The instructors at California Survival School impart decades of wilderness-survival know-how during outdoor, hands-on courses. Participants prepare themselves to live self sufficiently off the land using both modern and primitive techniques, which can come in handy when lost in the woods or the year 1412. During the Core Survival Skills Adventure Clinic, up to 30 students spend five hours learning to create fire using only sticks, build shelters with natural materials, purify water, and feed themselves off the land. The Ancient Artisans Workshop teaches novices how to fashion crude implements from scratch with materials found in nature, and how to use them while out in the wilderness. California Survival School also offers team-building workshops and private events.
Giant Paintball's five locations spider across Southern California, causing flickering rainbows of color that splatter players failing to find cover. Shelter such as castle walls or Old West storefronts dot fields at the Alpine and Lakeside locations, and in Bellflower, Hollywood Sports places players in a 23-acre universe populated with authentic movie sets from the likes of Starship Troopers and Godzilla. At SC Village in Chino, camouflaged paintballers trek through 25 fields of jungle and desert landscape, popping off rounds from behind mesh-covered tanks and army-green helicopters. The wide open battle zones of California Paintball Park in Castaic, meanwhile, challenges competitors' long-distance sharpshooting as they navigate gigantic wooden spindles and wooden forts.
At each of Giant Paintball's sprawling venues, teams rent gear such as Tippmann guns and buy battle-proven equipment at their pro shops. Players also engage in airsoft matches—a game that uses plastic BBs instead of paintballs–at the Hollywood Sports and SC Village locations. Rock climbing, BMX racing, indoor soccer, a two-story arcade, a restaurant, and other athletic diversions can also be found at Hollywood Sports enormous entertainment complex.
While the rest of the natural world prepares to hibernate for the winter, Enchanted Country Trees & Pumpkins has been at its most active since 1983. Farmers pick the plumpest pumpkins from their patches, displaying them next to bounce houses and trundling John Deere tractors. Barnyard animals deign to be petted in exchange for palmfuls of feed, and ponies accept small riders for afternoon trots. Come winter, the lots fill with Christmas trees.
From this high up, the world seems small and compact, framing the ocean, mountains, and desert in the same field of vision. Though Mt. Baldy's soaring peaks seem to shrink the globe to the size of a globe, they also grant access to nature's majesty throughout the year. Four chairlifts gently propel skiers through the San Gabriel Mountains over the trails and 800 acres of skiable earth ranging from gentle slopes to natural quarter pipes. In the warmer months, hiking trails blaze through mountainsides, affording glimpses of historical mining facilities and natural wonders, such as canyons, fauna such as bighorn sheep, and Mother Nature's secret collection of acre-long coffee spoons.
Underneath blue skies, students geared up in masks, fins, and snorkels dive into an outdoor, heated training pool to learn how to breathe underwater. As students acclimate to the water, certified instructors lead them through courses of varying levels, such as the introductory Discover Scuba course, that teach breathing basics and safety techniques. After mastering the fundamentals, Scuba Schools of America can take water enthusiasts to the beach or out into the Pacific for open-water dives where they'll implement full dive-planning methods and artistic poses atop opened clamshells. For those seeking certification, Scuba Schools of America teaches intensive classes and specialty programs such as underwater photography and rescue diving.
Football, track, kenpo karate, rugby, bodybuilding, and cycling all hold a spot on the résumé of Jack Simpson, Body Dynamics II’s owner. He’s held his current title for more than three decades, and backed by a personal-trainer certification, he works toward weight loss and athletic excellence with his clients. Or if they’d rather workout in a group setting, clients can attend boot-camp classes that promise the same fat-busting brand of exercise.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.