The themes of the seven fields sprawled across Boss Paintball’s 35 acres of woods are nothing if not eclectic. Teams may imagine that they are a posse of sheriff’s deputies fighting bandits in the saloon and bank of Dodge City, or a group of unfortunate soldiers caught in a battle in a spooky haunted house. They may even find themselves set head-to-head inside the Ark, a 40-foot boat that holds a maze, a flagpole mast, and two of every action hero. An astroturfed speedball field caters to fast-paced matches and forces players to duck behind inflatable cover on an open course.
Many dance companies approach ballet from a modern angle. Caroline Calouche prefers a more perpendicular one. When the stage is not enough space for her visions of macabre masquerade balls or surreal dreamscapes, she takes to the air above it, outfitted with a cirque's worth of aerial harnesses and accouterments. Her dancers are just as likely to pirouette down a 20-foot skein of golden silk as across a hardwood floor. Pairs of lovers might hang precariously from the frame of a hollow cube or perform a gravity-defying pas de deux on the double lyra—their suspension above the earth either an expression of freedom or a prison of their own making. Like identifying an elderly smoker's gender over the phone, the airborne element leaves plenty of room for interpretation.
By marrying the storytelling ability of floor-bound choreography with the gravity-defying tricks of circus arts, Caroline Calouche & Co. unleashes the full potential of aerial dance. The company's productions are free to venture to strange new places. For example, in past shows, women have risen from their graves to haunt their murderous husbands. Likewise, the sounds of Moby and Blue Man Group are more likely to be heard than Debussy.
Audience members who want to plqy the ropes and silks for themselves can learn to do so during the dance company's aerial-dance classes, along with a tight curriculum of ballet, contemporary, and stretching and strengthening courses. For all its global influences and aerial showmanship, Caroline Calouche & Co. keeps its feet rooted in the local community with outreach programs for all ages, ethnicities, and social groups.
Queen City Segway Tours offers two-hour tours of downtown Charlotte aboard easy-to-maneuver Segways. Each Segway is equipped with high-speed microprocessors, solid-state gyroscopes, and powerful electric motors that keep riders of all ages balanced as they discover their Seg-legs. Cruise past sights such as the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, Bank of America Stadium, Frazier Park, the Irwin Creek Greenway, and the historic Fourth Ward District, or customize your own route through the city's lesser-known lava pits and leopard-infested labyrinths. Tours are led by a knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, and with group sizes limited to a maximum of six, you'll never have to worry about lagging behind. Whether you're visiting the Queen City for a day, or you've lived in its trees all your life, an expedition from Queen City Segway Tours is an exciting way to see Charlotte.
Play It! Game Center strives to facilitate an interactive atmosphere for bedroom-bound gamers, curating communal button mashing between friends and foes in the glow of 18 high-speed Alienware PCs and 15 Xbox 360s. The center's widescreen HDTVs broadcast players' digital derring-dos in renowned series such as Call of Duty and Halo, with linked consoles that enable multiplayer action without requiring access to competitors' implanted brain ports. In the midst of the flickering screens, wizard-capped card sharks assemble around 18 card tables for high-stakes Magic the Gathering and Heroscape tourneys. In addition to in-store gaming, Play It!'s for-sale selection of cards, accessories, and board games stands ready to help players nullify their n00b status.
• 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).
Whether golf finds you unsteady in your ill-fitting plus fours, or you're a seasoned veteran capable of nonchalant holes-in-zero, Ratcliffe's courses provide ability-appropriate challenges. The Charles T. Myers course is especially ideal for the inexperienced, but capable of providing challenges if you go in a mixed-level group. Sunset Hills offers a similarly nuanced but non-intimidating experience. Renaissance Park makes an especially verdant selection, featuring a professionally designed landscape stuffed to the brim with flora, expansive bentgrass greens, and rich clusters of foliage. With a rental cart shuttling you from hole to hole, you'll keep your legs fresh enough to compete in a youth soccer game after playing 18 holes.