Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with an instructor as the teachers assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
For more than 30 years, winemaker Mike Tingley has strolled between trellises on the hills of the Temecula Valley wine country. He scans the nuanced grapes of each season, waiting for just the right moment to pick them and produce varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, tempranillo, and viognier.
At Danza del Sol Winery, Tingley works with owner and wine enthusiast Robert Olson to produce wines that have distinct identities. For example, their 2010 sangiovese mingles scents of red cherries with leather, and the 2010 cabernet franc mixes deeper aromas of black cherry with hints of cranberry and pleather. Their Mediterranean-influenced bottles regularly receive awards in the Southern California Wine Country Wine Competition, and they are available for tasting or purchase at the Spanish-mission-style clubhouse, which overlooks the blushing harvest.
Imaginations run wild at Child's Play, an indoor playground and party center packed with colorful playhouses, climbers, slides, mats, and tunnels. Pint-sized patrons ages 6 months to 6 years are free to roam around the space, donning costumes in the dress-up area, engaging in imaginative play, and discussing which mayoral candidates have the best policies on naptime.
The facility also hosts birthday parties, ranging in length from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours. To honor each kid's special day, party packages include private facility use, party coordinators, and music, as well as setup and cleanup. Some packages also include games, visits from Coco the puppy mascot, and the serving of party food brought from home or ordered in.
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.
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.
Swing Away Baseball Training Center's head coach, Taylor George, knows what it takes to get drafted into the big leagues. After all, he was drafted himself—twice. The Tampa Bay Rays selected George right out of high school, but he opted instead to play college ball at Cypress College, where he excelled enough to get picked up by the New York Mets after his sophomore season.
At Swing Away, George shares his innate understanding of the game with youngsters who might also have major-league goals. He helps his students improve their mechanics for hitting and pitching, and he also works with them to develop the strategic thinking it takes to run the base paths or trap a cat in a game of pickle. Athletes as young as 4 can take cuts inside the facility's batting cages or work on their velocity inside one of two pitching tunnels.