In his 10 years of working as an event planner, Mike Shelton has realized one crucial truth: kids love to jump around. Mike's Moonwalks revolves around this maxim, supplying youths with a safe and clean space to leap. With an inventory of bounce-houses that includes an inflatable castle and a tropically themed slide—available dry or as a watery plunge—he brings buoyant fun to birthday parties, fundraisers, and carnivals. He and his crew handle the delivery and set-up, and then disassemble the inflatables once the celebration is over. Clients can reserve a bounce house for just two or three hours or for an entire day, which is usually how long it takes to fool yourself into thinking that you'll be able to dunk a basketball during your next scrimmage game.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Gallins Gourmet Coffee, a division of family-owned Gallins Foods, roasts its own private label of carefully culled beans and extends an array of popular brand-name coffees from around the world. Turn cold cups into cauldrons of bewitching brew with a selection of coffees in single-cup and fractional-pack servings, and ensure that coffee isn't lonely with an entourage of complementary products and accessories. Taste antennas receive sumptuous signals with Gallins-brand GGC Colombian Rich ($25 for 36) or Seattle's Best ($29.95 for 18). Exploratory taste buds with a penchant for travelling can take off with Douwe Egberts Kona Blend ($26.95 for 42) or Timothy's Caramel Vanilla Nut in single-cup servings ($13.28 for 24).
Memories on Media's team of video-duplication techs takes old, obsolete media—such as VHS, Hi8, Digital 8, Video 8, VHS-C, Mini DV, and DVC—and transfers their contents to DVD. The techs check and test each transfer to ensure memories have remained intact.
Inside Castle McCulloch’s nigh-impenetrable walls, the fire-spinning, belly-dancing revelry of Castle Carnevale takes place every year. Kings, queens, court jesters, and spitting images of Calvin Coolidge line the drawbridge to adorn guests of the bacchanal ball with free masks, while fireworks illuminate the festival grounds and guide adventurous souls through the merriment of the Mardi Gras of the Carolinas. Creative Carnevale patrons can showcase skills at craft tables or earn costume-contest awards for best traditional Venetian outfit, most provocative, and most likely to stand out at a crossword convention.
Drawing from the more frightening pages of the area's history, Carolina History & Haunts? guides lead lantern-lit tours of eerie and haunted locales. The ?Nightmares Around Elm Street? tour sends groups through the specter-laden streets of Greensboro, while the Beyond the Grave tour braves uptown Charlotte?s paranormal avenues to learn the fates of the less fortunate and possibly even witness a prankster ghost grabbing a dog's tail as it's chased.
Carolina History & Haunts partners with local businesses to give tour goers discounts on accommodations and food, and large groups are eligible for discounted pricing and private tours.