Trampoline Parks are the latest craze in Asheville North Carolina. We had “Launch” open up not too long ago, and now Sky Zone Trampoline Park is opening up only about 3 miles away from them in Gerber Village, right near Publix and almost right across from Gold’s Gym. Maybe between this new place opening and the newly constructed apartments behind it; Gerber Village will finally gain some more life and shopping traffic.
Trampolines are a great platform for fun, games, exercise, dance, fitness and many other uses. We have been jumping around ever since the House of Pain did back in the days. Glad the community is finally catching up with us.
Planning a young child’s birthday party can be, well, stressful. All of the mini-details from party theme to invites, along with securing a safe, fun and affordable party space can all add up to be down-right overwhelming. So why not think out-of-the-box the next time a celebration is upon you?
Get Creative and Artsy
Does your child love to paint, craft and create beautiful masterpieces? If so, then why not host a unique and fun birthday party at a local art-inspired location?
• Paint Parties – Painting with a Twist, Asheville and Wine & Design Asheville are two great examples of an art inspired kid’s birthday party option. Choose the painting, invite a few friends, bring the birthday cake and let the kids relax and create.
• Crafting Parties – Craft your own pottery, glass, mosaics and jewelry with a birthday gathering at Fired Up! Creative Lounge, Claying Around or Chevron Trading Post. In addition to local locations, craft stores such as Michaels, JoAnns and A.C. Moore offer birthday party packages and typically take care of the invitations, setup and cleanup!
For the Active and Energetic Ones
Climbing, tumbling and playing, OH MY!
• Play-FULL Parties – The Mountain Play Lodge, Chuck E Cheese and Fun Depot all offer birthday party packages, making the planning, setup and cleanup a cinch. Not to mention, these locations already have the fun built in! Party, play and party some more right here in Asheville!
• Adventurous Parties – Everyone could use some adventure in their life, and what better place to do that than in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina! A few birthday location ideas include Asheville Treetop Adventure Park, Adventure Rock in Candler and the WNC Nature Center.
• Sports Fanatic Parties – Did you know that the Asheville Tourists offer birthday party packages? Yep! During baseball season, you can secure birthday packages at McCormick Field that include seating at the game, invitations and a baseball and marker for autographs. Oh, and don’t forget to check out birthday party options at Asheville Racquet Club, Tarheel Lanes and the Wolverine Paintball Park.
Parties on a Budget
Are you looking to host a memorable and fun birthday party for your little one but need to stick to a budget? No problem! Asheville has just what you need! Here are a few ideas:
• Host a birthday party at one of Asheville’s beautiful parks! Bring a lunch, some cake and have a blast playing and celebrating outdoors with the birthday kid and friends.
• Visit a local farm
• Plan to attend one of the many free outdoor festivals that happen throughout the year. Festivals such as Shindig on the Green and the Drum Circle are a few favorites right here in Asheville, North Carolina.
There are many birthday options right here in our own backyard. Take advantage of the free options, or explore the fun and adventurous services that many local businesses have to offer.
So, the word on the street is that the Streetchat App has made its way into many Asheville area schools, and it is being banned by teachers and law enforcement. First of all, you have an Anonymous name, which increases the chance of posts which include cyberbullying and attacks on teacher, students and others. There is not any accountability, and technically there is not any easy way to hold anyone responsible. They have rules forbidding certain things being posted, but there is not any monitoring of the content as of yet. You are supposed to be 17 years old to use the App, but anyone can download it for their iPhone or Android. The App uses GPS, pinpoints your location, and then generates a list of schools from Grade School to College, that are nearby. Then people can post a message about that school, people in it, and individuals; never naming who the user (the one who posts) is.
A teenager in Connecticut is facing charges for posting inappropriate photos of a teacher with sexually charged captions. Several schools in Princeton WV are also dealing with bullying posts. As you can see in the post above, Clemson University in South Carolina is Trending on it as we speak.
Enka High School is one of the educational institutions that have been battling the Streetchat App. The school is currently on a top user list ranking #11 out of all of the schools across the Country, having over 1000 sign-ups that have downloaded the App. Students have been warned with OSS (Out of School Suspension) for anyone caught posting to Streetchat.
When you think about all of the communities being built up on all ends of Asheville and Buncombe County, there are a few that quickly come to mind. Of course you have Biltmore Village, which was a community built for the workers who were constructing the Biltmore Estate. They recently had a wonderful grocery store named Katuah Market open which sort of completes that area. Except for housing, which the Biltmore Property Group has several plans in the works to make that happen. Then you have Biltmore Park Town Square, which was started several years ago, and has some key attractions such as a movie theater, restaurants, offices and a YMCA; in addition to their community of homes and condos. The East and West sides of Asheville have nothing even similar to these, but Reynolds Village, on Reynolds Mountain, is laying the foundation for the North side of town.
We recently took a ride up to visit the Reynolds Village Shops and see what they had going on. It was kind of quiet, but this place is up and coming, and not too established yet. They survived the great economy depression of this era and made it through. The focus was most likely survival during those times. As it seems, they do not have an effective marketing team that is building relationships with the community and vendors yet, so the buzz is low and it is not yet exploding with growth. They do not have a website for the business community and theloftsasheville.com site listed on the Shops at Reynolds Village Facebook page is a dead link. The ReynoldsMountain.com website is dated and has a big dead space through the center of it at the moment. What we are saying is that they are piecing things together and still have a lot of work to do. So from online perception, it may still seem “under construction” if you may. But this is not the case. There are plenty of stores open with merchandise that you want and need. As far as the “big picture”… it is coming soon, and we are placing our bets on this being a hot-spot on the north side in the near future. As pictured above, they do have a beautiful water fountain that we enjoyed sitting by and listening to. A nice mid-day break.
