Project Mud might remind adults of the fun they had as a child—running in an open field, sliding into a muddy pond, and crawling through a mud-filled tunnel. The Project Mud 5K challenges individual competitors to drudge their way through 18 mud-covered obstacles in a bid to make their way to the finish line. Those who cross the checkered line celebrate with fellow racers and spectators alike during a lively after party, where live bands and DJs inspire crowds to dance while food vendors serve fresh dishes and cold beer. Proceeds from each event help fund charities in each city, ensuring money collected goes to a good cause instead of serving as fodder for thieving tooth fairies.
At Boardman Lanes, bowling balls thunder down 24 gleaming, waxed lanes. Automatic pin setters and scoring computers allow customers to focus on their games, with little downtime between throws. On Friday and Saturday nights, black lights cast an otherworldly glow during cosmic bowling. The facility also features video games to provide breaks from bowling action and a snack bar to keep players fueled throughout the day.
Getting kids started at a young age builds a strong foundation for the future—whether it's heading to competition or simply learning the value of self-discipline. At Olympic Dreams, students as young as 18 months can enroll in gymnastic classes that work to develop coordination, physical prowess, and how to execute a perfect-10 somersault. In addition to general gymnastics courses for boys and girls, the center also offers more specialized and focused classes, such as tumbling and trampoline.
Sling a quiver of nine-iron bows and dimpled, spherical arrows over your shoulder and hit the 18-hole New Castle Country Club Course for a game of golf (a $100 value). Designed by famed course designer A. W. Tillinghast and built in 1923, the 6,600-yard course, easily traversed by your included golf cart ($25), offers ample opportunity for both exhilarating eagles and disappointing duffs. Walter-Hagens-in-training will refuel with a boxed lunch of ham or turkey croissants with snacks and drink ($10), and rue that shank on the 14th hole at the locker room, driving range, or bag service area ($15 value for use of all three). If you care to sip on some alcoholic refreshment, those alongside other menu items are available for separate purchase. Put on your favorite tam o'shanter and hit the links at New Castle Country Club for a round of the thinking man's polo.
At Blazed & Bedazzled, customers paint their own pottery, choosing from a menagerie of prepotted ceramics to colorfully adorn. Wielding a brush at the translucent glass tabletops, guests can decorate a jumbo mug ($16) or a business-card holder ($15) with a fancily plated name or pictures of fax machines. A personalized switch-plate cover ($17) basks rooms in a one-of-a-kind glow. Gussy up a curvy bowl ($13) and apply a grimacing self-portrait to a cupcake box ($22) to keep desserts safe from the sticky fingers of pastry thieves. A piggy bank ($13) makes an attractive shell for artistic expression, in which the painter may stow away pennies or a recursive series of increasingly tiny pigs. A friendly staff is always on paint-flecked hand to guide customers and demonstrate effective painting techniques.