Though many outsiders know Sonoma County for its fine wines, the savvy drinkers at North Bay Brewery Tours spread the word about the region’s other specialty: craft beer. A relatively simple outfit, the company only needs knowledgeable drivers and tour guides, a fleet of buses running on eco-friendly compressed natural gas, and enough effort to organize group tours, party buses, and pub crawls. Brewery-hopping tours, their top services, head to three craft breweries each trip. One on-the-bus tour segment demonstrates from start-to-finish how beer is made.
Beer samples will be available for purchase at participating breweries, and complimentary ice-cold water or beer on the bus keeps tour takers thirsts' slaked between stops. Examiner.com recommended the tour as an excellent way to taste a variety of brews while enjoying the safety of a designated driver.
Founded by three Scandinavian families in 1977, Scandia Family Fun Center flings open its doors and invites families in for afternoons of youthful fantasy. Manicured hedges and lush green mounds dot the center?s challenging miniature golf course, while go-karts rumble past on the Stockholm Raceway. The sounds of splashing and laughter not only indicate the birth of a pirate, but also a gentle collision between Baltic Sea bumper boats, accompanied by the crack of speeding baseballs and softballs at the batting cages. The center?s Scandia Screamer lifts passengers 165 feet into the air before accelerating to speeds of 65 mph, while the Swedish Scrambler opts for a more amenable 25 mph. Visitors can also exercise their opposable thumbs at a fully-stocked arcade, visit Scandia's snack bar brimming with pizza, hot dogs, and churros.
Picking a criminal out of a lineup is hard, but at Bodega Bay Sailing Adventures, the staff knows that picking a plant out of a lineup is even harder. On the company’s naturalist tours, naturalist Katja Svendsen arms passengers with comprehensive ID cards, printed with pictures and descriptions of local flora and fauna. As they identify the plants as well as the whales and seals native to Bodega Bay’s hamlet, Svendsen explains topics such as the causes of tides and human’s impact on the bay. Meanwhile, US Coast Guard-licensed captain Rich Crumley steers the sailboat. Crumley can also captain the 33-foot vessel during traditional tours, supervising passengers while they steer to ensure they don’t turn in a tiny circle forever.
Couples can tap their toes to triple-rhythms or swivel their shoulders in silver foxtrots during one-hour classes taught by nurturing instructors during the course of five weeks. Offering a safe and supportive environment in which couples of all dancing dexterities can follow their rug-cutting inclinations, The Ballroom specializes in social dancing and restoring mislaid grooves to their rightful owners. A bimonthly class schedule features several spicy levels of hip-swinging salsa classes and a popular East Coast–swing series that will have students lindy hopping over the competition at Jay Gatsby’s next lawn party. Heartland dances such as the line dance give feet a taste of American pie and nightclub dances such as salsa and cha-cha ensure perfect street-credit scores of 850. A series of social-ballroom classes survey traditional waltzes and foxtrots for formal occasions.
Specializing in sustainable beekeeping using organic methods, Thank Nature’s expert beekeepers helm 2.5-hour classes designed to teach students how to use all-natural beeswax to forge purifying candles that burn brighter and three times as long as paraffin wax. To kick off the workshop, a hive guru will familiarize participants with the honeybee and the origins of beeswax, which, despite popular opinion, was not first discovered in the ear canals of petulant grade schoolers. Hands-on instruction then follows, allowing students to roll their own candles and observe a demonstration on incorporating metal and rubber molds. Guests emerge from class with their own handcrafted beeswax candle, as well as their choice of a floating star or a ceremonial votive candle that was tarsal-claw-crafted by a certified union worker bee.
During the seven-production season at Sonoma State, curtains rise on young talent in five diverse theater productions and two dance concerts. In How I Learned to Drive, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama running October 20–28, a woman revisits her coming-of-age, addressing common motifs such as family strife, birds and bees, and outgrowing her retainer. Productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which runs November 3–12, and Oklahoma!, running February 7–19, entertain audiences with beloved scripts, and the all-new Super Mega Molten Hot Lava New Play Festival December 8–10 regales audiences with a grab bag of student-written scripts. The farcical whodunit Loot, March 8–17, finishes the theater season with a guffaw. Meanwhile, dancers take the stage during student-choreographed fall dance concerts held December 1–4 and featuring a medley of hip-hop, jazz, and ballet that showcases the body's ability to express grace, rhythm, and a desire for zesty nachos. The spring dance concert, running April 20–28, hosts guest choreographers, who bring an expert eye to craft all-new routines.