The family that created A Bounceable Time has already walked—and jumped—a mile in their customers' shoes. They started out as renters themselves, tracking down inflatable fun for birthday parties and backyard barbecues. So they know what people are looking for: clean bounce houses, obstacle courses, and slides that are easy to order online and delivered in a timely fashion. That's why staff members arrive one to four hours early to set up the equipment and talk clients through the dos and don'ts of operation. The technicians wipe down the units with disinfectant after each rental, ousting germs and blocking the bounce houses' continual attempts to develop a protective exoskeleton.
Stacy's Garden Center's enthusiastic horticulturists utilize more than 200 acres of greenhouses and growing fields to cultivate garden-worthy plants and seasonal gifts. A gallon of radiating perennials satisfies flower fixes ($4.88), and the highlighted perennial of the week keeps gardens in vogue (3 for $10). Large, 12-inch fern baskets ($14.99), 5-inch geraniums ($3.99), and a complete line of Miss Ruby's herbs ($3.49) equip gardeners with a multitude of different-sized seedlings to fill every landscape nook and cranny. Thirty varieties of 1-gallon hostas await homes ($4.88 each), as orchids take residence in the decorative ceramic pots ($19.99) that are found in the pottery section. Inside the gift shop, collectibles such as birdhouses and wind chimes stand displayed next to coal-powered wheelbarrows and expert staff members eager to answer questions.
At the Color My Spirit Run, colored powder rains down on participants as they jog toward the finish line, brightening their clothes. The event is more than a run, though—participants also dance to live music, and kids frolic in a bounce house.
Beech Mountain's slick slopes and snowy trails give its customers a thrilling powder experience with the claim of eastern North America's highest ski resort, which sits 5,506 feet above sea level. The resort features beginner Play Yard areas, intermediate slopes and advanced skier tracks, including the White Lightning and Southern Star. After shredding blankets of frozen rain, patrons can peruse the souvenir shop or enjoy a fresh coffee at the café, warming tummies while taunting yetis that are too large to hold espresso mugs. For those who are sans skis, Beech Mountain's rental shop stocks everything needed to blissfully coast into the great white beyond.
When rock-climbing couple Christy and Scott Thrift got engaged, Christy was dangling off the side of Stone Mountain. The same adventurous spirit that elevated their engagement informs their married life, which they spend running their wilderness guiding service, Thrifty Adventures. While some of the duo’s trips require previous outdoor experience, most welcome all participants, and range from ice climbing adventures to rock climbing and backpacking trips. Along the way, Scott and Christy teach safety basics, climbing techniques, and strategies for preserving natural surroundings, such as refraining from nibbling on the mountain.