The Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 will connect scuba and snorkel enthusiasts with some of the industry's top experts, brands, and innovations. More than 50 seminars scheduled throughout the weekend will showcase the diving deftness of speakers from across the country, enabling attendees to net information on such topics as underwater photography and safety. ReefID founder and editor John Fifer will host two of these gatherings, sharing ways his online database of diver-captured photos is helping raise awareness for marine life. Fifer will also play host to the expo's signature Saturday Night Film Festival event at 7 p.m. alongside 3D photographer Mark Blum and other presenters.
In addition to engaging activities, the Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 is also home to the best in dive-related gear and information. Approximately 140 exhibit booths connect attendees with purveyors of international adventure from global hotspots including Palau, Yap, the Virgin Islands, and Fiji. In addition to resort representatives, booths also house all of the equipment needed for undersea excursions, with new products ranging from snorkel and scuba innovations to travel accessories and luggage. During face-to-face conversations, dive skills clinics, or snorkel sword fights, expo-goers can get travel tips or plan dive vacations around the globe. While parents research, younger visitors can decamp to a youth section filled with interactive attractions designed for youngsters aged 8–12.
Attendees who come for the education should probably stick for the prizes; the expo plans to give away over $50,000 in door prizes, including a massive grand prize: a full set of dive gear including a drysuit, Weezle undergarments, ScubaPro G260 regulator, Aqua Lung BCD, a TUSA mask, fin, and snorkel set, an Oceanic dive computer, and trips including weeklong Philippine dive adventure from the Marco Vincent Resort.
For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
From November 23 through January 6, inside California’s Great America theme park will be transformed into a Global Winter Wonderland complete with twinkling displays of rainbow Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santa Town. A highlight of the seasonal event, the Holiday Lantern Festival sets the night aglow with eco-friendly LED and fluorescent lanterns, some of which stand more than 50 feet tall. Joining the lanterns—which have graced international sites including the Statue of Liberty, the London Bridge, and an Egyptian pyramid—are laser light shows, martial-arts displays, and acrobatic performances, all of which enhance the festive atmosphere of the holiday celebration.
Scratch Junior Golf combines the latest golf technology with some of the top instructors in the game to help clients improve their overall golf skills. The PGA-certified instructors—including Rick Smith, named one of the top 10 instructors in America by Golf Digest in 2007, and Tina Mickelson, sister of Phil Mickelson—create a personalized lesson plan using the Scratch Skills Handicap System, which uses advanced technology to measure progress after each lesson. The facility includes a 2,500-square-foot putting green that allows golfers to practice a variety of scenarios. By using computer simulators, live shots, and fitness techniques, Scratch offers a welcoming, interactive learning environment to improve your golf proficiency. Call ahead to schedule your lessons and add some swagger to your sad swing.
The stakes are undoubtedly high. At the current rate of donation, more than 30% of people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List will never get the organs they need. California Transplant Donor Network aims to change that by educating people and raising awareness. They also put boots on the ground, facilitating organ and tissue donation by offering assistance to 175 hospitals in California and Nevada. In addition to their donation work, the network holds events such as 5Ks to raise funds and invites families of donors to contribute memories to the Donor Memorial Quilt Project.
Fewer than five years after its San Francisco debut, the Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Festival has exploded into a multivenue event, affording NorCal-powder addicts ample opportunity to get in on a weekend of discounted winter gear and giving VIPs chances to sample locally produced beer and wine. Representatives from resorts command mountains of swag and offer tips about their slopes’ terrain and local yeti dialects. Dozens of exhibitors also show off their goods—not just winter-sports outfitters but also car companies, local restaurants, and national chains.