Owned and operated by glass artists and collaborators Alejandro Hernandez and Ciara Cuddihy, Studio West houses a gallery of fine paintings and glasswork attached to a full glassblowing studio. The cream walls and bright lights of the gallery give way to the industrial metal and stony tile of the workshop, where artisans can be seen retrieving white-hot gobs of glass from the furnaces. These mounds of molten potential are regularly rolled and shaped into handmade trinkets and vases, which can be immediately smashed and melted, completing their life cycle. Visitors can experience the process for themselves during workshops, where they receive hands-on training from the glassworkers in how to bend the superheated silica to their will.
Splash! at Lively Park provides Oregon residents with safe, warm year-round access to watery fun. The venue features a waterslide, a flooded basketball court, lap pool, and a wave pool, amongst more relaxing activities such as splashing in the pool or enjoying a hot tub. Splash! participates in local outreach programs, such as providing swimming lessons for every fourth-grader in the Springfield school district. The enormous space accommodates rentals for events with up to 1,000 people, dishing hot eats to fill bellies from its concessions stand. During warmer months, the outside playground and sundeck provide places to soak up sunshine and feel the sea-driven breeze.
In 2011, Brandon Richardson became a Class A PGA Instructor and a nominee for the Oregon Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year award. These prestigious accolades did not come easily; they were the culmination of more than two decades of teaching and professional play that included stints on the Nationwide Tour. As Golf with Freedom’s founder and director of coaching, Brandon's coaching style allows golfers to grow and develop as a golfer within an environment free of judgment or evaluation, creating a sense of calm toward misbehaving 9-irons. His programs—which range from private coaching classes to small-group and women-only workshops—aim to increase one's ability to self-coach by making swing adjustments on the fly or subbing in a stunt double for help with a particularly difficult lie.
Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, the McDonald Theatre has enjoyed a long, strange history since its establishment in 1925. Originally a community playhouse equipped with both a stage and a screen, the theater found new life in the 1950s when One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author and psychedelic pioneer Ken Kesey began presenting free cartoons there every Saturday morning. The McDonald spent the next six or so decades as a movie house exclusively, but in 2001, the Kesey family returned, producing concerts and community events under the theater’s enormous proscenium arch. Kesey Enterprises finally purchased the time-weighted stage in 2009, and today the building hosts events ranging from high-school proms to reggae concerts to plumbing-fixture lifting contests.
At Firs Bowl Lanes, brightly colored house bowling balls glide down 24 synthetic and wood lanes as automatic scoring systems prevent exaggeration-prone players from claiming to have bowled a 3,000. Anchoring the bowling center’s concourse, these lanes attract both league and open bowlers, who frequent special weekend events such as Friday Family Night and the neon-lit Kosmic Bowl. The center’s amenities include bumper lanes, a lottery, video games, and a diner-style snack bar where guests sit on low-slung barstools while enjoying food, beer, and other beverages.
Among the forests and hills of the Willamette Valley, Highway 58 Golf Range fills with the staccato pops of launching golf balls as golfers there practice every aspect of the game. Guests tee their range balls up year-round on either natural-grass tees or covered mats, sending the balls soaring toward Mount Pisgah in the distance. A short-game area allows for focused practice of near-green finesse, complete with a putting green, a chipping area, and a bunker where golfers perfect saves and practice guessing how many grains of sand are in a jar to win it.