Inner Peaks Climbing Center
9535 Monroe Road, Suite 170
Charlotte, NC 28270
Take up a new family sport at Inner Peaks Climbing Center. Sign up before July 31 for the three-month, summer family membership special of $294. This includes unlimited access to the gym seven days a week until 10 p.m. Get free gear rentals and bring a guest for free. Bring up to two guests for half-price Mondays. Learn the basics of climbing in the introductory class, such as belaying. A climbing professional will be assigned to the family. Participants will be assigned a particular climbing path, carefully placing hands and feet on the color-coded climbing holds. The steeper the incline, the smaller the holds. The facility offers 60 climbing ropes of varying degrees of difficulty. A competitive team runs year round, coached by Sean Wieboldt. Not sure about the heights? Purchase a day pass: ages 12+ for $15 and 11 and under for $13.
Queen City Helicopter Corp.
125 Fraley Road
Gastonia, NC 28052
Queen City Helicopter Corp. offers an aerial view of Charlotte. Looking for a real adventure? Try the Discovery Flight for a hands-on feel of flying. Learn about the Robinson-22 helicopter. Chief Operations Officer Rocco Novelli says it is the safest, most efficient and dependable workhorse in the world. The Discovery Flight is $175 for one hour — student and pilot. It begins with 30 minutes of ground school instruction: the physics of how it operates, safety, how to hover, how to operate controls and much more. The duel controls allows the student to get a taste of flying. Headsets on and the 20-minute flight begins. This is for ages 16 and over. Try the Queen City Tour for a view of Charlotte seen by few. A 45-minute flight for three is $375. This will be a sensational childhood memory. Take in some of the landmarks that make Charlotte noteworthy.
584 Brawley School Road
Mooresville, NC 28117
My Aloha Paddle Sports And Fitness in Mooresville offers mental refreshment on both Charlotte lakes Norman and Wylie. Early in the morning when the lake is calm and no motors are running, glide across the water on a paddle board. But beware, this is actually a pretty good workout. Enjoying the water while working the core, the bum, strength, endurance and balance. North Carolina lakes provide fabulous settings for this sport because of the numerous coves and inlets. Already own a board? It’s $99 for a five-class package; board included is $125. A life jacket and leash is provided for those with no swimming skills. Want a challenging workout? Try the paddle board boot camp. A warmup on land is followed by burpees, pushups, mountain climbers, squats, lunges and paddling on the board.
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The Golf Center
5321 West Highway 74
Monroe, NC 28110
Summer is a great time to improve upon skills or learn a new sport. Just outside of Charlotte is The Golf Center. It’s a driving range and practice facility and a great location for families to experience the sport without a high price. There are distance markets from 50 to 300 yards and seven target greens from 67 to 250 yards. Practice the swings from the 15 grass areas or 11 artificial tee stations. Hit 45 balls for $5.30, 90 balls for $9.40 or 135 for $13.50. Loaner clubs are available for kids and adults at no charge. The facility is open seven days a week with lights for night practice. Professional instruction can be provided with an appointment. A small pro-shop provides custom clubs, repairs, loft and lie work, club modifications, re-shafting and re-gripping. Soda, water and snack crackers are available for purchase. Bring a picnic lunch for the outside, shaded table.
P.O. Box 620201
Charlotte, NC 28262
Walk a little. Eat a little. It’s that simple. Feast Food Tours offers the Uptown Chic Behind-The-Scenes tour that is beyond the ordinary. It’s historical, artistic, delicious and chic. Owner Kristi Martin meets guests in an upscale location, such as the lobby of the Ritz Carlton. The Saturday afternoon tour covers about two miles, while sampling specialties from six uptown venues. Learn some of the history of the Queen City’s landmarks. Talk to executive chefs and general managers. Watch cooking demonstrations and tour kitchens. The three-hour tour is $47 per person. Wear sunscreen, comfortable shoes and bring cash and a camera for this absorbing summertime activity.
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Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.