Painted Earth makes it simple for amateur artisans and ceramic virtuosos to produce colorful pottery pieces using a variety of stencils, stamps, and patterns. Start by choosing your desired vessel from a vast selection of more than 500 ceramic pieces ($6–$70), including coffee mugs ($10–$17), dinner plates ($14–$20), and miniature figurines ($8–$30) to festoon with the likeness of a pet or distant relative. Pick a design from the store's volumes of idea books, select from more than 100 colors, and then create a design for an earthenware masterpiece. For artists suffering from painter's block, Painted Earth hosts an online inspiration gallery, and friendly staff members stand ready to assist with the pigmenting process. Glazing, firing, and vibrantly hued paints are included in the flat studio fee ($6 per person per visit), and polished objects are ready one week later.
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.
At Boomers!, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack a variety of appealing attractions, including mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and the button-mashing joys housed inside the exhilarating game room. The Vista location entertains families of sharpshooters with a blacklight-illuminated laser-tag arena before little ones climb and crawl through the Kidopolis play area. The El Cajon and San Diego locations let rivals celebrate the spirit of competition as they fly past each other in speedy go-karts or have a snail-paced Ferris wheel race at the kid's county fair. Unlimited pass holders at the El Cajon location can also scale the 32-foot-tall climbing wall, which, like America, enables citizens to climb to the top via myriad routes.
Riley's Farm recreates the convivial, rustic atmosphere of an 18th century public house, serving up farm fresh comfort food including barbecue, baked bread, Scottish beef pies, and cider-baked ham alongside mugs of ale and glasses of wine. In the nearby orchards and berry fields, visitors can pick their own bushels of apples, pears, and strawberries, and a schedule of living-history reenactments sends audiences deep into America's past to witness scenes from the Revolutionary War and Gold Rush. Located in a 1880's packing house, the farm's theatre company offers up dinner events that feature staged drama, improvisation, and a premium on guest interaction. Many shows include live music and dancing, as well as outdoor activities like country hayrides or tomahawk-throwing competitions.
Fiesta Village provides fun-seeking families with a multifaceted recreational destination. Unlike 100-yard dashes, the winding Fiesta Raceway gives lead-footed youngsters the chance to put their metallic extremities to good use, and a pair of mini-golf courses provides an all-you-can-putt birdie buffet. Head for the roller rink for a leisurely leg cruise, or hit the ride park for attractions such as the tilt-a-whirl, Bogey's Bounce House, and Slugger's Super Slide, which shows kids that gravity does more than just keep us from bumping into clouds. A 2,400-square-foot laser tag arena allows children to wield future weapons with mock-deadly cunning. Fiesta Village offers a concentrated dose of entertainment that surpasses the diluted offerings of much bigger recreational municipalities, such as Funky Towns and Paradise Cities.
At Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, which earned CityVoter's Best Sports and Recreational Activity title in 2009, visiting motorists whirl around a 1,200-foot indoor track designed by former IKF racers. Drivers suit up with protective helmets and neck collars before strapping themselves into Sodi karts, whose gas-powered Honda 200-cubic-centimeter engines and miniature horses power them through 10- to 12-minute races. The indoor facility’s professionally engineered exhaust system ensures safe, clean air for all racers as they wind through the course with up to 11 other competitors. Computerized timing systems accurately record photo finishes, and video helmets and race suits are available to enhance the experience. A slew of celebrity guests have been known to frequent the track, giving visitors a rare opportunity to outwit IndyCar drivers or trade high-speed knock-knock jokes with Hollywood comedians.