Part of the North Carolina Railway Museum, the New Hope Valley Railway shepherds passengers through pine forest aboard vintage diesel and steam-engine trains. Covered cars protect riders from the elements, while a historic open-air caboose allows them to recline in locomotive fashion as they enjoy the shade of the woods, the breeze of the wind, and the harmonious serenade of local wildlife choirs. Trains depart from and return to Bonsal Depot, where a gift shop awaits filled with keepsake merchandise and a display track showcases vintage railroad equipment.
Free to the public, the North Carolina Railway Museum houses historic railway artifacts including vintage trains from builders such as Vulcan Iron Works and General Electric. On select Saturdays and Sundays, the Railway lets passengers take control of diesel-electric or steam-engine trains to experience firsthand life as a conductor.
From its quiet perch on Franklin Street, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop slings premium fair-trade ice cream right alongside warm hand-rolled soft-pretzels from Auntie Anne's Pretzel. Friendly staffers fill cups with famous flavors such as Cherry Garcia, a smooth blend of cherry ice cream speckled with cherries and flakes of chocolate fudge. Phish Food infuses chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and caramel swirls, paying homage to the mellow tunes of the jam band Phish with fish-shaped fudge pieces that play eight-minute guitar solos. The shop was recently renovated to include an Auntie Anne's, whose pretzel professionals prepare a wide array of sweet and salty snacks, spiraling them into ornate knots with the delicacy of a grandmotherly sailor, and baking them to golden brown in full view of customers.
TKO Fitness' instructors get along swimmingly, even though they all love to fight. They boast a range of expertise garnered in careers as professional boxers while earning black belts in tae kwon do, or studying exercise science in college. They use their experience to conduct kickboxing classes, which utilize over 20 heavy bags; mixed-martial-arts classes, which are held in a cage-walled arena; and traditional boxing lessons, hosted in their floor-mounted, standard-sized boxing ring. In addition to their pugilistic fitness activities, they host a gym's worth of equipment for more standard workouts, including kettlebells and TRX suspension harnesses.
Cary Yoga and Kickboxing challenges both body and mind. During high-intensity kickboxing sessions, groups of students jab, hook, and roundhouse kick their way to a healthier existence. A combination of martial arts, boxing, and other fighting forms, kickboxing classes aim to build strength and increase self-awareness, as well. Meanwhile, the facility divides its yoga offerings into two different programs: power Vinyasa and sweat and detox. The latter program revolves around poses that improve the body’s circulatory and lymphatic systems, helping to expel toxins.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones and maturing moppets can exercise their brains and bodies. Visiting youngsters glean social, intellectual, and emotional skills from the facilities' professionally developed parent/child program, while other programs feature diverse activities in gymnastics, dance, sports, and parent-child yodeling for mountain-echoing communication more effective than a squeal. Kids can enjoy programs in gymnastics that cater to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Each session's hands-on activities keep the indefatigable energy motors of little tikes revving, facilitate bonding, and boost listening skills, attention spans, and confidence.
The passionate and experienced instructors at Triangle Elite Allstars pass along more than their technical expertise to their students. They also help young cheerleaders and tumblers develop into strong, confident members of society by promoting hard work, humility, and respectful practices throughout camps and classes. Each training program is designed with a specific age group and ability level in mind, ensuring that students are always challenged but safe. Instruction unfolds inside TEA’s 4,800-square-foot facility, which features a 1,750-square-foot spring floor that is large enough to support group practices and flash mobs of local high school mascots.