For more than a decade, The Hitting Zone has helped baseball and softball players hone their slugging skills with top-notch batting cages. Its newly renovated facility includes seven new batting cages, new token machines, professional-quality turf, and enhanced lighting. While three cages devour tokens and spit out speedy pitches, schedule-savvy batters claim one of four regular cages for a designated hour of ball-pummeling against a Cy Young android lookalike.
• For $29, you get a 60-minute one-on-one soccer, baseball, or lacrosse training session for kids (up to a $60 value). • For $30, you get 10 passes to pickup soccer sessions ($7/session) for adults and children ages 13 and up (a $70 value). Sessions are two or three times a week from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Proehlific Park Family Sports Complex and Fitness Center is a sprawling facility, whose space opens up for youth and adult programs, fitness activities, and sports. Three basketball courts and a 70-yard turf field welcome soccer and flag-football leagues. Meanwhile, the fitness center holds a weight room, spinning studio, cardio center, along with group exercise classes such as yoga, Zumba, and Pilates. While not relaxing in comfortable locker rooms complete with saunas, customers will also find free wireless and a smoothie bar in the lobby.
The Burlington Royals, the rookie-class affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, invite fans to take in a breezy summer’s day at the 3,500-seat Burlington Athletic Stadium. The Royals trade swings in the Appalachian League, competing against clubs that represent the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Rays while vying for a division title on the same fields where megastars such as Jim Thome and CC Sabathia earned their baseball stripes. An intimate view of the action invites fans to keep their eye on the ball while also admiring the scowls that future big-leaguers put on to intimidate the pitcher into stuffing the baseball in his mouth and rocking back and forth nervously.
A minor-league Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, the Kannapolis Intimidators have their gloves oiled to climb the ranks of the South Atlantic League while providing fans with the hard-hitting action of professional baseball. Cheer as manager Teddy Thompson uses complicated hand signals and oversized cue cards to command his platoon of bat-wielding basemen, including outfielders Nick Ciolli and Brady Shoemaker. From the family-friendly confines of "The Cannon," delight in the electrifying atmosphere of pro ball while savoring a tasty treat from one of the concession stands or doodling on an old-fashioned scorekeeper's forehead.