555 N. Tulip Street, Escondido
Curl San Diego
Curling still exists as a sport when the Winter Olympics end. Even in San Diego. This member-run club offers occasional beginners classes, pick-up games, and an amateur league at the IcePlex in Escondido. For $25 you can learn how to throw, sweep, and curl rocks into the house, and the same fee gets you in a game. Prices stand to rise when summer ends and the club moves to a new rink in Carlsbad, so get on it now.
2470 Melru Lane, Escondido
Live out that circus fantasy with trapeze lessons. There’s a onetime registration fee of $10, with regularly scheduled classes for $60 (price breaks available on bundles of five or ten). They’ll never send you up without a net and insist upon safety harnesses for beginners, so you should feel safe enough to swing away from the start.
3090 Pershing Drive, Balboa Park
Morley Field Disc Golf Course
Maybe you’ve been aching for structure to your Frisbee game, or perhaps you want to meet other people who rock a tie-dye. Regardless, the disc-golf course at Morley Field stays open from sunrise till sunset, rain or shine, every day. $3 on weekdays and $4 on weekends gains you access to the 19-hole course, where you’ll sling discs over or around tree branches into raised baskets. Bring your own discs or rent them at $1.50 apiece (it helps to have a few different sizes — you’ll see why).
San Diego Sand Castles
4306 Ocean Boulevard, Pacific Beach, 619-200-0565
Ever feel like you weren’t living up to your full sandcastle potential? JT Estrela shapes sand sculptures competitively, offering lessons on how to best pack and cut wet sand using tools he provides. Put those crumbly, bucket-shaped “towers” behind you and try your hand at sculpting a sandy Chateau Fontainebleau. Classes start at $60 for a one-hour solo outing, or get together a small group for a couple hours’ detailed instruction for $120.
San Diego Velodrome Association
2516 Pershing Drive, Balboa Park, 619-786-0648
You’ll never really test your street-cycling limits in the bike lane. Get your fixed-gear humming at Balboa Park’s velodrome while riding an elliptical track that leans 27 degrees inward at the turns. The venue’s overseen by Velodrome Association members, who offer classes Monday and Wednesday nights ($120 for a six-week session), providing bikes and other equipment if you need it. To try it on a more casual basis, say with your freewheel multispeed or beach cruiser, look for association volunteers to occasionally open the track for recreational use, usually Saturday mornings around 8am.
2800 Olympic Parkway, Chula Vista
Chula Vista Olympic Training Center
Offering a rare glimpse into the lifestyle of elite athletes, Olympic Training Center’s two-mile-long tour will prepare your mind and body…to feel more connected while watching the 2016 games from your living room. Show up any Saturday at 11am for a guided tour or drop in daily between 9 and 5 to wander the mile-long Olympic Path, which winds past a number of sporting facilities as well as athlete housing. Bring the hands-free device and enjoy a prerecorded cell-phone audio tour.
8725 Production Avenue, Miramar
Radio-controlled cars have come a long way since you were a kid. For proof, head over to this indoor clay track where RC enthusiasts young and old race small trucks capable of reaching speeds up to 50mph. Show up Saturday at 8am for a $15 driving clinic, including truck rental. It’s another $15 to practice for the day once you get your own ride, and three times a week it’s race night — drivers of every skill level dig into turns and hit jumps on a track that changes every six to eight weeks.
954 Orange Avenue, Coronado
Coronado Taste Of Oils
Buy olive oil from the supermarket and you stand to face scores of bottles, each claiming to be more virgin or extra virgin than the last. Truly good olive oil makes a huge difference to your gourmet lifestyle, and getting the right stuff means tasting before you buy. This shop allows you to sample two dozen oils from points international to pin down your favorite. Is grassy preferable to fruity? Is Spain’s better than Italy’s? Walk in to find out. Then move on to the 30 varieties of balsamic vinegar.
9520 Padgett Street #106, Kearny Mesa
Float Spa San Diego
Floating in a sensory-deprivation chamber may not sound like doing much. But once the silence is total, the darkness complete, and a feeling of weightlessness settles in, the world melts away and your mind is left to entertain itself without the constant overload of information it’s accustomed to. That’s when the fun starts. To glimpse what the other 90% of your brain has been up to, book an hour for $75 or bring a friend and book two tanks for $120.
Free-fly a trained bird of prey in the San Diego skies with 360-degree views atop Alpine’s Mount Viejas. The basic falconry lesson ($70 for one hour, June–September at Torrey Pines Glider Port in La Jolla) allows you to don a glove and cast a bird while learning about the ancient art of falconry. For a more in-depth experience of the bird in its natural habitat, try the Hawk Walk ($140 for 1-1/2 hours, October–May in Alpine). 619-722-0092.
4215 Harrison Street, Carlsbad
California Water Sports at Carlsbad Lagoon
Drift away or go full throttle at Carlsbad Lagoon; multiple opportunities for watery fun await. Paddle at your own pace with a kayak ($15/hour) or canoe ($20/hour). Stretch your legs on a stand-up paddleboard ($30/hour). Looking for something more high-energy? Try an aqua cycle ($30/hour) or paddleboat ($20/hour). Motorized fun comes in several flavors: Yamaha waverunners ($70–$230, depending on time), speedboats ($125/hour), or wakeboarding and waterskiing ($105–$155, includes boat with driver and equipment; lessons also available).
8711 N. Magnolia #300, Santee
Urban Jungle Fun Park
Urban Jungle offers a 2000-square-foot trampoline court for open jumping and dodgeball. But bouncing isn’t the only form of fun available here. Scale a 24-foot-tall “skyscraper,” climb 16-foot rock walls, slide down the 16-foot inflatable slide, race the 50-foot inflatable obstacle course, get lost in the 14-level play structure, or play life-sized video games on a ten-foot screen. Tired? Head to the lounge for free Wi-Fi. Introductory pricing: 90 minutes of play, $12; 120 minutes, $17; 150 minutes, $20. Parent play rate, $8. —Deirdre Lickona