Flakes of ice float through the frosty air, twinkling in the light. Rosy-cheeked children skate across the glittery ice, clutching their parents' gloved hands and shrieking gleefully. Though it seems as though it belongs in the pages of a winter fairy tale, this is the scene of a typical August afternoon at Polar Ice House. The hot summer sun burns brightly outside, but the temperature inside the vast indoor ice rink remains a brisk 45 degrees.
Although the wintry conditions make the rink a less than ideal venue for a bikini fashion show, the cold environment is perfect for the skating lessons, hockey games, and public-skating and hockey sessions that the rink hosts year-round. The center's attentive instructors lead students of all ages and experience levels through fundamental skating skills, progressing to advanced techniques, such as jumping, spinning, and karate chopping aggressive abominable snowmen, once students have mastered the basics.
Subject to the whims of the Tar River, The River Golf and Country Club's 18-hole course guides players down a winding path with few straightaway holes within its 6,391-yard length. Ten of the holes feature a dogleg turn of some degree, from the slight bend to the left in the fairway of the 1st hole to the violent rightward turn at the 15th hole. These, coupled with the four par 3s, challenge players to swing powerfully without overshooting their targets or accidentally landing their balls in a stork's nest. Additionally, the river itself comes prominently into play on several holes, calling for fairway hops on the 1st and 10th holes and a dramatic tee shot over water on the par 3 11th.
Course at a Glance:
With its first swing of the tee in 1917, Paschal Golf Club is a public course that has played host to legions of golf lovers, weekend warriors, and even the legendary Arnold Palmer. The verdant nine-hole course can be played from four different tee boxes, offering a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Golfers can loop the nine-hole course twice, allowing them to correct errant shot selections on difficult holes such as the eighth, which presents a forced carry over an elongated pond to reach the green, a heavily fortified zone guarded by bunkers on both sides and another water hazard behind. The tranquil Richland Creek trickles through the course, treating eyes to frequent sightings of wildlife such as deer, birds, and grazing golf carts. A clubhouse, snack bar, and pro shop cater to players as they unwind or stock up on gear, and a putting green warms up pendulums before rounds.:m]]
A forest of punching bags dangles from the rafters at Sweat Functional Fitness Training, where athletes throw jabs and hooks as instructors motivate them to push to their limits during each workout. Modeled after boxing training, the workouts supplement floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee with strength training and kettlebell drills to light the path toward slimmer and stronger physiques. Patrons of all ages and fitness levels are welcome, and the goal of the fast-paced workouts is not to train championship fighters, but to inspire fit-seekers to whip into peak physical condition.
Like the plot of Rocky, Sweat Functional Fitness Training revolves around boxing, but has something for everybody. The trainers also lead fitness classes in TRX suspension training and kettlebell training, in addition to high-intensity indoor and outdoor boot camps.
Professional artists M. Theresa Brown and Stephen Filarsky channel more than 20 years of experience at the easel to guide students during two-hour art workshops, parties, and afterschool kids’ programs. Workshops elucidate the process of re-creating stunning artworks that depict abstract felines, rustic tobacco barns, and fractals grazing in wintry landscapes. The instructors supply all of the materials and techniques needed to craft masterworks, and encourage participants to hang their take-home paintings in high-traffic hallways. Adult students supply their own beverages at select BYOB classes, and young aesthetes expand their horizons in kids’ classes that encompass drawing, painting, sculpting, and telekinetic printing.
Haunted Forest at Panic Point sends brave visitors inching along a half-mile trail, hoping to make it past 10 jarring horror scenes and dozens of ghouls trying to separate visitors from their groups. The Haunted Forest is one of more than a handful of different attractions at Panic Point, which spreads out across 50 acres. Guests can also endure complete and utter darkness while traversing the path on the Dark Walk, or they can hitch a lift on the Howling Hayride.
Though many of the haunted attractions are best for those 12 and older, Panic Point offers two youngster-friendly attractions: the Zombie Shootout and Menacing Maze. In the Shootout, thrill-seekers can take aim at zombies with laser guns. The Menacing Maze is Panic Point's only monster-free attraction, since monsters are notoriously bad with directions.