The Bud Light CityFest concert series showers the open air of the recently constructed Raleigh Amphitheater with five of rock 'n' roll’s most venerable and beloved acts. Hard-rock heartthrob and Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach kick-starts the fest on September 10, rousing crowds with his cast-iron voice and mythical lion’s mane. Better Than Ezra, the New Orleans trio behind the hit song “Good,” belts out parcels of pop on September 17, and jam collective Rusted Root colors the night in upbeat melodies on October 1. Ed Kowalczyk, ringleader of the seminal band LIVE, challenges oxygen to a wrestling match as he belts out hits on October 8. Concluding the raucous series with concentrated testosterone, troubadour Vince Neil, from Mötley Crue, sings time-honored railroad anthems about girls, girls, and girls.
Just minutes from downtown's bustling shops and overlooking the glassy waters of Tampa Bay, The Mahaffey's picturesque building hosts some of Florida's most entertaining art and performance offerings. Originally built in 1965, the renovated building's floor-to-ceiling glass façade pierces the night with softly glowing light, cordially inviting patrons inside and awakening desires in moths that can never be fulfilled. The box-style seating of the theater ensures clear sightlines for all patrons, and its excellent acoustics make the venue suitable for both thunderous rock bands and delicate chamber ensembles.
Formed in the glory days of heavy metal, Queensrÿche rocks audiences with songs that reveal the fierce polish of 30 years of evolving artistry. The band's distinctive mix of prog rock, metal, and subliminal messaging rocketed their Empire album up the charts, launching hits such as "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," and "Best I Can." Normally reserved only for members of Queensrÿche's fan club, a backstage meet-and-greet lets a small group of the devoted make personal connections with the four lords of loudness, shaking their lightning-fast hands and comparing headbanging techniques. With experience opening for Nickelback and Staind, opening band The Fifth's wailing guitars rally fist pumps and head thrashes as raging as a riverbed full of angry bulls.
For more than 10 years, the enthusiastic instructors of Elite Cheer and Dance have been teaching kids to leap, tumble, and electrify a crowd. Timid beginners and seasoned cheerleaders alike are welcomed into the center's spacious gym to realize their fitness potential and make new friends. Whether it's the eye-catching cheers, the Olympics-inspired routines of tumbling, or the graceful moves of dance, the classes work together to make kids stronger, more confident, and less likely to notice when the planet's gravity turns off.
Located a stone’s throw from Symphony Lake, Koka Booth Amphitheatre emerges out of 14 acres of hardwoods and pines to offer up its stage to traveling national acts, theatrical productions, and movie screenings. Although its wood and earth-toned beams camouflage the venue within its natural surroundings, passersby can notice its sleek exterior glistening in the moonlight during nighttime performances. The outdoor amphitheater––designed by William Rawn Associates of Boston, which also constructed the Cambridge Public Library––seats up to 7,000 people on its spacious lawn, crescent deck, or loft bird nests.
Youngsters bound across a sea of slides and playground equipment spread across the 6,500-square-foot indoor oasis at PlayNation Parties & Playgrounds of Morrisville. Rescue play time from the evil grips of rain, cold weather, and homework taped to meteorites by heading indoors for uninterrupted fun during open-play hours—Tuesday–Friday afternoons and select times on weekends. Kids burn energy as they climb on wooden playsets and rock walls, hang around on tire swings, and jump to their heart's content in a bouncy castle. Wee little ones can toddle around Breckenridge Village, a separate play area with two wooden playhouses designed specifically for pint-size citizens. Admission transfers a full day of action to each child, and punch cards can cover a single child for multiple visits or a herd of wild things for a single day.
While the kids are at play, adults relax in PlayNation's two parent lounges, which come equipped with flat-screen TVs, comfy seats, and a Wii gaming station. The sheltered playground floods every chamber with light so parents can clearly pick out their progeny. It also sports a colorful foam floor to help prevent boo-boos resulting from tiny tumbles or attempts to stage a children's production of Cliffhanger.
South Main Speedway lets customers mix and match rounds of mini golf and go-kart racing to fashion a full day of family-friendly recreation. Clamber into a one- or two-seater speed machine to race friends, loved ones, and renegade Mario Kart characters for 15 ferocious laps around the Speedway’s sinuous track (a $6 value/race). Then, head to the outdoor putt-putt course (a $6 value/game) to send dimpled balls skittering past squat shrubs, plashing waterfalls, and nostalgic windmill operators into 18 waiting holes. The Groupon's eight games or races can be parceled out to multiple people on a single day, facilitating bonding within families or semipro hide-and-seek teams. Afterward, venture outside to browse The Factory's complex of shops, restaurants, and sports facilities.