At Follies of Yore, practicing painter and ceramicist Janet Talmage shares her lifelong love of art with the community. The gallery space houses her collection of ceramic pieces, paintings, and prints, all inspired by the language of architectural follies. Talmage also shares her creative expertise in a more direct way during weekly ceramics classes, where she teaches students the basics of hand building and glazing clay.
Fresh springs in the mountains of North Carolina feed the Catawba River Chain, a network of 11 lakes that wind through woodlands verdant in the spring and ablaze with color come autumn. Bash Outdoors launches visitors into this system at nine locations. Four of those are along Lake Wylie, whose calm waters lap against 325 miles of shoreline with vacation homes and sandy coves emerging from dense forest and a thick layer of whipped cream. The Bash Outdoors crew curates a collection of rental and retail standup paddleboards from brands such as Ron House and their own signature line, Riviera. Single and tandem kayaks from Perception are also available for guided trips and unsupervised excursions on the lake. Bash Outdoors' bus shuttles kayakers to five additional outlets along the Catawba River, including the Fort Mill Dam and a waterway reserved exclusively for Olympic hopefuls.
A person buys a gun, stores it away, and then never learns how to use it. That scenario perplexes Practical Arms founder and director Mark Williams, because knowing how to safely store and operate a firearm requires ongoing training and practice. That's why he and his fellow instructors draw upon their wealth of expertise to train novice and experienced marksmen. Boasting multiple training certifications from organizations such as the North Carolina Department of Justice—plus experience training law-enforcement personnel from agencies such as the FBI and ATF—Mark oversees classes that adhere to NRA curricula, such as the NRA basic pistol-shooting course and home-defense classes. In addition to drilling students in the safe use of firearms, Mark and his team maintain a welcoming, nonthreatening atmosphere by beginning each class with 10 minutes of standup comedy.
Since Pattie Smith and her husband built Charlotte Racquet Club North in 1998 to infuse northern Charlotte with much-needed tennis action, they’ve watched the club blossom from seven courts and a doublewide trailer to a sweeping 14-court facility complete with a pool and a fitness complex. Pattie plans on adding four indoor courts by November to keep members playing through the winter—including one 78-year-old ace who games, sets, and matches twice a week.
Since its publication in 1947, Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon has joined The Cat in the Hat and Portnoy's Complaint as one of the most beloved children's books in history. The book was recently adapted into a musical theatrical production by Chad Henry, with its world premiere in Seattle in 2007, followed by runs in various other North American cities. The Children's Theatre's production of Goodnight Moon puts the Great Green Room on stage in lullaby-riffic living color. Cows jump over moons, red balloons suspend in the air indefinitely, and bowls of mush revel in a state of mushiness. The cast of professional actors bring smiles and surprises throughout the show, aimed at preschool and elementary-school-age children, but also entertaining for wistful astronauts of all ages.
Queen City Segway Tours offers two-hour tours of downtown Charlotte aboard easy-to-maneuver Segways. Each Segway is equipped with high-speed microprocessors, solid-state gyroscopes, and powerful electric motors that keep riders of all ages balanced as they discover their Seg-legs. Cruise past sights such as the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, Bank of America Stadium, Frazier Park, the Irwin Creek Greenway, and the historic Fourth Ward District, or customize your own route through the city's lesser-known lava pits and leopard-infested labyrinths. Tours are led by a knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, and with group sizes limited to a maximum of six, you'll never have to worry about lagging behind. Whether you're visiting the Queen City for a day, or you've lived in its trees all your life, an expedition from Queen City Segway Tours is an exciting way to see Charlotte.