know-how to protect their families from intruders or a neighbor's moat monster.
Professional paddlers train students of all ages at the beginner level in the sport of table tennis within the walls of Ping Pong Dojo's 3,000-square-foot facility. The dojo's impressive staff consists of coach Weijian Zhang and coach Yin Zhong, both ranked highly in the USATT, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of table tennis. This formidable duo conducts 90-minute group classes on first-class tables that are stately and sturdy enough to serve first-class steak dinners. The center is floored with antiskid material to prevent students from slipping and sliding, while a shock-absorbing surface helps prevent knee-damage. Four large mirrors surround the facility, so players can admire the grace with which they lunge and hurtle, and paddles can admire their perfect symmetry. A variety of training robots are also on hand for automated practice free from the trappings of human emotion. Students must provide their own paddle, or for $2, may rent an Olympic-caliber paddle.
Page Mill Winery's proprietor, Dane Stark, produces handcrafted wines out of high-quality grapes culled from local vineyards. During the tasting, a quartet of oenophiles can sing the praises of six of Page Mill's current releases, including white wines such as sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, and red wines including pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. Afterward, pick up a case of glorious fermented grape juice at a 25% discount (or single bottles at a 15% discount) to congratulate a pal on successfully joining the circus (bottles start at $18 before discount). A corresponding 10% discount applies throughout the winery's gift shop on items ranging from custom-roasted coffee to blended olive oils.
Roberta made her first stained glass sun catchers in 1979. After discovering an affinity for the craft, she completed apprenticeships with a glass artist in Nevada and a glass painter in Germany before heading down the path towards custom work. Along the way, she learned the intricacies of sound structural integrity, and completed delicate window restorations in churches across the Southwest.
Today, Roberta maintains a studio, where she teaches students how to create their own artwork with glass. Her mosaic, stained glass, and fused glass classes introduce beginners to the finer points of wielding the colorful shards using stained glass methods developed over the centuries by old world artisans. In addition to her courses, Roberta stays busy with her own projects, selling glass art and crafting custom designs as gifts or shields against the sun’s harmful rainbow rays.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.