Opened as a roller-skating center in 1977, Wheels Fun Park broadened its ambitions in 1992 when it bloomed into a full-fledged family fun center. After its metamorphosis, the park incorporated attractions that include an 18-hole mini-golf course, five batting cages, and a quarter-mile go-kart track. Nothing overshadows its roots though, and today's 25,000-square-foot roller rink commands a 14-speaker sound system and a dazzling light show that twinkles in skaters' sparkling eyes along with the glow of two disco balls.
A 6,500-square-foot play gym allows tots to act out the story of the Minotaur of Crete in a labyrinthine system of climbing tubes. An onsite skate park treats boarders to a slew of supervised rails and spines as well as a mini halfpipe. During holidays and when school is not in session, day camps keep kids well fed and well educated in subjects such as the geometry of mini golf.
Students of all ages and skill levels hone English or Western riding skills in White Briar Farms' diverse riding spaces, which include an indoor arena, a well-lit outdoor arena, and a network of trails. Each student's journey takes shape with the farm's customizable lesson plans and covers topics from basic warm-up techniques to the nuances of specialty styles. Lessons are stratified into three levels, with options for a variety of needs, including toddler riders with a chaperone and equestrians seeking a theoretical foundation in riding before saddling up. The farm's fleet ranges from colts to adult horses, and when they have time off from lessons, they take jaunts in the two turn-out paddocks and graze in a 10-acre pasture, complete with a pond where they can take a dip to feel the weightless freedom of a seahorse.
One of the few original theaters in Durham to remain in operation, The Carolina Theatre has endured more than 85 years of history in its quest to entertain. The venue's main room, Fletcher Hall, rose in popularity during World War II, when soldiers from Camp Butner arrived by bus to watch films on its colossal screen. In the last three decades, ongoing renovations have restored the venue to its original glory while propelling it into contemporary times with the addition of modern accoutrements, including two upstairs movie screens, stage-level dressing rooms, and landing pads on the roof for skateboard hovercrafts.
Though they come from different walks of life, the instructors at Happymess Art Studio find common ground in their passion for artistic expression. They harness their diversity and devotion in the studio, which offers an eclectic assortment of art classes week after week. Happymess is not just painting?its schedule features watercolor classes, drawing classes, and a "Paint Like" series, where you can absorb the ideas of iconic artists by studying their stylistic approaches and grocery receipts.
Outside the studio, the Happymess instructors work their magic in the community teaching ARTreach Activities through partnerships with local art groups, schools, and organizations.
Inside the massive expanse of Ho-b RC Park, certain echoing sounds are constant. The blow of a starting horn. The whir of miniature wheels on the carpeted track. The intermittent thud of an RC car taking a turn too sharply. These sounds let visitors know that a race is underway, where drivers by proxy stand atop a block overlooking the racetrack and thread their scaled-down cars through tight curves and long straightaways. Post-race, drivers can peruse the shop for new vehicles, replacement parts, and aftermarket decals branded by miniature detergent companies.
At Ride the Sky Stables, licensed riding instructor Andi Furnari helps students of all stripes reach their horseback-riding goals. Whether students see themselves one day winning a blue ribbon in dressage or just sticking to the wooded trails, Andi's lessons stress the fundamentals of English and Western horseback riding. Meanwhile, students are encouraged to work on building a relationship with the horse, ensuring a safe and fun passage no matter where their riding career takes them.