TEN BEST WAYS TO INDULGE YOUR INNER CHILD
Last year, we laughed at a co-worker whose boyfriend was too busy with dodgeball in Winston-Salem to spend time with her, but now a different co-worker has joined a league in Greensboro. There’s an adult kickball league in both cities too, though unfortunately the less formal weekly drunk kickball games in Greensboro ceased when the organizers moved away. Sounds like a job for you!
Fisher Park tree
At the northern edge of Fisher Park — the actual park, not the neighborhood — the stream feeds under the road and out of the western half of the park. Plopped down on top of the tunnel is a gigantic tree, its roots swallowing much of the manmade passage beneath it. Why some band hasn’t shot an album cover there is beyond me, especially given the rumor (which I am starting, right now) that the bones and treasure of a Confederate soldier are deep inside the tunnel.
Greensboro Electric Trains
“You aren’t allergic to smoke, are you?” he’ll ask as he turns on the electric train set laid out on a table taking up a third of the store. The man who greets you as you walk in dons a train conductor’s outfit. Don’t miss the sign on the model table pointing towards “Intercourse Paradise,” the smoking car crash or the national monuments. Customers can buy a volcano set, trees in any season, a milk vending machine, and tiny vintage billboards.
Airbound Trampoline Park
Winston-Salem has an indoor trampoline park. AND there is a “large foam pit.” Are you kidding me? What could possibly be a more important use of your time? It opens at 2 p.m. during the week, which is disappointing because I was already starting to craft plans for an extended lunch break. You can even reserve a jump time.
Every once in a while when my dad was on a business trip my mom would spring it on us: dessert for dinner! “Naughty dinner,” as the rare tradition came to be known in my family, is one of the best ways to act like a kid — but you have to go all the way. Go ahead and get that banana split, put chocolate sauce on your pizza and buy five kinds of popcorn. Treat yo self!
The Kersey Valley corn maze is designed for kids, but it’s challenging enough for adults to find their way out of it. The park, located in High Point, also has a zip line. Similar adventures include mini golf or bumper boats at Celebration Station, Adventure Landing or Wet & Wild Emerald Pointe (though it’s not exactly in season). Leave the kids at home and don’t suggest this as a date — take a few friends and spend an hour doing something to break up your week.
Need I say more? A Mecca for nerds, especially those old enough to legally consume alcohol, Geeksboro’s opening bolstered the ranks of adult play places. Let’s not forget the Lost Ark arcade, another relatively recent addition to the Gate City. Several places host a weekly board game night, and Magic the Gathering tournaments are held at the Grinning Gamer. My roommate won two weeks ago.
Kids love animals. There’s the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, the Natural Science Center in Greensboro and Winterpast Farm’s petting zoo in Wake Forest. Cheer things up by fostering puppies from a shelter (assuming your childhood tendencies don’t make you too irresponsible). When a friend got sad we used to play with the pups at a pet store, which is cheaper than checking out a more expansive animal collection.
Rocks and Locks
For hobbyist geologists and witches, there are a few places to buy rocks and crystals in the area, but only one doubles as a locksmith. Standing in the shadow of the Greensboro Coliseum, Rocks and Locks has to be one of the oddest business ideas that ever became a reality. Some gems are as cheap as fast food, but it doesn’t cost anything to peer at the geodes or read about which rock is supposed to help with what. Look for the mural outside.
Build a fort
I used to be a master fort builder. My next-door neighbor and I dug one into the side of a hill that was not only camouflaged and difficult to see, but boasted three entrances and exits and was warm enough to sit in during the winter. We dreamed of connecting our tree forts in the air over the fence that surrounded his yard. In college several of us dismantled couches and beds, creating a room-sized fort and watching Hook inside of it. Regardless of the genre, forts are an underutilized yet thoroughly enjoyable adult pursuit.