Boredom Busters

Experts say a dose of boredom sparks imagination, but every summer there comes a point when kids and teens just need to Get. Out. Of. This. House. When that day comes, look to these three local businesses for a dose of adventure and a heap of fun.

Mad Splatter


Mad Splatter offers pottery painting, canvas design, and the ultimate abstract art experience: splatter rooms.

Craving an art experience with a side of rule-breaking? Then the splatter rooms at Mad Splatter studio in Apex are calling your name.

“More often than not, the people are splattering the walls; they’re painting the trash can; they’re painting each other; they’re painting our doors; they’re tagging everything. It’s just all around a fun experience,” says Kayleigh Daniels, manager at Mad Splatter.


“Everybody goes in with a canvas. … Then you pick out the music you want to listen to, and you just jam out while you splatter your canvases,” Daniels continues.

Apply paint with squeeze bottles, spray guns, and by flicking paint brushes — the staff at Mad Splatter will explain the details and techniques before your session begins. Splatter rooms must be reserved in advance. The experience is recommended for ages 3 and up, but the sweet spot may be tweens and teens who are ready to get messy and make memories.

“Adults go in wearing these giant white marshmallow suits and goggles. Kids go in these super cute ponchos and shoe covers and goggles,” says Daniels.

Owner Meredith Harrington, along with her husband Cody, came up with the idea of the splatter rooms to add to Mad Splatter’s other art opportunities: canvas and pottery painting.

“Most people are surprised by how fun it is. You have a memory and a canvas to take home. And you get totally messy,” Harrington says.

Canvas and pottery painting — for the less messy days — are available without an appointment and are mostly self guided. Choose a canvas design from an online gallery or select a piece of pottery onsite. Mad Splatter supplies the paint, equipment, instructions, and support to complete your masterpiece.

2016 Creekside Landing Drive, Apex

Photography courtesy of Mad Splatter

Flour Power Cooking Studios

Holly Springs

Mark Soticheck, left, and Thaddeus Stowe mix ingredients to make pancakes. Flour Power’s hands-on approach allows the participants to be the chefs.

You might expect knife skills or dough handling to be the most important skills learned at a cooking class, but Morgan Lehman, manager and instructor at Flour Power Holly Springs, says it’s independence.

Aubrie Heart and other kids and teens learn independence as well as food education and technical skills at Flour Power classes.

“Participants do (the tasks) on their own, and they’re proud of themselves when they’re done,” Lehman says. “That’s fun to watch, because we see little lights come on and they’re like, ‘I did that, and I loved it.’”

From-scratch personal pizzas, teriyaki chicken, and even Moroccan potato salad are all recipes included in programs that Flour Power offers to young children and teens.

“We try to be as hands on as we can be, because we want (the kids) to be the creators. We have found that when they create, even if it’s different, they’re more willing to try the food because they made it,” Lehman says.

Weeklong camps and evening or weekend classes give young chefs practical experience and food knowledge.

“We try to have educational moments in there so that participants can learn proper technique, and we teach them about where foods come from, and how they are made, so that classes are educational as well as fun,” says Lehman.

Check the Flour Power website for the full schedule of camps and classes, and keep a special eye out for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory offerings — the most popular theme to date, says Lehman.

244 Grand Hill Place, Holly Springs

Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex

Holly Springs

Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex welcomes all riders, beginner through elite, to train at its indoor/outdoor facility.

Wheels of all kinds — bikes, scooters, skateboards, and skates — are welcome at the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex, as are all ability levels.

Helmets are required for all riders.

The facility, opened by international BMX star Daniel Dhers and Abel Zalcberg, was created to appeal to young riders through professional-level athletes.

Riders can begin on the low ramps and work up to more challenging obstacles. There’s even a ramp leading into a foam pit for practicing tricks with a soft landing.

Explore indoor and outdoor sections; the entire complex totals 37,000 square feet. All riders must wear helmets; knee pads and elbow pads are required for riders under 18.

The center maintains open session hours Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 3 and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Dhers himself trains at the complex, along with other Olympic-level athletes like Nikita Ducarroz. With any luck, you’ll catch a glimpse of top-tier riders in action and pick up a few tips of your own.

171 Tradition Trail, Suite 301, Holly Springs

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