At Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, which earned CityVoter's Best Sports and Recreational Activity title in 2009, visiting motorists whirl around a 1,200-foot indoor track designed by former IKF racers. Drivers suit up with protective helmets and neck collars before strapping themselves into Sodi karts, whose gas-powered Honda 200-cubic-centimeter engines and miniature horses power them through 10- to 12-minute races. The indoor facility’s professionally engineered exhaust system ensures safe, clean air for all racers as they wind through the course with up to 11 other competitors. Computerized timing systems accurately record photo finishes, and video helmets and race suits are available to enhance the experience. A slew of celebrity guests have been known to frequent the track, giving visitors a rare opportunity to outwit IndyCar drivers or trade high-speed knock-knock jokes with Hollywood comedians.
On hot, sticky summer days, DropZone Waterpark plunges guests of all ages into the cool refreshing depths of swimming pools. The scent of chlorine fills the air as kids sprint from slide to pool and back again, shrieking in delight each time they splash into the water. Guests stop by The Fill Station for refreshments like a family four pack of cheeseburgers. The park offers both daily admission passes and season passes for the whole family.
Based at the Riverside Municipal Airport, the instructors at Riverside Flight Academy produce nearly every kind of civilian aviator. The academy is able to quickly determine whether recreational or commercial pilot hopefuls have what it takes to fly using simulators and training aircraft. Student aviators can start into one of several career programs for commercial and airline transport pilots.
For tennis players, the elements are not only capable of spoiling an outdoor match or practice session entirely, they can also be taxing to the body in the long-term, especially for those trying to put in the court time required to attain greatness. That reality was behind the creation of Hampton Indoor Tennis Center, which—unlike most sunbaked, wind-lashed, and rain-beaten tennis complexs—offers players a respite from the weather with four indoor courts. Underneath low-glare lights, players trade ground strokes and volleys atop blue-and-green courts that provide a medium-speed bounce and are identical in composition to the hard-court surface of the Indian Wells courts where the BNP Paribas Open is played. Tennis balls pop crisply against racket strings as trainers teach youngsters on a miniature court with dimensions suited to the de-pressurized balls that foster proper stroke development in undersized racquet-wielders.
The staff uses experience playing and teaching to forge formidable players, emphasizing proper footwork, conditioning, and not accidentally shouting one’s social security number while serving. They preside over a wide range of adult lessons, including clinics in which players learn alongside others of the same skill level and one-hour cardio tennis sessions, which feature a series of high-energy drills. The Center’s junior tennis program helps youngsters meet on-court goals of all kinds, from those simply looking to play recreationally to those hoping to grow into an elite competitor.
Inside each Sky Zone location, a wall-to-wall half-pipe made entirely of trampolines gives children and adults a venue where they can safely hop, bounce, and somersault to their hearts' content. The vast, taut, springy flooring doesn't end at the walls, but instead the trampolines continue upward to form angles perfect for crawling up, springing off, or sliding down. Visitors can meander along the bounceable terrain in the open trampoline arena, throw themselves into giant foam pits, or sharpen their competitive edges in trampoline-assisted sports such as dodgeball. SkyBurn classes, which have been featured on The Doctors, merge gravity-defying fun with fitness during instructor-led workouts that include calisthenics, core exercises, and strength-building aerobics to help guests shed calories without hurting their joints or taking a wrong turn on a treadmill.
All across California, Western Bowling Proprietors Association sends pins scattering at a network of bowling alleys, each with its own personality. In addition to open bowl on automatically scored lanes, many locations host special events that heighten the experience with enhancements such as vibrant lights, lively music, and laser systems that do double duty protecting the alleys' diamond collections. The alleys also house refreshment facilities, pro shops, and diversions that range from arcade games to billiards.