“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
We become a better version of ourselves when we laugh, play and take advantage of new adventures. Now that we’re settling back into our school routines, it’s time to kick things up a notch. With a more predictable schedule, let’s be a little unpredictable. Here are my favorite 7 places to have an adventurous date night with your partner and/or group of friends right here in Charlotte.
US National Whitewater Center is the mecca of adventure in the Charlotte area. With an adult day pass ($59), you’ll be awarded with a plethora of daring escapades from ropes courses, ziplines, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, jumps and mountain biking. Here are 4 of my favorites activities to do there. https://usnwc.org/visit/activity-passes/
If one were to describe whitewater rafting like riding a horse, then rodeo rafting would be self explanatory. Rodeo rafting uses smaller rafts and less people. Typically, 4 people and a guide. Rodeo guides are experts on how to surf the waves and pull off some extraordinary moves with your help. Get ready to surf and swim the rapids! Included in the day pass. Reserve your raft time in advance for $5. https://usnwc.org/play/water-activities/whitewater-rafting/
Hawk Jump 100 ft
Climb several flights of stairs in a harness and then get attached to a power fan cord and step off a 100 ft ledge for a fast elevator ride down to a rubber mulch pit. Catch your belly in your throat and giggle like a school child for the rest of the evening. Best rush ever! Included in the day pass.
Deep Water Solo
Scale a 45 foot rock wall without ropes and when you fall or let go, you’ll land in a 20 foot deep swimming pool. It is deliciously simple and daring all at once. Included in the day pass.
Zipline & Dine takes guests zipping 1,625 feet through the air before traversing through a series of rope bridges and platforms and then zipping 1,100 feet back to Hawk Island. A chef-curated meal and craft brews or wine awaits at the end of your adventure. $75 per person. Reserve in advance. https://usnwc.org/relax/adventure-dining/zipline-dine/
Inner Peaks rock climbing is the perfect introduction to adventure. Mostly because there’s an element of control in climbing and because you’re roped in, you can take a few more risks. Inner Peaks has a great introductory day pass for first timers. For $28 per person you get a day pass, a harness and shoe rental. With 10 auto-belays (ropes you’re attached to that’ll automatically and slowly lower you to the ground), there’s no need to acquire technical belaying skills just to try it out. The climbing walls range from 25 to 40 ft walls and a variety of bouldering walls (which is climbing low to the ground without ropes). http://www.innerpeaks.com/daypasses/first-timers/
Carowinds is good old-fashioned roller coaster fun. Unlike other outdoor activities, where your adventure requires you to step off that ledge or climb a rock wall, on a roller coaster you just sit back and go for the ride of your life. On Fury 325, you’ll descend 325 feet at 95 miles per hour at an 81 degree angle, then keep flying around the track with your hands in the air. The park is open weekends through October. Don’t forget the Intimidator. https://www.carowinds.com
Victory Lane Karting has been known to settle a few scores on who’s the better driver. The little speed machines top out at 40 mph and each of their two tracks are a quarter of a mile. Races start at $20 per person with a license fee of $7. Go for the race, stay for the delicious food at Pit Road Bar & Grill. It was featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. If you need to redeem yourself after the race, throw a few bowling balls down Gasoline Alley. Either way, you win for picking a great place to play!
Top Golf is a video game, it’s a driving range, it’s a bar and restaurant and it’s golf on steroids. Whether you’re a hack at golf or an avid player, Top Golf is a fun for everyone. Grab up to 6 friends, reserve a bay and order something tasty. Wack a few balls and start planning your PGA tour. https://topgolf.com/us/charlotte/
Kinetic Heights has 22,000 square feet of indoor adventure. When the weather turns, as it inevitably will, take your thrills inside on their 16 traversing ropes course challenges and ninja warrior course. Be sure to try the devil steps and the warped wall. Open Play Ropes/Ground passes are $18 per person. https://kineticheights.com/open-play/
Lumberjaxe is like darts, but with axes. A salty mix of curiosity and caveman attraction. Targets are rented $20 per hour, they’ll provide a few basic throwing lessons and talk through safety guidelines. Once you hold that little ax, which is heavier than it looks, the fear of the blade will dissipate and the thrill of “sticking it” will consume the vixen within. https://www.lumberjaxe.com