A gypsy rides through the crowd while standing upon two horses. Behind him follow more members of his troupe, who do back flips off their steeds and then regale spectators with fire breathing and juggling. Performed by the seventh-generation acrobats of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, this spectacle—called Ma'Ceo—often draws standing-room-only crowds every day during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It's these kinds of glimpses into the Elizabethan era that fulfill the mission of bringing renaissance Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performers such as the Celtic fiddlers or the commedia troupe. Merchants peddle wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and armor, hand-tooled leather goods, and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders. For guests who want to spend the whole weekend immersed in the renaissance festivities, organizers reserve a section of the grounds for tent and RV camping.
Building mind-bending music on a foundation of ancient Japanese taiko drums, Ōn Ensemble merges a deep, hypnotic form of percussion with everything from turntable-ism to electronica to Tuvan throat singing—creating the unique world-fusion sound that has kept fans on their toes, when they're not levitating just off them. Wired magazine's Underwire blog said that Ōn's 2009 effort, Ume in the Middle, "should appeal equally to fusion aficionados and left-fielders in search of something stranger." Despite their dauntless exploration in the realms of the avant-garde, the Ōn Ensemble has gained the ultimate stamp of approval in classical Japanese culture—an endorsement from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, instrument maker to the emperor of Japan—ensuring that Ōn doesn't fall victim to the public shaming that has torn apart so many promising avant-garde Japanese percussionists.
Home of PGA golfer Ryan Moore, Classic Golf Club challenges club wielders of all ages and skill levels with a 6,902-yard championship golf course that features bent-grass fairways, ball-gobbling water hazards, and well-raked sandcastle traps. Round up a foursome of real-life Caddyshack characters and tee off amid the natural serenity of the first hole or consult the scorecard to find the quickest route to Augusta before the Masters Tournament starts. After finishing a match, players can stop into Classic Golf Club's clubhouse to get information on upcoming tournaments or inquire about lessons for defeated friends. Though not included in this Groupon, golfers can opt to rent the services of a coal-powered golf cart ($14/person).
You and your golf pal will receive a wealth of feedback from Tacoma Firs' PGA- and LPGA-certified instructors over the course of each of your hour-long lessons. They tailor instruction to individual needs, so novices can learn the fundamentals of the game, and expert ball-swatters will season their swing, perfect golf posture, and hone alignment. The staff's careful instruction, observation, and friendly demeanor make it easy to make balls to soar more gracefully than an ultralight made of dreams.
At Grand Prix Raceway, Italian racing karts equipped with 200cc Robin/Subaru engines scream around a quarter-mile racetrack at up to 35 miles per hour. Drivers receive basic vehicle instruction, a kart and helmet, and a head sock before slipping into the seat of their little buggy. Computerized timing and scoring eliminates fights over who finished first, and a monitor blares notifications of when a driver obliterates a racetrack record. Fans can roar and cheer from a climate-controlled viewing room, and a barrier system and referee keep races safe and assuage worried sedans wringing their tires in the parking lot.