Sports & Recreation

Writers’ picks

Families try to putt their way out of Monster Mini Golf’s darkened labyrinth.

Families try to putt their way out of Monster Mini Golf’s darkened labyrinth.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Best surreal family outing

Monster Mini Golf
What sounds like Olivia Newton-John, smells like a bowling alley, glows in the dark and features a giant evil clown? No, it’s not the nightmare you had after eating that midnight carnitas burrito. It’s Monster Mini Golf, where family-friendly meets totally freaky! Rancho Cordova’s horror-themed, disco-soundtracked, indoor mini-golf course must be played to be believed. The 18-hole geometry is so crooked you literally have to hunt for the holes in the dark. The building’s own WIRD radio station keeps the retro hits spinning, and it’s not unusual to spy golfers breaking into the Hustle as they putt past giant spiders and half-buried coffins.
12401 Folsom Boulevard, Rancho Cordova; (916) 294-0000; B.C.

Best old-fashioned adventure

Folsom Lake
If you’re not swimming into uncharted waters, scaling trees and rocks to their limits or getting a healthy sunburn, then you’re not on a true adventure. At Folsom Lake, you’ll find all this and more. There are plenty of places to camp or just lounge for the day. There are also biking and hiking trails, along with lots of fishing spots. To add a more modern touch to your adventure, walk across the new Folsom Lake Crossing bridge to check out the dam that supplies clean hydroelectric energy to Folsom and beyond. G.F.

Best place to do it in the dirt

Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area
Dirt bikers get no respect. For the past two decades, aficionados of the sport have watched painfully as one riding area after another has been closed for environmental reasons (or because the neighbors just don’t like it). That’s a bummer, considering dirt bikers and other off-roaders pay a special tax to maintain these riding areas. Fortunately, the Prairie City SVRA, 20 miles east of Sacramento, remains open for those who are ready to do it in the dirt. And for those who don’t ride, it also hosts the annual Hangtown Motocross Classic national race, arguably the biggest sporting event in Sacramento this side of the Kings.
13300 White Rock Road, Rancho Cordova; (916) 985-7378; R.V.S.

Best way to tighten your buns

Parking-garage stairs at CSUS
Tightening the buttocks has been an obsession ever since Jane Fonda declared “Squeeze!” in her aerobics home videos. Before Fonda, people sought to plump the buns without sweating: control-top nylons, booty-enhancing pants, bustles. Alas, they don’t work, especially after they’re peeled off. For a seriously bootylicious rump, run your ass off on five flights of stairs—over and over again. Your legs will turn to linguine, your lungs will fill with acid and your butt will feel like it’s going to fall off. But that’s the old butt making way for the new buns o’ steel. The stairs are located in the parking garage off State University Drive West, next to the tennis courts. J.K.

Best hope for the Kings

Tyreke Evans
During the July 2009 NBA summer league in Las Vegas, the Sacramento Kings’ first-round pick Tyreke Evans averaged an impressive 19 points, 6 boards and 4 assists per game on a ho-hum 40 percent from the field. He led most rookies and he got to the line 51 times in five games. If there’s one thing the Kings need, it’s aggressive play. That’s why Evans is Sac royalty’s only, perhaps final, hope. For the first time since Chris Webber, the Kings have a go-to option in the half court. Evans has speed, strength and the willingness to break down defenses. He won’t cough it up like Bonehead Udrih. He won’t become invisible on the perimeter baseline like K-Mart. He can lead the Men in Aubergine out of the basement, but no matter how well the Kings play, one way or another they’ll still ’Reke. N.M.

Here’s how they roll at Roseville’s Roller King.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Best outing for a sociopathic terrier

FIDO Field
In the 1998 movie masterpiece Armageddon, the world-destroying asteroid is named Dottie. Fittingly enough, so is my Jack Russell terrier. Like many terriers, Dottie’s not so great with other dogs. I’ve gotten pretty tired of apologizing to reproachful golden retrievers because my demonic sidekick wouldn’t stop yapping at them. At Folsom’s newest dog park, though, she can run in circles around the “small dog” section and leave the wimpy Great Danes unmolested. FIDO Field has no entry fees and it’s within walking distance of the local fro-yo joint, so when Dottie’s finally ready to collapse, we can split a giant nondairy pomegranate concoction.
Cummings Family Park, 1780 Creekside Drive, Folsom; (916) 355-7285; K.J.

Best park for a chick to get a pickup game

Maidu Regional Park
Nestled within the safe and boring confines of suburbia, Maidu Regional Park is the best bet for ladies to avoid getting picked up while trying to play pickup—basketball, that is. While you’re out in the 152-acre park, you can also reap the benefits of batting cages, soccer fields, softball and a long walking track. Even more good news for female (and male) sports enthusiasts: Players from a certain NBA franchise have been known to play an impromptu game there.
1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville; K.Mc.

Best thrill for bored high rollers

Flights from the Sacramento Executive Airport
Nothing says “cash-money millionaire” like having your own plane. If you have money to burn (or a gracious friend who is willing to satisfy your expensive tastes), a flight in a single-engine plane out of the Sacramento Executive Airport is quite the experience. After you get over the giggle-inducing weightlessness and the G-force rush, you’ll notice the skyline in the Sacramento area is quite beautiful, especially when the high altitude allows you to see Mount Diablo like it’s in your own backyard. Companies located around the airport provide lessons for those who aspire to take to the skies solo.
6151 Freeport Boulevard, L.H.

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Best late-night stroking

Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
Why are recreational activities cooler when they’re available at unusual times? Better not to question it. Some things just are. From May through September, the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex keeps their driving range open 24 hours a day. A hankerin’ for a “Fore!” at 4 in the a.m. is yours to fulfill. It trumps waiting in the after-bar drive-through line at Carolina’s Mexican Restaurant any day of the week. Especially Friday. Yes, folks, golf just got that much more interesting.
3645 Fulton Avenue, (916) 481-4653, K.B.

Best place to roll around in circles

Roller King
Whoever said going in circles never got you anywhere has obviously never been to Roller King. This roller-skating rink has been a staple of Roseville for decades and offers a fun excuse to escape the summertime heat in the cozy confines of its air-conditioned facilities. Group discounts make it an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon.
889 Riverside Avenue, Roseville; (916) 783-0918; G.F.