Starting in the mangrove swamps of South Florida as Tarzan’s Cup, The Jungle Cup tests runners’ warrior instincts and brute strength with a bevy of jungle-inspired challenges. Lone wolves, coed pairs, or teams of four take on the 5K course’s rivers of mud and swinging vines with the hope of winning the coveted Jungle Cup—or at least a finisher’s medal. Obstacles vary based on the run’s location, but contestants can rest assured that their endurance will be put to the test through primal trials such as leaping over fire pits, hurling javelins, and swimming through water hazards. After the race, athletes cool down with a frosty beverage at the Jungle Party, which celebrates their victories with fire shows, hula hoop-offs, and costume contests.
At both of Oasis Bowling Center's locations, polished lanes stretch from penalty line to pins. A festive soundtrack of strikes, spares, and high-fives fuels the competition as players partake in 10-frame matches to see who can roll the highest score. Two bars—Brucey's Sports Bar and Grill at the Loganville location and Thirsty Turtle Sports Bar and Grill at the Buford location—provide respite from the games with food and drinks. Patrons can gaze toward wall-mounted TVs or settle tiebreakers on the pool tables or in front of dartboards. On their way back to the lanes, bowlers can stop by the pro shops to find a pair of shoes that provide the most traction during celebratory dances.
Roller skating often evokes images of ‘50s-era teens clad in poodle skirts and the black-and-white makeup that was customary at the time. But at both freshly renovated Sparkles Family Fun Centers, roller-skating proves itself as a 21st-century pastime by incorporating contemporary technology. From a DJ who spins family-friendly beats at both locations to the laser-tag zone and black lights that set the Gwinnett rink aglow, modern-day touches pervade each space. The arcades are stuffed with extra helpings of bells and whistles; skee-ball and electronically scored basketball compete for attention with racing video games that re-create famous auto duels or the 1954 Drake Relays. At nearby multistory indoor playgrounds, kids get back to physical recreation, scurrying across bridges and whipping down slick slides.
Certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association, the instructors at Skywater Atlanta Tennis impart their ball-whacking wisdom to students of all ages in private, group, and team settings. As protégés learn stroke basics and strategic fundamentals such as scoring, court positioning, and footwork, teachers foster a welcoming environment that encourages improvement without fear of reprisal for common mistakes such as faulting on a serve or strumming the wrong string on the racket during a mock guitar solo.
A holiday tradition and celebrated ballet, The Nutcracker entrances audiences with stunning choreography, elaborate sets, and a memorable score composed by classical-music legend Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. During his timeless tale of love and walnuts adorned with purple hearts, the Covington Regional Ballet brings to life the story of Clara as she follows her beloved wooden soldier from the Land of Snow into the Land of Sweets for a riveting yuletide adventure. Waltzing snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, and mischievous mice pirouette around a glowing Christmas tree, interacting with fellow dancers through exaggerated facial expressions, fluid dance moves, and two cans connected by a ribbon from a ballet slipper.
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.