Mankind was never meant to breathe underwater, but the instructors at Columbia Scuba defy such limitations, helping students of all sorts—from small children to disabled adults—explore the forbidden depths. As young as 8, kids can start training with PADI Bubblemaker classes, using equipment suited to their smaller size, and swimmers of all ages can join Discover Scuba sessions to learn the basics of diving in the safety of a pool. For students looking to become certified divers, open-water diving and specialty diving courses test practical skills in unique environments, such as submerged shipwrecks filled with sunken coupons, whereas trips to the Florida springs or Cozumel convey the majestic experience of communing up close with marine wildlife.
Measuring 6,074 yards from the tips, the course at The Club at Rawls Creek doesn't demand extreme distance off of the tee to score well—but it will challenge golfers' short game and putting skills. Installed in 2006, the course's mini-verde Bermuda grass greens create an ultra-fast surface, requiring a touch more delicate than a headcover made from a pink feather boa. The layout also features numerous par-threes with elevated tees, where tee shots drop as much as 60 feet to reach the flagstick.
After their round draws to a close, golfers can refuel at the Creekside Grille. There, four flat-screen TVs broadcast the day's sporting events, and porch seating lets guests look out onto the grounds and discover constellations from the divots in the grass.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,074 yards from the tips * Four tee options
Harbison Community Association's full-service recreation center unleashes a wealth of fitness activities on exercisers of all ages and ability levels. Jump into Zumba classes for a fun, high-energy workout that moves to the vivacious pulse of Latin and international dance music. Fusing boisterous beats with heart-pounding exercises and dance moves, Zumba classes ensure that bodies get a dynamic, aerobic workout as they bounce and shimmy along with upbeat rhythms and face-melting maraca solos.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden garnered a "Best Day Trip" award from Charlotte magazine in 2009 for its copious collection of exotic and endangered animals that captures the majesty and variety of the wild. Explorers of all ages journey through nine locales that artfully recreate natural habitats, encountering ring-tailed lemurs, slender-tailed meerkats, and tale-spinning birds who sing of their raucous college days. When it's time to smell the roses, adventurers may cool their heels in one of five botanic gardens, each representative of a different plant group. Budding zoologists and their families may engage in animal demonstrations and discover the keys to keeping rattlesnakes or learn that giraffes, unlike their animal cookie cousins, love being fed.
With more than 35 years of kid-entertaining experience, the friendly staff at The Little Gym provide a safe and fun locale where kids can stay active in a nurturing and non-competitive environment. Visiting youngsters glean skills and confidence while participating in hands-on activities that help enhance emotional, intellectual, and social skills. During classes full of physical activity, 4 to 12 year olds can learn to focus minds and bodies through the art of karate; 3 to 12 year olds learn to summon rain and showers of candy through dance. When four consecutive weeks of engaging exercises have left young ones yearning for more, the annual membership allows for eleven more months of exploration and growth. Gymnastics, sports skills, and parent/child classes for babies are also offered. Check the schedules for Columbia and Lexington for availability and call ahead for reservations.
The Workshop Theatre of South Carolina keeps theater-goers guessing with its rousing rendition of Victor/Victoria. A musical romp based on the 1982 movie starring Julie Andrews, Victor/Victoria follows the fate of a woman posing as a female impersonator in 1930s Paris.
Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.