If you are bored of all of your usual hang-out spots or worried that you will have nothing to do on the weekends once school starts again, here are a few locations and activities in Winston-Salem that you may not have experienced yet.
Mallard Lake at Tanglewood Park offers pedal boating during the summer. Make sure to check the website for weekday options, but the boats are available for rent every weekend in August, from 7 am to 5 pm. The cost is $4 for half an hour. I usually bring a friend or sibling and a packed lunch. The banks are always crowded with geese, and there is a small pier to walk down and put your feet in the water.
The Yadkin River is quite long and has very little beach. The best way to enjoy the river is to bring tubes, kayaks, or a small boat and drift down with the current. When I visited the river with friends, we parked one car at a bottom entrance and drove up the river with tubes and a shallow boat. The trip took four hours, mainly because we were drifting rather than using paddles. Once we had reached the bottom entrance, we were able to drive up to collect the other car. I would suggest bringing lots of snacks.
There are many ways to enjoy the Dan River. However, simply wading through the water and enjoying the sights is how I experienced it. If you reach an area deep enough, you can jump off rocks into the water or climb steep slopes to admire the view from 40 feet up. Water shoes or Chacos may come in handy, as the river floor is covered in slippery rocks.
Marketplace Cinemas in Winston-Salem (aka “The $2.50 Movie Theater”) sells tickets for movies fresh out of the theater for only $2.50. This is a great way to enjoy movies in a theater environment without having to pay10 or 15 bucks.
Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, Stone Mountain
All of these parks provide wonderful hiking opportunities. Even if you are not the hiking type, just driving to the top of Pilot Mountain with a picnic and ENO to enjoy the spectacular view is entertainment enough. Hiking one of the many scenic trails would be the best way to enjoy a Saturday.
The Vintage Theater offers swing dancing with a live band every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm. There is an $8 admission fee with a free lesson starting at 7:30. The dancer demographic ranges from 13 up and the age group that attends most often are in their mid to late teens.
If you are bored one afternoon, maybe with some cousins in town or a few friends over, here are a couple of games that may liven up the day. The first is the “$5 Thrift Shop Search.” Each participant is given a five-dollar bill and is ushered into the nearest thrift shop. At the end of five minutes whoever has managed to purchase the most useful, odd, or valuable item is the winner and gets to keep all of the items purchased. The second game is the “Grossest Thing in the Grocery Store Game.” Once again, the price limit is $5. Each person enters a run-of-the-mill grocery store and whoever manages to find the grossest thing (by popular vote) is the winner. All of the losers have to taste-test the winner’s nasty discovery.
Coffee Shop Hop
This activity is like a bar hop but with coffee shops. Throughout the day, you must travel to the designated coffee shops, stopping to chat with the barista or read a book in the courtyard at each stop, after buying a unique drink. Feel free to let people know you are on a Coffee Shop Hop; they just might want to join you! Here are some shop options in Winston-Salem: Krankies, Camino Bakery, Washington Perk & Provisions, Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge, and Ardmore Coffee.
On hot afternoons you can head to Juice Shop Smoothies Inc. or Village Juice Co. and grab a juice smoothie before heading to the nearest pool, lake, or haunted parking lot.
The Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays at Tanglewood Park, 8:30 am to Noon. The market is set up across from the dog park through the first park entrance on the left; there is no admission fee or seasonal pass required for this section of the park. You can peruse the various hand/homemade options and visit local farmers like the Nicholsons who run Nomad Farms (tell them Mallory sent you).