PickUp USA takes the infamous pitfalls of pickup basketball—uneven teams, sloppy play, and incessant arguing over fouls and whose mama gives the best hugs—and replaces them with officiated and organized game play without the restrictions of a league. Its members hit the courts in a pristine 17,000-square-foot space, which features a lounge, a stretching area, and courts built by the designers who create them for the NCAA and NBA. Here, California Basketball Officials Association–trained referees officiate one-on-one to five-on-five games every day and night of the year. Though they are unscheduled, the matchups unfold in an organized, staff-guided fashion, a scoreboard keeps track of points, and a constantly running clock keeps games rotating.
The instructors at California Survival School impart decades of wilderness-survival know-how during outdoor, hands-on courses. Participants prepare themselves to live self sufficiently off the land using both modern and primitive techniques, which can come in handy when lost in the woods or the year 1412. During the Core Survival Skills Adventure Clinic, up to 30 students spend five hours learning to create fire using only sticks, build shelters with natural materials, purify water, and feed themselves off the land. The Ancient Artisans Workshop teaches novices how to fashion crude implements from scratch with materials found in nature, and how to use them while out in the wilderness. California Survival School also offers team-building workshops and private events.
At Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas, patrons get cozy in old-school theater seats as they take in the sights and sounds of a constantly changing lineup of second-run flicks. Located within a quiet strip mall, the well-maintained theater boasts a full concession stand that opens for matinee and evening features, as well as a make-your-own soda machine. Moviegoers can also stop in for the theater’s Red Carpet Classic series, which features such flashback films such as Die Hard, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Citizen Kane 2: Still Raisin’ Kane.
Giant Paintball's five locations spider across Southern California, causing flickering rainbows of color that splatter players failing to find cover. Shelter such as castle walls or Old West storefronts dot fields at the Alpine and Lakeside locations, and in Bellflower, Hollywood Sports places players in a 23-acre universe populated with authentic movie sets from the likes of Starship Troopers and Godzilla. At SC Village in Chino, camouflaged paintballers trek through 25 fields of jungle and desert landscape, popping off rounds from behind mesh-covered tanks and army-green helicopters. The wide open battle zones of California Paintball Park in Castaic, meanwhile, challenges competitors' long-distance sharpshooting as they navigate gigantic wooden spindles and wooden forts.
At each of Giant Paintball's sprawling venues, teams rent gear such as Tippmann guns and buy battle-proven equipment at their pro shops. Players also engage in airsoft matches—a game that uses plastic BBs instead of paintballs–at the Hollywood Sports and SC Village locations. Rock climbing, BMX racing, indoor soccer, a two-story arcade, a restaurant, and other athletic diversions can also be found at Hollywood Sports enormous entertainment complex.
Certified tennis guru Rusty Miller leads a team of professional instructors who mold players of all ages into pros. Rusty’s 25 years in the tennis business and several South California–area tennis-club holdings have culminated in this newly revamped club. Players volley back and forth on 11 championship hard courts before taking advantage of numerous amenities. From workouts in the fitness center to nighttime practices held on the eight lighted courts to equipment upgrades at the pro shop, Anaheim Hills Racquet Club is designed to improve all areas of play. Single members can retrieve lobs from the ball machine, engage other members for one-on-one hitting practice, or set up intense matches with court-savvy nonmembers, such as the white line from Pong.
A sprawling multisport facility, Next Level Sports Complex welcomes athletes from all walks to train, join youth and adult leagues, or enroll in athletic clinics and camps. The complex contains 11 basketball courts, 14 volleyball courts, and 4 turf fields for soccer and other sports. When they're not participating in open-gym and league games, athletes can take advantage of the weight-training facilities or various fitness courses.
While the rest of the natural world prepares to hibernate for the winter, Enchanted Country Trees & Pumpkins has been at its most active since 1983. Farmers pick the plumpest pumpkins from their patches, displaying them next to bounce houses and trundling John Deere tractors. Barnyard animals deign to be petted in exchange for palmfuls of feed, and ponies accept small riders for afternoon trots. Come winter, the lots fill with Christmas trees.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.