In November 2010, AnnMarie DiMaio purchased a small brickyard nestled in the midst of undulating farmlands with a dream to remodel the property in honor of her late mother and father. Drawing inspiration from her Italian heritage, AnnMarie modeled The Villa DiMaio after a Tuscan villa replete with tiled floors, Tiffany-style lighting, and walls covered in authentic Mona Lisas. The culinary-arts graduate specializes in wedding- and corporate-catering services and opens her picturesque villa to the public for a family-style Sunday brunch that marries Italian and southern cuisines. The facility’s covered wraparound veranda and rustic brick-and-stone courtyard pair meals with panoramic views of the landscaped grounds and decorative waterfalls.
Voted a favorite place for party services by Carolina Parent readers from 2010-2013, Bounce U welcomes kids to descend upon an inflatable, climate-controlled playground where they can bounce and ricochet in safety. Along with birthday parties and group outings, Bounce U hosts open-bounce sessions that let sock wearers of all ages imagine they're synchronized leapers in a futuristic moon performance as they carom around the inflatable stadium, expending energy with every leap. Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join the vivacious youngsters in the playground.
The inflatable arena also opens its buoyant doors to technology-themed bounce camps and programs, where boys and girls spend half their time with brain-bolstering projects such as creating their own stop-motion animation movies or reprogramming the remote to skip all news channels. After stretching the limits of their imaginations, kids then spend the other half of the day stretching the limits of their limbs on the inflatable playground.
BTC Photo Booth NC's booths are nothing if not spacious—their current record for number of guests squeezed into a photo stands at 16. The booths—which require an area of 10'x10'—are outfitted with DSLR cameras and touchscreen displays, printing strips of four photos instantly after each group finishes their shoot. Fun-causing options include boxes of props or a green screen, allowing party guests to pretend they are within feet of a roaring dinosaur or a vicious seal. Though the booths are self-service, one or two technicians accompany the machines to set up, break down, and keep the memories flowing.
In the rural community where photographer Rusty Worden grew up, locals were fond of urging one another to "cowboy up." Ever the sparkplug, Worden coined the phrase "rocker down" as a light-hearted way of expressing his own individuality. He lent the name to his business, RockerDown Studios, where he works to channel that same independent spirit into helping clients express themselves during in-studio and on-location photo shoots.
RockerDown Studios boasts a 1,500-square-foot space, complete with sets, props, and backdrops that add life to family portraits, maternity photos, and graduation pictures. Worden also packs up his kit and travels to wedding ceremonies in order to shoot video footage and snap candid photos of the bride, groom, and guests during the festivities. He also offers design service for businesses and extends some co-op studio time to photographers in need of space and chameleons that like basking on green screens.
Located in Raleigh, Holiday Inn Raleigh Crabtree Valley is convenient to Crabtree Valley Mall and North Hills Shopping Center. This hotel is within close proximity of North Carolina Museum of Art and Meredith College.
Make yourself at home in one of the 176 air-conditioned guestrooms. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as direct-dial phones with voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreational opportunities offered, including a health club, an outdoor pool, and a sauna. Guests can catch a ride to nearby destinations on the complimentary area shuttle.
At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided at no charge.
The chefs at Draft Carolina Burgers & Beers craft specialty burgers out of high-grade, local beef, boasting an extensive array of chuck cylinders alongside salads, sandwiches, and shareable appetizers. Every day, grass-fed Angus beef is ground in-house, eventually transforming into finger-bound feasts such as the Southern Lovin', a burger topped with fried green tomatoes, Holly Grove Farms goat cheese, bacon, and balsamic. Thanks to their partnership with the Mash House Brewery, Draft Carolina's bartenders decant ice-cold brews such as the Mash House blonde and the Mash House IPA, which won the 2001 Great American Beer Festival medal for Hoppy Hour IPA. Billiards and shuffleboard make ideal after-dinner entertainment, and a casual, welcoming atmosphere greets diners inhabiting all points of the monocle-to-jorts fanciness scale.