"I will honor Christmas in my heart," vows Ebenezer Scrooge near the end of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "and try to keep it all the year." For five weekends around Thanksgiving through Christmas, the 750-plus costumed performers at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair honor this declaration.
Lauded as "charmingly over-the-top" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "dazzling" by the San Francisco Examiner, the fest comprises more than three acres of exhibition halls. Inside, the fair's creative team recreates Dickens' Victorian-era London, complete with labyrinthine lanes, scone-scented bakeries, quaint pubs, and a rowdy dockside. In the streets and on seven stages, carolers entertain crowds alongside notable guests, including Queen Victoria and Scrooge himself. yelling that famous catchphrase, "Bah! An icky humbug! Somebody squish it!"
Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun-seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, back flips, and belly flops during intense free-bounce sessions. Each trampoline comes equipped with a specially designed spring-loaded frame and thick, 2-inch safety pads that grant patrons a landing cushier than a corner office at a marshmallow factory. Stuffed with blocks of spongy, body-molding material, a foam pit dares treasure-seekers to fling themselves in or scour its depths for the lost contents of bygone pockets. Pintsize aerialist posses can safely practice their synchronized Salchows on 360 degrees of trampoline walls while court supervisors watch from the sidelines and award hard-earned praise with oversize scorecards.
Sky High also offers AIRobics fitness classes and monthly dodge-ball tournaments to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.
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Learn how to mix, stir, and shake inside ABC Bartending School's facility under the tutelage of experienced instructors. During the four-hour mixology course in a realistic bar setting, you'll learn the basics of alcoholic alchemy, blending liquors and mixers into sippable sensations capable of transforming teeth into solid gold. Or train to become a certified bartender by receiving extensive instruction and hands-on practice over the course of 40 knowledge-soaked hours. All ABC grads enjoy a lifetime of free refresher courses, job-placement assistance, and access to an alternate Cheers dimension that currently, due to spatial fluctuations, contains only Cliff Clavins.
Dart Ops creates a safe indoor battlefield where players vie for victory using toy dart guns loaded with foam ammo propelled by short blasts of air. Neon-colored screens, walls made of mesh netting, and hanging targets pepper the arena space, which transforms into a monsoon of flying foam at the start of each friendly battle. As games progress, players can curl their trigger fingers around more advanced weaponry, including velcro-tipped darts that adhere to targets or the weak spots of enemy sock puppets. A marshall ensures fair play and organizes different types of game play, such as Free for All, Capture the Flag, and Protect the President. Aside from open play, Dart Ops' staff also host birthdays in a party booth and organize monthly Tour of Duty tournaments.
Jump Highway is constantly in motion. The "trampoline sports arena" is filled with more than 10,000 square feet of nearly custom-built, steel-frame trampolines that cover the floor and climb partway up the walls. Here, visitors of all ages bound across the room and into foam pits large enough for use by professional gymnastics teams or a giant's naptime. In addition to freestyle jumping sessions, the center also hosts group dodgeball and basketball tournaments. The gym's Airobics class treats the trampolines as a whimsical track and field during its cardio-focused, low-impact, and low-gravity workouts.
Each piece of equipment is carefully inspected each day and the staff regulates the number of jumpers to prevent overcrowding. They also monitor the different trampoline zones, which include a separate jumping area just for smaller children. When guests are ready for the world to stop shaking, a cafe and on-site lounge feature leather furnishings and wireless internet.