Each summer, Sacramento becomes home to a giant dragon, slumbering deep in its lair. Anyone who steps inside vanishes from sight, and plummets through five stories of total darkness before reaching the mist-filled depths of a splash pool.
That wet, wild warren?known as the Den of the Dragon?is just one of more than 25 water attractions that sprawl across Raging Waters' grounds. The best way to survey all the options: drop a tube into Calypso Cooler, a lazy river that winds around the park's center in an 800-foot loop. From here, families can scope the landscape and plan out an exciting itinerary. For example:
Start at the Den of the Dragon, then take a short walk to the Honolulu Half Pipe and attempt a few skateboarding tricks using an inner tube.
Head to the other side of the park for high-speed slides such as the Cliffhanger, where two riders can race side-by-side.
Explore the five-story Treehouse Reef?which surrounds younger kids in water slides and secret tubes?and submerge yourself in a 540,000-gallon wave pool that simulates the way the ocean swells whenever a whale tries to fly.
Some additional tips for first-time visitors: come before 1 p.m. for shorter lines; be sure to stop for a burger and fries at Coral Cove; and play a couple of games at the on-site volleyball court.
The first thing people notice about Circus Vargas is its big-top tent. Hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of cerulean-blue fabric dotted with yellow stars, the canopy completed the illusion of an elegant lost era when used in the 2011 film Water for Elephants. The last thing people notice is the absence of animals. They're too busy gaping at a man balancing a 12-step ladder with his mouth.
Keeping its marvels strictly human, Circus Vargas builds on a 40-year history by blending classic feats of fearlessness with surprising new tricks. The show features magic tricks along with a skilled hand balancer, a speed juggler, and the wheel of destiny.
Fright Planet Haunted Theme Park's outdoor theme park acts as a library of the world's most potent phobias. Every year, cast members reimagine its catalog of haunted environs, crafting new sets, props, and characters to prey on guests. Its dedication to genuine scares calls for only the best actors and the most grisly scenery, which is constructed with the help of a former Disneyland artist and a bulldozer possessed by the soul of a 1700s architect.
The lineup includes eight attractions. Though the houses all have distinct themes and decor, they share two factors: a richly painted backstory and a population of live, ghoulish denizens. Staring toys line the shelves at Hobart's Doll Factory and tight passageways put the squeeze on those brave enough to enter Jatinga: The Forbidden Temple. Other experiences play on claustrophobic fears?for example, Buried Alive: The Ride shuts patrons into a coffin where they endure a simulated hearse ride, burial, and the chilling sound of worms calling dibs on their body parts.
Massage therapists often help only the individuals they treat, but Carol Carpenter had a broader vision than that. She copied the notes she took when studying massage therapy and opened her own school in Oakland, elucidating Eastern styles, Western styles, and kinesiology alike. Eventually, the school was supplied federal financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education and became one of the first accredited massage schools in California. Today, it spans seven campuses and has garnered a mention in the book The History of Massage.
The school aims to prepare students for careers they?ll love, and the program boasts an 88% job-placement rate. The curriculum demands that students complete a 900-hour program, which includes anatomy study and hands-on practice with real clients.
Fine-art photographers Rod and Robin Deutschamnn founded In Focus Learning Center on a simple premise: a photo's quality depends on lighting, focus, and the photographer's vision. At In Focus Learning Center, they emphasize these keys to quality, downplaying high-tech gear and post-shoot editing. In their classes and symposiums, the shutterbugs focus on "manual photography," the art of manipulating a digital camera's settings to suit the desired shot?which could be a landscape, an infrared image, or an action shot of a baby on its first high-speed chase.
Diners at Clay Oven get to sample a variety of the kitchen's creations when they order the thali?a multi-plate combo meal laden with three entrees, traditional Indian bread, and a dollop of homemade yogurt. Encompassing a variety of vegetarian and meaty options, thali allows you to tour the menu without wandering to other tables. Dishes come spiced with ingredients such as cumin, chili, and garlic, all of which can be cooled with desserts that include ras malai, mango ice cream, and Indian rice pudding.