Kersey Valley offers a range of family fun for everyone. Its laser tag course plunges competitors into military-style battles through more than 20 different firefight scenarios across 55 acres of battlefields. Lasers modeled after MP5 submachine guns fire over 1,000 feet during assassination missions or airstrike missions when the staff careens through the air on ziplines while trying to pick players off. The zipline adventure tours prove equally thrilling for Kersey Valley visitors, who glide through the skies across 14 legs of sail-ways that stretch between 200 and 800 feet per leg. Some first-time riders prefer to stretch their aerial time to the max by zipping more than 800 feet long in one run. Those who prefer to keep their amusements more grounded may frolic through seasonal, family-themed adventures, including the Maize Adventure and the Kersey Valley Spookywoods.
In the 1780s, blacksmith John Davidson moved from his log cabin, Rural Retreat, into Rural Hill, a majestic plantation-style house he built on his 265 acres of fertile farmland. The land and two houses were passed down through the Davidson family in the ensuing years, but in 1886, the mansion burned down. Then, in 1898, the log cabin also burned down, and the family was forced to live in a log kitchen building.
Visitors can still visit that log kitchen building today (it's the only historical residence remaining on the property) and see how hard life could be in an era without such modern conveniences as easy-squeeze mayo. The property has become, among other things, a field-trip destination, where historical re-enactors teach youngsters how 18th-century people baked, lit their homes, and did other basic tasks.
There's plenty of other reasons to visit, too. The secluded hill plays host to special events throughout the year, such as a fall corn maze and a Scottish festival with Highland games. And visitors can hike through nature on its peaceful 5K trail or entertain wedding guests at the cultural center.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
• For $40, you get two general-admission lawn tickets (a $62 value before fees, or up to an $80 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $58, you get two tickets for seating in sections 4–9 or 10–15 (a $90 value before fees, or up to a $115 value online, including all ticketing fees).
Conveniently located at the bustling nexus of College, Trade, and Fourth Streets, Epicentre acts as a hub of entertainment, shopping, and dining adventures at the heart of the Queen City. There, guests find everything they need to make trips memorable, whether they're grabbing a bite at one of two dozen bars and restaurants, taking in a quick movie, or simply working in a game of bowling before heading off to nearby Time Warner Cable Arena, and Bank of America Stadium. In total, more than 40 venues beckon for attention, including everything from a karaoke bar to an enthralling rooftop terrace.