The guides of Adventures Out West?currently celebrating its 40th year of tours?have created scenic jaunts through Colorado and Arizona that deposit participants directly into the most beautiful parts of the local geography. Whether taking a segway tour or a jeep tour with knowledgeable guides, soaring over snowcapped mountains from the basket of a hot-air balloon or ziplining over lush forested cliffs, patrons get a chance to interact firsthand with all of nature's local sights, sounds, and whoopee-cushion gags.
Seeking a way to share her love of the equine arts, Joni Fitts opened her school in 1980, living by the motto "Teaching is Our Business" while helping riders discover the nuanced craft of horsemanship. Her instructors—all of whom are certified by the American Riding Instructor Certification Program—lead students 6 and older in riding programs tailored to all skill levels, covering both English and Western riding styles. Programs are not breed specific, helping students get to know different horses' gaits, idiosyncrasies, and favorite seasons of The Real World.
In addition to running her school, Joni is also a certified CHA site visitor, a designation that lets her qualify aspiring ranches for accreditation by the Certified Horsemanship Association and the American Horse Sign Language Society.
At The Play Factory, kids can climb a multistory mesh play structure, jet down a covered slide, leap through a bounce house, or even go to sleep. The center?s sleepover birthday parties kick off with dinner and close with breakfast the next morning. In between, kids watch movies and play party games with kid-friendly prizes, such as scratch ?n? sniff lotto tickets. For a more typical play experience, kids can visit during open-play times supervised by their parents. On breaks from the action, they can nosh on snacks at the in-house caf? or connect to the free Wi-Fi.
When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, reports The Arizona Republic, it sparked John Edwards' passion for Star Trek. He began amassing action figures and memorabilia into a collection that has since mushroomed into the more than 13,000 toys, comic books, and posters that put the experience into the Arizona Pop Culture Experience. According to the Phoenix New Times, the nonprofit museum is divided into rooms based on heroes and stories, such as the DC room and the Marvel room. Hundreds of action figures, custom-made for John, have earned the museum top honors in the _ Phoenix New Times’_ 2010 “Best Places to See Action Figures”, and the only spot on The Action Figure Makers’ Guild Magazine’s list, “Where are All my Action Figures?”
The rest of the space covers the last 50 to 60 years of popular culture, from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the music of The Doors to current crazes such as Twilight and Harry Potter, the saga of a wizard who relinquishes his wand to make earthenware. The museum also doubles as a comic book store where new issues hit the shelves every week.
Everything from hands-on activities to appearances from storybook characters abounds at The Everything Kids Fest, a two-day celebration of the whimsical minds and innocent hearts of children. Among the many activities, kids and their families can construct new worlds at the Legoland California build arena, explore their fantasies at the Peter Pan pirate playground, and absorb animal-kingdom gossip from sheep, chickens, and goats at the petting zoo. Meanwhile, fairy-tale favorites such as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, and the Fairy Godmother perform perform on the main stage. Local plush athletes including the Coyotes' Howler and the Suns' Gorilla ruffle each other's foam during competitive events.
Generally, adulthood forces people to give up childish pleasure, robbing them of the joy associated with playing in puddles, unearthing hidden treasure, and being silly in public. Sierra Adventure Sports wants grownups to regress, if only for a day. In service of that goal, the company organizes a variety of novel races that range from city scavenger hunts for the casual adventurer to creative triathlon courses for the ambitious athlete.
Scavenger Blitz, for instance, turns exploring one's city into a fun, fast-paced race scattered with clues, obstacle courses, and riddles. Racers in teams of at least two scour the urban jungle in search of 12 clues, which can include challenges, riddles, or orders that need be completed before crossing the finish line. Some send racers hunting for a snapshot in front of a landmark, whereas others challenge them to complete some special feat, such as conquering an obstacle course on stilts. The Mad Mud Run challenges participants to sprint and frolic through a dirty and deliciously fun outdoor obstacle course littered with manmade obstructions such as cargo nets, hills of hay bales, monkey bars, and slimy mud pits. Extreme Heat Adventure Races combine equal parts triathlon and scavenger hunt to create a 10?12K journey filled with running, river rafting, and mystery challenges that could pit teams against anything from blindfolded puzzles to wall climbs. Most Sierra Adventure Sports events encourage racers to compete in costumes of all types save for gremlins, which multiply in water and unfairly dominate the timed results.