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.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.
Even accounting for all the lessons and equine therapy that Whispering Meadows Ranch offers for humans, it's the horses that are luckiest to be associated with the non-profit charity. In fact, these services help fund the ranch's primary objective of adopting and rehabilitating former racing thoroughbreds. Each of the 100 steeds that the ranch rescues each year enjoys a happy retirement with all their housing, food, veterinary care, and rehabilitation provided for, allowing the animals to live away from harmful influences such as life-insurance scammers.
The horses are even given the job of handling lesson duties. Beginner and intermediate riders learn to mount, steer, and trot with the calm and friendly former competitors. When the time is right, the horse gets placed in a forever home, where a new family will see that it lives out its remaining days in peace and dignity.
The Christiansen family's roots in the carnival industry run deep, stretching back to Ralph B. Christiansen's 1920s amusement business, which his hard-working sons kept running through World War II. Today, Ralph's grandson, Buzz, hosts more than 80 Christiansen Amusements events per year and rents out carnival rides for parties and gatherings. Events pop up throughout Southern California and feature an assortment of family-friendly excursions ranging from mild kids' rides to more intense rides such as the Skydiver or Kamikaze. Carnival games challenge guests' hand-eye coordination, rewarding feats of strength or accuracy with stuffed animals to give to dates or mount on the hood of one's car.
As soon as they've hatched, the newest Hollywood movies have a home on Tristone Cinemas' screens. First they arrive at Terra Vista 6 Cinemas and Jurupa 14 Cinemas, a location that also houses a lounge pouring out beer and wines. After the flicks have thoroughly entertained eyes at both theaters, they move to Tristone's three other movie houses. But Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas, Simi Valley 10 Cinemas, and Temeku Cinemas don't just specialize in second-run showings?they also present the occasional classic film in its twenty-fifth, fiftieth, or three-hundredth showing.
At Breezeway Farms’ extensive facilities nestled on 240-acre Galway Downs, lifelong equine enthusiast Breanna Lombardo oversees a team of instructors dedicated to introducing students to the sport of horseback riding. During lessons, riders pair up with hoofed companions and benefit from custom instruction based on their age, skill level, and ultimate desires, be they riding for pleasure, competition, or to escape per-axle highway tolls. Students make use of the farm's horses and equipment to learn a variety of horsemanship fundamentals, including grooming and tacking.