The story of The Vault of Horror revolves around the legend of Raymond Hunt III. Bullied by his peers and spurned by his parents, Raymond was a natural outcast early in life, until a violent exchange with his father culminated in a vile act: patricide. Raymond was sent to an insane asylum after the murder, but at the age of 21, he escaped, joined the circus, and put together a live freak show of humanity’s most odd and unsettling creatures. The pariah's eerie parade eventually earned him the title of Ringmaster, and Raymond—it seemed—had finally put his troubled background behind him and found a new, peaceful calling.
Soon afterward, a man came looking every night for his son, whom he'd lost while attending Raymond's show. Giving up hope, the man left one evening, sneaking a final glance at one of the cages and the twisted, snarling creature inside—a boy staring back at him with familiar eyes. The man confronted Raymond, whose repressed trauma reemerged as he killed the father in cold blood—the final spectacle of a tormented son. Raymond escaped from police custody, vanishing into a world in which he didn't belong, and the members of his freak show were never seen again. Until, that is, someone opened The Vault of Horror.
The spine-tingling brainchild of Samhain Production Company, The Vault of Horror immerses brazen guests in a hellish complex filled with blood-splattered fiends and tortured spirits. The Vault eschews familiar scares such as horror-film homages, animatronic ghouls, and undead telemarketers in favor of unique brutes played by a live cast, making the dark venue's bone-chilling scenes more authentic, immersive, and surprising.
Diamond Hill Mine sets visitors loose on 5 to 6 acres of dumps and spoil piles, challenging them to unearth the property's cache of quartz crystals and pieces of amethyst. During outings, explorers use their own rakes, shovels, and tools while excavating the land, or while trying to find un-dug veins, where some crystals have gone undisturbed for more than 400 million years. Every piece found on the property is authentic, meaning the mine hasn't been planted with artificial crystals or with forgotten hidden engagement rings.
Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.
If Scuba John's Dive Shop doesn't carry the piece of diving equipment you want, they'll order it. This accommodation an example of how the staff members—which include the owners John Baker, his wife Amanda, father Mendle, and a number of scuba-diving instructors—go out of their way to make customers feel welcome. As members of the Divers Alert Network, the staff believes everyone should be able to explore underwater worlds—and that they should stay safe and avoid buying ocean-floor real estate while doing so. To that end, the store is stocked with top-flight dive equipment and accessories by brands such as Hog, Omer, Ocean Rhino, Aeris, and Edge.
All of the classes are led by an instructor and conducted to meet NAUI and SDI standards. Courses are designed for all levels, from beginner to master diver, instructors, and professionals. In specialty courses, participants learn skills required to become an enriched-air nitrox diver, deep-sea diver, search-and-recovery diver, or wreck diver. Students hone their open-water diving and dolphin-language skills in the brisk waters of Lake Murray or the warmer depths of Florida Springs.
At its two Columbia locations, Plex Indoor Sports aims to provide complete indoor recreation with artificial-turf fields, ice arenas, inflatables, basketball courts, family entertainment center, and full-service cafe. Both facilities offer after-school programs providing access to soccer, football, and lacrosse programs, ensuring that children learn the proper techniques required to work toward goals and play safely. Total-fitness classes are also available throughout the week, highlighting invigorating methods such as yoga, Zumba, and hip-hop aerobics. The Sandhills location hosts a roller-skating rink, and the Irmo location houses an NHL regulation-sized ice rink with public skate times in between hockey games and practice sessions of the local ice-fishing team.
A 30-foot rock-climbing wall towers over the Family Entertainment Center, granting visitors an elevated view of a facility packed with wall-to-wall inflatables and family activities. Visitors can roller skate, set new high scores at the arcade, or attempt to stay atop a mechanical bull. Other attractions include bungee jumping, a rock-n-roll ride, and more.
The Pavilion cultivates every species of physical activity within its 66,000-square-foot indoor complex and adjacent outdoor fields. The eclectic indoor space hosts soccer, volleyball, and curling face-offs, as well as a year-round ice-skating facility, bounce house, and inline-skating space. Fledgling ice skaters slip and slide during public skating sessions or take part in the U.S. Figure Skating Association's basic skills program to grease their triple axels. As the temperature rises, members make a mad dash outdoors to one of six tennis courts and three soccer fields, or hail a ride on George, The Pavilion's historic miniature passenger train. The complex's Boundless Playground offers a space where children with disabilities can be included in play thanks to accessible slides, swings, and climbing structures.
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.