Located a stone’s throw from Symphony Lake, Koka Booth Amphitheatre emerges out of 14 acres of hardwoods and pines to offer up its stage to traveling national acts, theatrical productions, and movie screenings. Although its wood and earth-toned beams camouflage the venue within its natural surroundings, passersby can notice its sleek exterior glistening in the moonlight during nighttime performances. The outdoor amphitheater––designed by William Rawn Associates of Boston, which also constructed the Cambridge Public Library––seats up to 7,000 people on its spacious lawn, crescent deck, or loft bird nests.
Youngsters bound across a sea of slides and playground equipment spread across the 6,500-square-foot indoor oasis at PlayNation Parties & Playgrounds of Morrisville. Rescue play time from the evil grips of rain, cold weather, and homework taped to meteorites by heading indoors for uninterrupted fun during open-play hours—Tuesday–Friday afternoons and select times on weekends. Kids burn energy as they climb on wooden playsets and rock walls, hang around on tire swings, and jump to their heart's content in a bouncy castle. Wee little ones can toddle around Breckenridge Village, a separate play area with two wooden playhouses designed specifically for pint-size citizens. Admission transfers a full day of action to each child, and punch cards can cover a single child for multiple visits or a herd of wild things for a single day.
While the kids are at play, adults relax in PlayNation's two parent lounges, which come equipped with flat-screen TVs, comfy seats, and a Wii gaming station. The sheltered playground floods every chamber with light so parents can clearly pick out their progeny. It also sports a colorful foam floor to help prevent boo-boos resulting from tiny tumbles or attempts to stage a children's production of Cliffhanger.
Just minutes from downtown's bustling shops and overlooking the glassy waters of Tampa Bay, The Mahaffey's picturesque building hosts some of Florida's most entertaining art and performance offerings. Originally built in 1965, the renovated building's floor-to-ceiling glass façade pierces the night with softly glowing light, cordially inviting patrons inside and awakening desires in moths that can never be fulfilled. The box-style seating of the theater ensures clear sightlines for all patrons, and its excellent acoustics make the venue suitable for both thunderous rock bands and delicate chamber ensembles.
Formed in the glory days of heavy metal, Queensrÿche rocks audiences with songs that reveal the fierce polish of 30 years of evolving artistry. The band's distinctive mix of prog rock, metal, and subliminal messaging rocketed their Empire album up the charts, launching hits such as "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," and "Best I Can." Normally reserved only for members of Queensrÿche's fan club, a backstage meet-and-greet lets a small group of the devoted make personal connections with the four lords of loudness, shaking their lightning-fast hands and comparing headbanging techniques. With experience opening for Nickelback and Staind, opening band The Fifth's wailing guitars rally fist pumps and head thrashes as raging as a riverbed full of angry bulls.
Owner and vintner Dr. Lane Gregory and his staff of merry winemakers harvest their wine grapes from the fertile muscadine vines that flourish on Gregory Vineyards' 120 acres of lush farmland. The winery's Old World tasting room and wood furniture lend a rustic atmosphere to samplings of cleverly named wines such as Sly Fox, Ruth Walton, or the dry white known as Bald Eagle. Like North Carolina's banana trees, the regional muscadine grape thrives from late August until early October, giving Dr. Gregory and company only a matter of weeks to harvest the tough-skinned fruit. In addition to tastings, the handsome property plays host to weddings and other special events. And, on an average day, visitors may be spotted taking wine tours with Dr. Gregory or exploring the vineyard's lake on romantic two-person pedal boats.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Cat’s Cradle into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios.