In the middle of The Wave Waterpark, people lie upon colorful rafts that float gently down the lazy river. It’s a serene way to soak up some rays and keep cool. But in the center of the lazy river, separated by raised concrete and a foot bridge, an adventure awaits: the Flow Rider. This simulated surfable ocean wave dares visitors to try and hang ten without falling off their boards into the safe, if rollicking waters.
These two attractions represent the broad spectrum of activity at The Wave, a family-friendly destination equally suited to mild-mannered relaxation, adventurous fun, or something in between. Other rides include a tangle of waterslides, such as the Slam Dunk, an enclosed-tunnel body slide with plenty of twists, and Rippity’s Rainforest, a kid-friendly playground gushing with fountains and waterfalls.
From April to September, lifeguards teach swim lessons in the park’s competition pool for kids as young as 6 months, as well as adults. The Wave is also an ideal spot for birthday parties, with rental cabanas that can fit as many as 30 people or one enormous birthday clown, and a Surf Spot Grill that refuels revelers with burgers, burritos, and pizza.
The instructors at Waterworks Aquatics believe anyone can learn to swim, no matter their age. This belief drives each instructor-led session, accommodating everyone from babies as young as 3 months old who are just getting acquainted with the water, to older children learning more advanced strokes and adults learning to swim for the first time. The instructors focus on teaching stroke techniques that utilize muscle memory and rhythms that are easy to grasp, while cultivating a fun, relaxed environment to help reduce students' anxiety. They lead private, semi-private, group, and Parent and Me lessons, all of which move at the pace of the swimmers' abilities. Beyond bestowing swimmers with efficient form, the lessons also help them stay safe in the water by teaching them how to control their breathing, reduce unnecessary movement, and stay completely still in the presence of pool krakens to avoid begin seen.
Steel blades rhythmically slice the ice across two spacious rinks at Ice-Plex (formerly Iceoplex Escondido), an all-purpose facility pairing leisurely open skates with practiced instruction from director Courtney Moebs and a staff of pro figure skaters. Specialties span everything from choreography and freestyle to ice dancing and yeti dodging, though basic lessons for both kids and adults are also available. Public-skating sessions beckon amateurs and experts on a daily basis, during which skaters can emulate the moves of their favorite hockey players. Replete with a well-appointed gym, indoor pool, and jacuzzi, an attached fitness center offers classes in aerobics, aquatics, and an aquatic-aerobics class led by an off-duty Aquaman.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Atomic, Bare, Stahlsac, Zeagle, Oceanic, Mares
Pro Tip: We refuse to treat you like a customer, but more like a friend.
“We believe that every child is a champion.” This mission statement informs the approach that Cal Elite Kids takes with the participants of its programs. Youngsters may learn self-reliance in gymnastics lessons, which take place on an in-ground tumble-track trampoline, on an array of beams and bars, or in the air above an in-ground foam pit. They also develop discipline in dance class; at the Rancho Santa Margarita facility, the five dance studios inspire with views of the surrounding mountains.
Cal Elite Kids’ charges can even learn how to express themselves through athletic theatrical performances or simply improve their 2 a.m. Friday-night karaoke warblings during Glee Elite sessions.
Colleen Bordages's athletic background is as varied as her classes. She has two dozen years of softball experience, a Golden Glove boxing victory, and certifications as a TRX and boot camp instructor. She combines all of this into one endeavor with MBS Conditioning, where she leads aquatic training, softball training, and athletic conditioning classes.