Of course the YMCA is like the staple in these area communities. A great organization which brings a wide variety of folks around, giving exposure and awareness to the great shops in Reynolds Village. Here are some of the shops that you should definitely check out if you are up in that neck of the woods:
A hair salon for both humans, and one for our furry friends. Sorry hamsters and rabbits, this place is for the dogs; and cats. And although Shampoodle’s has the word “Poodle” in it, I believe they accept dogs of all races. Minerva’s Beauty Salon for humans looks like a great spot, and the cuts they show on their Facebook page are beautiful. I would definitely try this place out for my own hair if I was not already committed or if I needed a change.
In addition to the YMCA, there are several other shops that focus on health and fitness, including 9 Round Fitness and Asheville Pilates.
If you have kids, they have a couple of great stores that you must see! First is the Spellbound Children’s Bookshop which has been a wonderful store in the Asheville area for years. You can also purchase their books online. Next is a place called AMPed Up Kids Consignment & Boutique, which features so many quality items for the kiddos. Attention Parents: GET HERE! We had some social conversation with them recently on Twitter and it was good. We definitely need to stop in there soon.
And if art is your forte, the Shops at Reynolds Village features the Andrew Charles Gallery, which is a hidden gem showcasing beautiful local art, and rare collections from times past. Their artifacts are from places such as Egypt, West Africa, New Guinea, Colima West Mexico; with the oldest item being 5500 years old. I have seen nothing like this place in Asheville. Amazing! Studio B is a a framing shop right across the street and features contemporary art from local artists as well. Both of these places are worth the drive alone to see the art.
And there are two shops in here that you ladies will especially love. Kaylynne’s Briar Patch Florist has so many great selections and from what I hear, their creativity is like none other. And… The Knitting Diva, and she is all about yarn! This place actually started as a weekly meeting at the Well-Bred Bakery and grew into this. Talk about Asheville grown!
Livi’s Pantry is a great little grocery store featuring high quality foods, wines and more. We stopped by there recently and had a small lunch, some coffee and a business meeting. The owner was wonderful to us! They have a cute mini wine bar in the back where you can sit and sip some of their great selections. With Vino Vino Wine Market recently closing, this is the perfect place to stop and grab a bottle or two. They also have a deli in the back, and they are serving Boar’s Head Meats; so it must be good!
And Moe’s Original Barbecue is opening shop right outside the gates of Reynold’s Mountain and The Shops at Reynolds Village, and that place is BBQ and Beer Heaven! We definitely know we will be spending a lot more time up this way. You should too!
I was more nervous than I thought I’d be when Loura McRae, the owner of All God’s Children Child Enrichment Center, asked me to speak about my job to a group of children. First of all, there was the age range; 5-10 year olds. How was I supposed to get a 5 year old excited about writing when she can only spell a couple words? How was I supposed to convince a 10 year old at summer camp that writing is fun, and this isn’t like school?
I thought back to my beginnings…the age old question I’m always asked, “Lorna, when did you start writing?”
“Always,” I answer, “I wrote before I even knew how to hold a pen.”
I realized I wasn’t going to convince these kids of anything. My original plan was to go in and have them co-write a story with me. I’d start them off, and we’d all add events until we had a finished product. Then I stopped and thought…that is just a writing activity. Yes, I’d be asking them to use their imaginations, but on something I prompted. It was an assignment. That would never inspire them; it would have been a task with a beginning and end, and would never linger once I left the room. It would be about something I asked them to do instead of something they discovered on their own. I had a real shot to introduce these kids to expresssion, and had to be careful not to make a lesson of it.
I started by asking them their likes and dislikes…movies, books, video games, activities, and showed them how without writers who chase the things that run through their heads to write them down, we wouldn’t have any of it. I then asked them what they know about some place they’d never been…another city or country, and opened their eyes to how writing, voice, opinion, and personality connects us to the things we haven’t even experienced.
I let them know writing has no limits at all, and it isn’tabout a pen and paper or computer. It is about creating and experiencing, and making it so other people can too. It is communicating humanity. It’s art. Writers give legs to the lame, vision to the blind, and music to the deaf.
All I knew to do was share my passion with them, and that’s what I did. I started telling them about blogging about a hot air balloon ride on a magical morning, and how the words came when I simply imagined myself there again, letting the experience speak for me. They started telling me things they had seen and felt, and what they’d been reminded of in certain experiences. They were so excited, and they were writing to me already!
I then read them an unpublished manuscript of mine based on a fairy hunt I created to stop a friend’s daughter from crying after a bee sting. I explained how a fairy tale was born from just reflecting on something that really happened. I could see little light bulbs flashing on in their eyes…they were thinking up things like this of their own.
When I passed out journals I’d made for them, they couldn’t wait to fill them with the stories and ideas that were starting to generate. They loved that it was not to turn in and no one had to ever see it. The younger children were excited to learn they could even draw their stories, or simply tell them to anyone who’ll listen.
These kids were fired up when I left, and the warm reception I experienced at All God’s Children was definitely soup for my writer’s soul. It gave me a chance to remember the early days when I was writing just to get it out, because something was that exciting to me. That’s how it should always be. Writing isn’t sentences, grammar, or impressing people. It’s making connections with anything and everything outside the words that become the sweetest deliverence. Just connections…that’s it…child’s play.
The smiling faces at All God’s Children with their journals! They even let me photo-bomb 🙂
Stay tuned for one of these children’s stories to be featured on askasheville.com this August!
Also contact Loura McRae at 828-515-0661 for more information on child care! She’s awesome!