Silence fills the forest as a masked paintball player creeps over logs and leaves, unable to find the opposing team he knows is there. Suddenly, a shower of colored paint spews from behind a nearby tree, and the battle begins. Such moments unfold daily at PBC Paintball Park's facilities. Their staff, all of whom are paintball players themselves, have designed both wooded and concept fields at Greensboro, Charlotte, and Greenville. At Greensboro, wooded landscapes transform into a battlefield with bunkers, creeks, and large forts. Felled trees and dense foliage give players ample cover amid the undeveloped woods of Greenville's fields, while tournaments unfold across PBC Charlotte's level terrain. Additionally, PBC Paintball Parks are affiliated with Paintball Central, which runs three stores in North Carolina where players can stock up on enough paintball gear to ready themselves for the inevitable cartoon-character rebellion.
Lotus offers a fun and supportive workout environment for women of all shapes and sizes. You needn't have a svelte tummy to engage in belly dance's ancient arts; in fact, it's an excellent way to tone tired torsos and increase overall core strength. Classes with Lotus's instructors offer a private space to learn belly rolls, hip pops, shoulder shimmies, and candle-arms, among other animated inanimate-appendage techniques. The schedule is set to run classes continuously in four-week sessions; feel free to mix and match times to meet your schedule's needs. Options are available for untrained tenderlings and spicily seasoned belly veterans alike. At the end of every four-class session, one free session of Intro to Bellydance is offered, to touch upon the fundamental fundamentals.
Jewelology puts beauty into the hands of the beholder, leading to a sense of accomplishment rivaling that of a financially successful mime. Jewelry parties require four participants or more, and each Groupon entitles one partygoer to $15 worth of jewelry-making materials such as natural gemstones, Swarovski crystals, Czech cut-glass beads, sterling silver, and freshwater pearls (it is not required that all partygoers have a Groupon in order to attend). Or, if you don't want your firefighting buddies know you're a jewelryholic, reserve a spot in any class offered except the lampwork class and the hammered-silver class. Learn techniques such as wire ring wrapping, chain-and-stone necklace making, or chandelier-earring construction ($15 worth of class-specific materials will be provided).
The Light Factory's snapshot savants school camera wielders of all skill levels about basic lighting and composition techniques before shepherding them through uptown Charlotte on a guided two-hour photo expedition. First, instructors help participants get the most out of their frozen moments by reviewing basic camera techniques such as adjusting shutter speed, framing shots, and accurately placing bunny ears. Then groups of up to 100 shutterbugs will venture into uptown Charlotte's tangle of streets to trap the souls of its modern buildings in confining rectangles, creating carefully composed photographic keepsakes. Escape work early to attend the excursion at 4 p.m. on your chosen date, or opt for the 10 a.m. sojourn to capture cold-blooded buildings as they climb nearby rocks to bask in the morning light.
If you paint your own pottery, there is no studio fee, and the price of the pottery includes all supplies and firing. Costs vary depending on the chosen 3D canvas. Kids’ pieces are $10–$25, dinnerware is $15–$60, and picture frames $22–$35; the average price of all pieces falls in the $15–$30 range. If you are distracted by a Night Court marathon and don't finish your masterpiece in one sitting, you can come in another day to finish for free (after that, it's $5 per visit). Upon completion, turn your project over to the pottery masters at the studio. They'll put the finishing flames on your project, which will be available for pick-up after about a week. This Groupon is also good for those who want to give glass fusing a whirl. First timers can take the glass class to learn the basics (schedule here), then put newfound skills to work building personalized frames, bowls, jewelry, and more. The typical glass project costs $15–$40.
In a handful of studios scattered between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Springfield, Missouri, kids express their artistic creativity under the friendly supervision of Noah’s Art instructors. Classes cover a wide variety of topics—from painting and clay sculpture to vocals-based Song Art—and are arranged by age group, allowing children to interact with peers of a similar developmental stage while engaging in philosophical musings on the meaning of parent-enforced time-outs. Instructors also teach basic art tools and techniques, such as how to properly hold a paintbrush or sculpt clay using only your mind.