Stop Hunger Now distributes food and other life-saving aid to provide hunger relief to developing countries around the world. Through its meal-packaging program, volunteers package high protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations, school feeding programs, and orphanages around the world. Its partner organizations note increased enrollment in schools that receive these meals, ensuring that more children receive a quality education in addition to a healthful meal. Stop Hunger Now hosts meal-packaging events to prep food for recipients, during which 40–50 volunteers can typically package 10,000 meals in two hours.
Despite their determinedly of-the-moment sound, Redfoo and Sky Blu are carrying on a long pop lineage: the former is Motown founder Berry Gordy's son, the latter his grandson. As red-hot electropop duo LMFAO, the uncle-nephew pairing electrifies dance floors with manic odes to party life. The 2012 Sorry for Party Rocking tour explodes with fan favorites such as "Party Rock Anthem" and newer hits such as "Sexy and I Know It," which has a bouncy swagger that dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 28 weeks. Meanwhile, the band parades in neon animal prints amid backup dancers, bobbing beneath giant robot heads, tossing inflatables into the crowd, and creating a spectacle Metro Weekly calls "enormously entertaining."
South Main Speedway lets customers mix and match rounds of mini golf and go-kart racing to fashion a full day of family-friendly recreation. Clamber into a one- or two-seater speed machine to race friends, loved ones, and renegade Mario Kart characters for 15 ferocious laps around the Speedway’s sinuous track (a $6 value/race). Then, head to the outdoor putt-putt course (a $6 value/game) to send dimpled balls skittering past squat shrubs, plashing waterfalls, and nostalgic windmill operators into 18 waiting holes. The Groupon's eight games or races can be parceled out to multiple people on a single day, facilitating bonding within families or semipro hide-and-seek teams. Afterward, venture outside to browse The Factory's complex of shops, restaurants, and sports facilities.
Director Mary-Taylor Land has walked the stage in several shoes. From learning as a student and pirouetting as a performer, she went on to judge and teach routines. Away from the theater, she researched dance through different technical lenses, bringing her expertise to seminars for both the artistic and medical communities. The breadth of her knowledge enabled her to find seasoned instructors for her studio, all of whom have received college and professional training.
Today, she and her team strive to instill passion and discipline for the practice of dance in children of all ages. Beginning with preschool classes such as Mommy and Me, they hone a basic understanding of rhythm so that parents don't have to recite a four-count as they rock their cribs. Their older students can choose styles from a wide curriculum, which covers ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acro as well as combination lessons. Throughout each class, the teachers devote personal attention to their protégés. They can help to prep youngsters before academy recitals and competitive ensemble auditions, or simply foster a deeper appreciation for grace and art.
Granite Falls Swim and Athletic Club’s members gain unbridled access to a 60,000-square-foot paradise of fitness and recreation, where indoor aerobics classes, sporting activities, and poolside recreation await individuals and families of all persuasions. When not absorbed by reality shows and C-SPAN soap operas on the exercise machines’ cardio cinemas, members can take lethargy to task in a range of aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes hosted in the gym’s lower-level studios. Just next door, a competition-size pool opens its warm, watery arms with eight lanes and 25 yards dedicated to backstroke battles, recreational splish-splashes, and swim-aerobics classes (included with membership). An outdoor waterpark complex ups the aquatic ante with its large pool, lazy river, and a “Big Dipper” slide that momentarily shoots children into outer space for play dates with extraterrestrials. A separate KidZone area ($2.50/hour a child) staffed by highly trained professionals keeps tykes entertained with safe and stimulating activities while their parents hit the gym. The club also hosts special programs and summer camps for children, such as a Gym and Swim class for kids ages 4–7 and cootie self-defense courses for kids of all ages.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
The Ninja Challenge pushes past mere human obstacles with a race that tests athleticism, stamina, and the ninja spirit. Competitors will need to complete a 5K race with more than 15 obstacles—leaping over rooftops, running across a swamp bridge, throwing ninja stars, and defeating an enemy ambush. Awards will be handed out for first-place finishers, best costume, and best ninja costume, and runners who beat the Super Ninja will earn a spot in the hall of fame. Participants also receive a Ninja Challenge T-shirt and headband, a race bib, and a free-beer-ticket wristband.