An abundant number of recreational activities fill the space at Purple Planet 3-D Mini Golf. With black lights illuminating patches of neon paints, the indoor and always air-conditioned cooled mini-golf course bends the mind with challenging greens and mind-bending visuals such as aliens and floating satellites. As they navigate the course?s vortex tunnel and fog-filled corridors, golfers wear 3-D glasses, making obstacles appear to pop out and transforming every hole into an even deeper hole. Purple Planet visitors can also hone their billiards skills with games of pool or try their hand at the games at an on-site arcade.
Some artists spend months working on huge canvases, but the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden one-ups them all?its canvas is the earth itself, and it hopes to paint approximately 380 acres of it. In fact, the organization has a 50-year blueprint for cultivating gardens, streams, forests, meadows and other grounds along the banks of Lake Wylie.
The mission is already well underway: more than 110 acres are open for visitor exploration. During fall, hundreds of plants bloom and cover the Encore Azalea Garden in a vibrant display. The white petals of the West Gardens make for an idyllic summer wedding locale, whereas the tunnel fountain in the Allee Garden delights younger visitors with its whimsical, overhead streams. The Orchid Conservatory, meanwhile, defies seasons and geography. Inside the glass house's 8,000 square feet, orchids grow alongside an ever-changing collection of tropical plants.
These are but a small sampling of the flowers, trees, and other wonders on living display at the garden. Visiting groups of 15 or more can sign-up for a guided tour in advance, or visitors are free to search the garden on their own, which affords behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming trails and interviews with butterflies in their dressing rooms.
Adventure Landing sports ample free parking and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday, when it keeps the courses open until midnight for party-animal clubbers. There are three different courses; each of them features well-manicured Astroturf, luscious landscapes, and challenges around every bend. Master a single green or experience all three shades without leaving the grounds or hailing a golf cart. In between rounds, explore all that this fun, pay-as-you-play factory has to offer, including arcade games, batting cages, and more. When your group's perfectionist is spending way too much time reading the wind, slip off to the nearby snack bar for a quick bite or sip while you wait.
At all of Monkey Joe’s colorfully decorated locations, youngsters aged 2–12 can literally bounce off the walls in a well-lit indoor playground that abides by a Safety Access Child Control System. Exercise disguises itself as fun as sock-clad kids rocket down slides, scale climbable obstacles, and jump across springy surfaces surrounded by safety mats. Toddlers aged 3 or younger tucker themselves out in their own play area with smaller obstacles, thoroughly sanitized inflatable surfaces, toys, and games. Parties, which can include pizza and ice cream, reach a fever pitch with visits from Monkey Joe himself. While kids vent all their excess energy on the playground, parents can watch flat-screen televisions, drink refreshments, and use the WiFi to surf the Internet in the adult area.
The first time Jon Walker climbed into a saddle, he was a mere 5 years old. More than 35 years later, he and his wife, Carolyn?also an avid equestrian from a young age?share their passion for riding with students at Jon Walker Stables & Riding Academy Inc. Largely focused on English riding, the trainers lead private and group lessons for eager equestrians aged 3 and up. Across their more than 15-acre parcel, two barns, indoor and outdoor arenas, and trails welcome horses and their riders to trot, canter, and gallop year-round.
In the 1960s, husband and wife John and Kate Grice strolled around Rankin Lake, wondering what they could do to help the kids in their neighborhood find gainful entertainment. John whimsically suggested roller-skating, and his idea took root. The pair soon opened the doors to the brand new Kate's Skating Rink. Their creation became the family business, and is now run from two locations by their grandchildren. The rink entertains fun-lovers of all ages with an arcade, multi-level indoor playground, and, of course, the vast and well-maintained skating rink.