When you sign up for an Uncorked Tours’ adventure, you will definitely explore the Southern California wine region—either in an Escalade, on horseback, or aboard a hot air balloon. The company’s signature offering is a tour of three local wineries held each day. Visitors sample up to 24 award-winning wines, accompanied by a guide who takes photos and answers questions, such as how to grow alcoholic grapes. A similar tour showcases local breweries, while the sunrise hot air balloon tour combines winery stops with an hour-long balloon flight.
Held aloft by 35 years of family tradition, Stillwater Balloon sends intrepid explorers skyward from a port just off the scenic St. Croix River. Friendly FAA-certified pilots operate each craft and readily answer any questions that passengers may have as they float through gorgeous views of the surrounding valley. The billowy, multicolored behemoths cruise at treetop level, allowing travelers to shake hands with monkeys. Private and semiprivate flights are the business's forte, but Stillwater Balloon also accommodates custom flights for backyard surprises or ultimate school pickups.
The 18-hole Reidy Creek Golf Course covers 2,582 yards in the rugged hills of Escondido, supplying guests with a scenic backdrop for club-based revelry. The rolling terrain of the par 54 course—intertwined with manmade obstacles such as sculpted bunkers, sinuous lakes, and wind—challenges golfers as they attempt holes-in-one. The distinctive course, designed by the notable engineers at Cal Olson Golf Architecture not to contain any two identical holes, contains a golf shop, café, and golf clinics taught by PGA professionals.
Whether soaring in a hot air balloon or freefalling on a skydive, you’re guaranteed picturesque aerial views at Above the Rest Hot Air Ballooning & Skydiving. On 45–60 minute hot-air-balloon rides, an experienced pilot and up to 10 passengers glide above the earth in a wicker basket, propelled by wind and an occasional flock of friendly geese.
The expert equestrians at Stepping Stone Farms acquaint human with horse through riding lessons on a 240-acre facility outfitted with 11 arenas, cross-country trails, and a racetrack. A thorough evaluation first outlines the student's horseback-riding aspirations, whether it's to ride competitively or leisurely, before the instructor devises a custom curriculum. In private or small-group lessons, introductory riders mount their steeds and start building basic skills such as trotting, prancing, and electric sliding. Instructors can challenge experienced riders by honing their techniques in hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage disciplines. Participants may bring their own horse or pick one of Stepping Stone Farm's highly trained, warm-blooded sports horses that provide companionship rivaled only by mail-order friends. With today's deal, Groupon buyers also receive 15% off additional packages should they wish to continue their training.
Paint A Dream houses an array of unfinished ceramic pieces and a rainbow of paint colors to decorate them with. Adults can spend a leisurely afternoon embellishing mugs ($12–$18), ceramic cupcakes ($14–$16), and large platters ($45) with cartoon characters, and youngsters can emblazon animal statues ($9) with the faces of their favorite Supreme Court justices. Decorating Disney pieces ($12–$35) provides an opportunity for families to bond over favorite movies, as well as a novel and creative date activity or time to catch up with old friends.