Melanie's Dance Stars is the realization of a lifelong dream. Melanie Brooke Campbell-Durham wanted to be a dancer from the age four. She trained in styles such as ballet, tap, jazz and modern, going on to teach her first class at the ripe age of 15. By 2005, the already accomplished artist earned her Bachelor in Arts degree in Dance Performance and Composition.
While Melanie has taught all over the country, she keeps Melanie's Dance Stars as her home base. Here, she works with boys and girls ages 2.5 and up. The studio's classes and regular performances introduce these budding dancers to the steps of ballet, tap, and jazz.
Like the four bearded alchemists who adorn their bottle labels, the four brewers at Craft Brewing Company turn their arcane skills toward fermenting magical potions. The welcome center in their workshop is spare, retaining its industrial-warehouse vibe save for a winding bar with kegs for barstools. Visitors may find themselves popping the caps on mystical brews such as the Raven stout, a Poe-inspired concoction with oatmeal and vanilla, or the Four Headed hefeweizen, based on the tale of Cerberus standing next to a one-headed dog.
At first glance, the area looks abandoned. A trickling creek makes the only noise, carving past the trees and empty buildings that fill an ancient tribal village. But the airsoft player isn't fooled. He knows his opponent is out there somewhere, lurking behind a tree-trunk or camouflaged within some tall grass. It doesn't take long for a small, plastic BB to come whizzing over his right shoulder. The competition is on.
Setting is everything at Jericho Airsoft Park. Its four themed airsoft fields—including the Recon Ruins field described above—transport players into combat trenches, military bases, and uninhabited jungles. The outdoor terrain sets the stage for games of close-quarter, simulation combat. Friendly battles unfold amid the bunkers of the military-themed Firebase and within the twisted tunnels of the Trenches field, the park's largest competition area. But despite their appearance, these outdoor areas are not ungoverned wastelands. All players must wear safety gear and adhere to a strict set of rules, including calling every hit and giving nearby opponents the opportunity to surrender.
Occasionally, the rumbling sounds of authentic military vehicles also fill the park, and they take players from field to field. Other special events occur throughout the year. On Halloween, for example, the cries of the undead spill over bunkers and hilltops as players battle zombies, who everyone knows can only be defeated by tiny, plastic orbs.
The professionally trained music instructor behind My Music School teaches children aged 6–17 to play guitar, bass, violin, and ukelele during semiprivate weekly classes. The classes are social, giving students the opportunity to make friends as they hone their skills. Students might even gain some unexpected math knowledge, which they can put to use when counting the number of frets on their dad's vintage air guitar. Students of all ages and ability levels can also opt for private lessons.
Surrounded by the peaks of the Ortega Mountains, the towering trees of Cleveland National Forest, and the waters of Lake Elsinore, The Links at Summerly Golf Club couldn't seem farther from the flat, wind-swept coast of Scotland. But that didn't stop course architect Cal Olson from molding an 18-hole layout in the image of Scottish links golf. To that end, he made the most of the area's natural mounding, shaped three miles of burns into the clay, and filled the course with devious bunkers shaped like kidneys or just ovals with poor posture. Adding to the difficulty, the 7,012-yard layout incorporates a host of water hazards, leaving players a thin margin for error on many holes.
A venue for first-rate course play, The Links at Summerly also serves as a venue for practice and improvement with lessons helmed by PGA Class A professional Scott Marson. Lessons can incorporate video swing analysis and guided on-course play to drive home new concepts and strategies.
Course at a Glance:
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.