Sips n Strokes gifts paintbrush-wielding neophytes the tools and confidence to create, with a mélange of masterpiece-making tutorials and a bring-your-own-beverage policy. Artists can elect a class from the shop's calendar to hone the painting style that best complements their home, office, or neighbor's windshield, including picks of imagery from Parisian scenes to funky roosters. Each course, led by an instructor well versed in the trade, pairs well with the liquid inspiration of each student's choosing. Silence-seeking artists or easily corruptible mimes may opt for an afternoon or weeknight session, as the weekends generally garner 20 to 50 rowdy rookies.
Rave Motion Pictures screens the summer blockbusters in 20 auditoriums outfitted with stadium seating. The theaters' digital projectors allow projectionists to easily play such gripping tales as Scream 4, a documentary about Sidney Prescott's return to Woodsboro, where Ghostface threatens the townspeople's safety (movies playing subject to change). Stretch out while watching as rows are spaced 48 inches apart from one another, one for each of the states recognized by most public-school systems. Check showtimes online for all the movies screening throughout the summer.
280 feet per second. That's the speed limit at Central Alabama Paintball. Although some paintball guns are capable of catapulting pellets at much higher speeds, staff here check each gun's speed to ensure a safe, fun, and comfortable experience for every player. They also require that everyone use the field's own paintballs, specially formatted to splatter at lower impacts—without staining clothes, which is especially helpful at paintball weddings.
Refs at Central Alabama Paintball are paid professionals who brief every player on rules and equipment operation. To ensure fair play, they also group paintballers by skill level. The staging area's sound system announces whether each game is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players, and solo players can join a team matched to their ability level.
With safety firmly in place, the fun can begin. The round starts, and paintballs soar over one of five outdoor fields with obstacles such as wooden spools and giant inflatables, or the full mock-town field. It's common to see birthday parties, family reunions, and other celebrations darting around the field. In addition to amenities such as a large covered deck, a grill and fire pit, and setups for cornhole and horseshoes, the field boasts lower-impact guns suitable for players as young as age 6.
As part of the Alabama Symphony's Sounds for Summer series, both shows bring contemporary musical entertainment to the ornately gilded, classy venue. The Act of Congress and Three on a String show tickles tiny earhammers with modern bluegrass and genre-spanning hits. Or hear Country's Hit Makers: Behind the Hits, which packs a 15-song set with recent country billboard toppers such as "Cowboy Casanova" and "American Honey." Both shows are conducted by Christopher Confessore, the ASO's principal pops conductor.
Spa Moksha's staffers blend the benefits of medical care and spa treatments to create their method of mind-body medicine. They base it on scientific knowledge garnered by a cohort of doctors that includes Dr. Deepak Chopra. On one side of the coin, The Foundation for Mind-Body Medicine specializes in health services provided by experts in modern and integrated medicine. Based on each individual’s body chemistry, the experts design a personal treatment plan that can address maladies ranging from stress and chronic pain to diabetes, allergies, and cardiovascular disease.
On the other side of this coin resides not Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, or the guy who makes more money than anyone—the machinist at the US Mint—but the spa portion of Spa Moksha, which approaches wellness with medical and nonmedical spa treatments. The expert technicians employ practices that range from Ayurvedic therapy and nutrition consultations to facials, skincare, mani-pedis, and hair removal via lasers or waxing. The spa staff can also eschew the typical clinical atmosphere to treat clients with massages on the rooftop gazebo, a private space that allows patients to enjoy a relaxing massage amid the warmth of the sun and the kiss of cool breezes.
After working for decades as a successful oil executive, National Senior Games gold medalist Homer Brown decided to shift gears, opening BumperNets in 1999 to promote his beloved sport of table tennis to the masses. Nestled within the Riverchase Galleria Mall, Brown’s well-stocked, interactive emporium lets visitors hone their ping-pong or pool skills under the tutelage of a trained professional, or master the finer points of team management at the foosball table. Homer and his knowledgeable staff help guests deck game rooms in felt-clad pool tables, glittering pinball machines, and skee-ball alleys for rental or purchase, and can assist with onsite assembly.