The owners of Corona Pumpkin Farm weren?t setting out to build a business in the fall of 2009. They just wanted to cultivate fresh, healthy produce for their family. So they began sowing seeds in box gardens, nourishing the soil with compost from chickens that also bore fresh eggs, and the occasional golden one. Eventually, the chickens? bounty outgrew the boxed gardens, and the humble family endeavor flourished into Corona Pumpkin Farm, which sits atop more than an acre of land. Now the farmers nurture more than 50 types of pumpkins for eating and carving, as well as a cornucopia of fruits and veggies that includes three types of corn and pick-your-own boysenberries. Along with the produce, they raise chickens and turkeys for meat, gather eggs from the coop, and sometimes barter with neighbors for beef and pork.
To show their respect for Mother Nature and their own health, they prefer to use organic solutions first, avoiding chemicals on their garden grub whenever possible. But visitors don?t flock to the farm just for the fresh, healthy fare; they come to pick their own pumpkins, meander through the 10-foot-high stalks that fill a half-acre corn maze, and enjoy other seasonal activities, such as cuddling baby chicks, zooming down an inflatable slide, painting pumpkins, and crafting personalized trick-or-treat bags.
At Wings of Valor LLC, chief pilot Daniel Wotring whisks passengers into the sky aboard a WWII-era Douglas DC-3 plane. The plane has a had a storied airborne career; before joining the company's fleet, it flew over Normandy on D-day and dropped paratroopers into Sicily. Nowadays, tourists strap into its restored interior for scenic flights over the Chino Valley or a bird's-eye view of local holiday displays.
Swing Away Baseball Training Center's head coach, Taylor George, knows what it takes to get drafted into the big leagues. After all, he was drafted himself—twice. The Tampa Bay Rays selected George right out of high school, but he opted instead to play college ball at Cypress College, where he excelled enough to get picked up by the New York Mets after his sophomore season.
At Swing Away, George shares his innate understanding of the game with youngsters who might also have major-league goals. He helps his students improve their mechanics for hitting and pitching, and he also works with them to develop the strategic thinking it takes to run the base paths or trap a cat in a game of pickle. Athletes as young as 4 can take cuts inside the facility's batting cages or work on their velocity inside one of two pitching tunnels.
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 an instructor as the teachers 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.
For more than 30 years, winemaker Mike Tingley has strolled between trellises on the hills of the Temecula Valley wine country. He scans the nuanced grapes of each season, waiting for just the right moment to pick them and produce varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, tempranillo, and viognier.
At Danza del Sol Winery, Tingley works with owner and wine enthusiast Robert Olson to produce wines that have distinct identities. For example, their 2010 sangiovese mingles scents of red cherries with leather, and the 2010 cabernet franc mixes deeper aromas of black cherry with hints of cranberry and pleather. Their Mediterranean-influenced bottles regularly receive awards in the Southern California Wine Country Wine Competition, and they are available for tasting or purchase at the Spanish-mission-style clubhouse, which overlooks the blushing harvest.
Imaginations run wild at Child's Play, an indoor playground and party center packed with colorful playhouses, climbers, slides, mats, and tunnels. Pint-sized patrons ages 6 months to 6 years are free to roam around the space, donning costumes in the dress-up area, engaging in imaginative play, and discussing which mayoral candidates have the best policies on naptime.
The facility also hosts birthday parties, ranging in length from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours. To honor each kid's special day, party packages include private facility use, party coordinators, and music, as well as setup and cleanup. Some packages also include games, visits from Coco the puppy mascot, and the serving of party food brought from home or ordered in.