As riders grip their boards and plunge into wavy planes, they’re almost certain to coast past the open jaws of a shark—but they won’t get bitten. The shark’s toothy sneer is part of a mural painted on one of the custom ramps in the Aura Skateboarding, which is one of the newest indoor skateparks in the country. Designed and built by Jim Bell, the competition-style street course sprawls within a private indoor skate park that hosts skaters, BMX bikers, and wheeled-suitcase riders. Visitors can drop in with single-day passes or secure monthly or annual memberships that include discounts on daily skate sessions, camps, demos, concerts, and contests. Accompanying family members can pass the time in the lounge area with pool, board games, and toys or relax on comfy furniture as they surf the free WiFi.
The idea for California Fruit Wine was hatched in 2009, when a friend of Alan and Brian Haghighi introduced the twin brothers to small batches of homemade fruit wine. Since those first sips, Alan and Brian have continued to help wine drinkers break free from grape-based conventions, utilizing such fruit as pomegranates, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pumpkins as the foundation for an ever-growing arsenal of flavors. The winery fills glasses with unique bouquets, and?like the microbreweries throughout Vista Business Park?buys its ingredients from vendors up and down the west coast rather than growing them or stealing them from the refrigerators of napping bears. California Fruit Wine's spacious facility, which is stocked with a stage, bar, and pool table, can also be rented out for parties and private events.
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.
With a history stretching back more than 40 years, Circus Vargas wows audiences with dazzling acrobatics and rib-tickling clowns under a giant big-top tent. The show eschews animal performers for human-costumed spectacles, showcasing dazzling feats that only a few dexterous humans and short-circuited cyborgs are capable of. The circus's big top, hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of fabric, holds up to 1,500 show-goers in classic, blue-dyed elegance. Early-arriving guests can take part in an interactive preshow, jumping in the ring with ringmaster Jon Weiss as he leads audience members through tutorials that show how to perform stunts such as juggling, feather balancing, and balancing checkbooks with quill pens.
The restaurant's chef and owner, John Randall, employs more than 30 years of experience to grill up a wide variety of fresh seafood, certified Angus steak, and hearty sandwiches. Rev up digestion engines with one of John's starters, which include such Neptunian delights as fried calamari and smoked salmon pizza ($3.50–$9.50). Hearty entrees, such as prime rib, a swordfish sandwich, and scallop scampi, muscle out hunger ($9.95–$18.95), while a bevy of soups and salads stand on the sidelines, waiting to be tagged in if the bacon cheeseburger sprains its condiments ($4.50–$10.50). At the full bar, 15 different beers and more than 20 wines, several from California, supplement rising salivary floodwaters.
How the ropes course is enjoyed is entirely up to each person—participants can push themselves to the limit or just spend an afternoon on the oversized playground built for joy and laughs. Choose to start the adventure on the ground or the low-ropes course, or tight walk straight across to the high-ropes challenge. The ropes course can go from two to 35 feet in the air, but no matter how high you go, safety is ensured through harnesses, helmets, ropes, and other precautions. Once tight-rope walking is successfully mastered, fly down to the ground on the zip lines, practice conquering inclines on the challenge climbing tower, or make clockwork out of the massive pendulum swing. There must be a minimum of four people per session, so if you can’t convince your scared sisters and nervous nephews to join, you'll be paired up with new, random friends.