The Channel Islands Maritime Museum brings the area's rich seafaring history to life with original paintings, ship models, and intricately decorated scrimshaw. After 21 years in one spot, the museum relocated in 2012, hauling along its 2,000-strong catalogue of artifacts—including historic documents, records, and art—to its current location on Channel Islands Harbor. Museum collections inside the new digs highlight periods and industries important to the development of the local maritime culture, reaching as far back as the Chinese Treasure Fleets that sailed the high seas in the 15th century. More modern attractions include the collection that explores whaling industry of the 18th an 19th centuries, the curious case of the La Jenelle, a ship that sunk right in the harbor in 1970 thanks to a nasty northwester.
Gull Wings Children's Museum appeals to many childhood aspirations as it teaches—the Blast Off area lets kids pretend to be astronauts, the Home Town Hero exhibit lets them play firefighters, and the Lego-a-Go-Go room lets them portray immobile plastic bricks. Aside from the many exhibits, there are a series of regular programs in reading, science, and other subjects. The museum also hosts special events such as storytellers and dance groups.
The rink at Channel Islands Ice Center is a space for public skating, a classroom for skating school, and a frozen venue for hockey and figure skating. A nonprofit organization operated by the Channel Islands Figure Skating Club and Channel Islands Riptide Hockey Club, the ice center has a stake in varied community endeavors. The center also hosts ballet, tap, and jazz classes designed to complement ice-skating skills and teach students how to evade a would-be attacker with a graceful plié and well-timed pirouette.
The sight of a medieval castle surrounded by tall cacti may seem anachronistic at first, but it's hard to question the image when one is trying to putt a mini golf ball into a grassy hole off the circulating paddles of a windmill. It's whimsical moments like this that make Golf N’ Stuff's name feel understated. Beyond the two lush 18-hole mini golf courses that draw year-round visitors, the entertainment center boasts go-karts, bumper boats, and more than 100 arcade games. A mechanically rotated rock wall challenges climbers to simulations of El Capitan and Half Dome, and batting cages let both kids and adults perfect their swings before the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Visitors can refuel on hot dogs, soft-serve ice cream, and soda at the snack bar.
Safely spring like a frisky organic farmer in an air-filled emporium of fun with today’s Lil' Groupon. For $20, you’ll get 10 jump sessions at Pump it Up, the inflatable party zone. Opt to split up this $40 value with individual general admissions or corral nine friends for a single, impromptu jumping party.
The sound of crashing pins draws equally loud cheers from players at Ventura Bowling Center as their progress is tallied via an automatic scoring system. Arcade games and dartboards entice them to take a break from alleyways, while hunger draws them toward the snack bar. Meanwhile, a full onsite bar supplies players with enough bubbly soda and ice-cold beer to celebrate a big win or an impressive moonwalk made possible by a pair of smooth-soled bowling shoes.