Under strings of lanterns and the night's canopy of stars, kids scamper through a field filled with thousands of pumpkins, each one searching for the biggest, roundest one. Finding it is one thing; lifting it is another. The bountiful Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm began a bit by happenstance?the owners originally began selling pumpkins out of the back of their pickup and steadily added on amusements as more people came each year. More than 30 years later, the one-month harvest festival sets up each October with attractions ranging from pony rides to puppet shows. As they explore the area amid bales of hay, teepees, character cutouts, and other props, kids can feed baby goats and sheep at the petting zoo or sit on an authentic tractor from 1932. Once guests have procured the perfect pumpkin to carve into the likeness of their favorite monster, they can get their picture taken with Pumpkin Jack, hop on rides such as the Goliath Slide or Pumpkin City Express Train, or visit Gone Fishing, Knock 'Em Down, and other game booths.
Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers aged 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, backflips, 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 to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.
It's a clear day, the blue sky stretching on into the distant horizon. Over a nearby hill, a strange shape appears. Round and colorful, it floats serenely, leaving viewers on the ground to wonder if they've somehow stepped into Around the World in 80 Days. This isn't science fiction, of course. It's just another day for the operators at California Balloon Rides. Since 1975, they've maintained one of southern California's finest hot air balloon fleets. Using a mixture of time-tested know-how and modern aerostatic innovations, they lead breathtaking tours over the rolling hills of Perris-Temecula Valley. Trips are leisurely affairs, with pre-flight snacks and celebratory post-flight champagne toasts along with breakfast at the airport cafe, adding extra bits of luxury to already memorable outings.
For those humans who are lamentably landlocked, SEA LIFE Aquarium offers a hands-on, educational aquatic experience filled with up-close animal viewings, fishy feeding frenzies, interactive encounters, and more. Seafaring adventure awaits across the multi-faceted aquarium map, which is highlighted by the Lost City of Atlantis, where you can take a stroll through a 200,000-gallon mini-sea filled with sharks, stingrays, and other sea creatures. Around the bend, the Southern California Tide Pool hosts a meet ’n’ greet for starfish fanatics and human-hungry sea stars alike. Catch a variety of aquarium activities throughout the week, including shark, octopus, and seahorse feedings; puppet shows; and close encounters with nature's most misunderstood predatory polyp, the sea anemone.
In the middle of The Wave Waterpark, people lie upon colorful rafts that float gently down the lazy river. It’s a serene way to soak up some rays and keep cool. But in the center of the lazy river, separated by raised concrete and a foot bridge, an adventure awaits: the Flow Rider. This simulated surfable ocean wave dares visitors to try and hang ten without falling off their boards into the safe, if rollicking waters.
These two attractions represent the broad spectrum of activity at The Wave, a family-friendly destination equally suited to mild-mannered relaxation, adventurous fun, or something in between. Other rides include a tangle of waterslides, such as the Slam Dunk, an enclosed-tunnel body slide with plenty of twists, and Rippity’s Rainforest, a kid-friendly playground gushing with fountains and waterfalls.
From April to September, lifeguards teach swim lessons in the park’s competition pool for kids as young as 6 months, as well as adults. The Wave is also an ideal spot for birthday parties, with rental cabanas that can fit as many as 30 people or one enormous birthday clown, and a Surf Spot Grill that refuels revelers with burgers, burritos, and pizza.
Inflated structures, slides, and games await kids invading BounceU. Staff members closely monitor all activities as children try to conquer obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program. Special events include parent's night out, when children take part in supervised activities while parents do grownup things, such as eat a dinner of marshmallows with a knife and fork. BounceU of Huntington Beach will happily throw a private party for birthdays, fundraisers, and other celebrations.