Pastel portraits, multihued abstract designs, and paintings of coral-colored flowers line the walls of Cara Bailey’s intimate studio space, tucked into an almost surreally quaint stretch of downtown Mooresville. This is where the prolific artist has created a vast body of work that includes abstract-landscape paintings, pencil drawings, and watercolors. It’s also where she holds classes, staying busy designing custom curricula for private lessons; leading groups in fun, casual BYOB painting sessions; and filling the summer with art camps for kids, teens, and bored schoolteachers masquerading as kids or teens.
Race City Raceway houses an arena for hobbyists of all ages and abilities to compete in fun, high-intensity slot-car racing. Visitors can bring their own tiny-scale speedmobile—or borrow a loaner from the raceway’s collection—and slip it into the groove of one of five racetracks for a casual jaunt or a competitive relay. Warm up on the drag strip, a trackway designed to test the true speed and potential time-traveling abilities of each car. Racers can whip around the 155-foot Thunder Road or traverse the 110-foot Beast, a track laden with hairpin turns and ant-size streakers haphazardly darting into the middle of the street. Speedsters who are new to the thrill of slot-car racing can challenge drivers of similar skill on Fridays at 7 p.m.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.