Summer Tennis Camp Returns to Chetola

Have you heard the news? RDUTennis is back at Chetola Resort this summer. RDUTennis is the largest tennis management company in the Tarheel State. They offer clinics and camps throughout North Carolina, Central Florida, and Washington, D.C.

Camp will be offered to novice level children from the ages of 4-12. Basic drills and games will be offered each day to make this a very “non-competitive” approach to the game.

Check-in at Chetola courts – 9:00am
Tennis drills/games – 9:00am-10:30am
Snack & rest break/playground – 10:30-11:15am
Tennis drills/games – 11:30-12:30
Parent pick-up – 12:30 at the courts

You may enroll for the whole week or drop-in daily. Contact owner, Brian Rosenthal with any questions at

Weekly fee is $170
Daily drop-off fee is $45

The link to register and view camp dates is here:

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience Coming to zMAX Dragway, Feb. 12-21

More than 70 photorealistic dinosaurs are ready to return from extinction to invade Charlotte. The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru, the nation’s largest touring dinosaur exhibit, will migrate to the Charlotte Motor Speedway February 12-21 after welcoming legions of guests to sold-out weekends across the country.

The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru will transform the outdoor parking area of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s zMAX Dragway into an interactive drive-thru experience, featuring more than 70 moving and life-like dinosaurs, as well as our 50 foot-long Megalodon! Jurassic Quest’s herd of animatronic dinos are displayed in realistic scenes that allow guests to experience them roaring and moving as they drive through the tour. Although the drive-thru experience means visitors will stay safe inside their vehicle, they’ll still need to avoid the swinging tail of our 50 foot-long Spinosaurus!

More than 300,000 vehicles and 1.5 million people have attended the Jurassic Quest Drive Thru since the national tour launched in mid-July with stops in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Houston and more.

The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru is the only place to encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the Earth, and some of the eeriest marine creatures to ever lurk the ocean’s depths, from the safety of your family vehicle. Guests will be among the first in the nation to go on a quest with our adventure-for-all-ages online audio tour that will lead them through the thrilling dinosaur safari. The audio tour is available in English and Spanish, and special accommodations can be made for the hearing impaired. For $49 per vehicle (8 people or less), your dino crew can time-travel and enjoy about an hour-long ride back in time.

Jurassic Quest worked in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur was painstakingly replicated in every detail, depicting how we understand dinosaurs looked and moved!

In addition to the life-like dinosaur exhibits, there will be opportunities to visit with our one-of-a-kind baby dinosaurs and our team of dino trainers as well as the chance to capture the moment with a safari-style photo of your vehicle and family transported back in time via a Jurassic setting complete with a dinosaur backdrop. All attendees will leave with the same bragging rights, “We Survived Jurassic Quest 2021!” One photo per family is included with ticket purchase.

Designed to be thrilling but not scary for our littlest adventurers, big or small, young or old, guests of Jurassic Quest have a dino-mite time!


Jurassic Quest takes extra precautionary measures to provide a clean and safe event and operates under COVID-19 safety protocols in accordance with county, state and CDC guidelines. Guests are to remain in vehicles and to wear masks in the event they exit the vehicle in allowed areas. Social distancing rules are requested of all guests and maintained by Jurassic Quest crew. We sanitize equipment, dinosaurs and workstations frequently and thoroughly throughout the entirety of the event. Our employees apply hand sanitizer and wash hands regularly throughout each day, in addition to wearing masks. Guest safety and enjoyment is our top priority.


Jurassic Quest Drive Thru adventurers will need to buy tickets in advance online at Tickets are $49 per vehicle and include a 100% ticket guarantee that in the event of a show cancellation or postponement for any reason, ticket purchases will be automatically refunded for the full purchase amount. Guests must travel through the drive-thru in the comfort of their own vehicle – no rentals or golf carts will be provided, and walkers are not allowed. To ensure participant safety, all guests must ride inside their vehicles (yes, pets inside vehicles are allowed), no riders in truck beds, however. Trailers are also not allowed – we’re worried they might tempt the hungry dinos too much! Oversized vehicles and vehicles with 9 or more riders are permitted but will need to contact Customer Service,, for pricing and scheduling. A full list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found online at

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru

Tickets available online

Cost for entry:
$49 per vehicle

Charlotte Motor Speedway (zMAX Dragway – 6570 Bruton Smith Blvd Concord, NC 28027)

February 12-21, 2021 (closed Monday & Tuesday, February 15-16)

Friday, February 12: 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday, February 13: 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday, February 14: 9 am – 8 pm
Monday and Tuesday, February 15-16: Closed
Wednesday and Thursday, February 17-18: 1 pm – 8 pm
Friday, February 19: 9 am – 8 pm
Saturday, February 20: 9am – 9 pm
Sunday, February 21: 9 am – 8 pm

Currently touring as a Drive-Thru only. The largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibition in North America. Now with new animatronic water dwellers, Jurassic Quest is the only dinosaur event that has up to 100 true to life-sized dinosaur replicas from the very small, to the gigantic, to those found under the sea. Guests will witness their favorite dinosaurs move, roar and roam and have the chance to interact with baby dinosaurs and adolescent dinosaurs, including the T. Rex, Spinosaurus, Triceratops and many others. With the addition of Ancient Oceans, guests will also be able to “swim” with our 50 foot long, prehistoric Megalodon!


Everything comes bigger in Texas, and Houston-based Jurassic Quest has been mounting epic dinosaur experiences since 2014, treating millions of people around the world to an as-close-as-you-can-get look at the giants that ruled the Earth and sea millions of years ago. Developed in hand with leading paleontologists, Jurassic Quest dinos featuring realistic movement and sound have brought more than 1.5 million fans a safe family adventure option via new drive-thru experiences. For more information and to buy tickets visit

Join the Community Music School online this Spring!

Online Group Classes for ages 5-18

  • Let’s Play Piano!
  • Let’s Play Guitar!
  • Let’s Play Ukulele! 
  • Let’s Play Drums!
  • Hit Maker! (Songwriting and Production)
  • Appalachian Youth Chorale
  • Appalachian Vocal Academy
  • Appalachian Youth Orchestra

Tuition assistance is available for group classes through the “Pay What You Can” options. 

Register now through January 30! Classes start the week of February 15.

Online Private Lessons for All Ages

  • We offer private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, drum set/snare, and yoga.
  • Registration for semester packages is open until January 30
  • Tuition assistance is available for semester packages (register by Jan. 30). New students can join anytime – email!

Workshops included with your registration: This Spring, registrants for any program will receive access to live classes about Music Theory and Creative Music-Making (held over ZOOM) and a series of pre-recorded classes on Mind-Body Connections for the Performing Artist.

Contact Us

  • Learn more at and register here.
  • All our lessons and classes are online for Spring 2021.
  • To see what we’re up to, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram at @appcommunitymusic.
  • For registration questions, feel free to email Lisl Doughton, Program Manager, and Cody Arington, Administrative Coordinator, can help answer your questions or introduce you to a teacher.

Deals on Snow Days at Area Ski Resorts for Students and Teachers

When school closes and you have the proper transportation, you may want to take advantage of the great deals at the area ski resorts.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

Appalachian Ski Mtn. offers special Snow Day rates to students, teachers and staff of all public and private preschools, elementary schools, and high schools when schools are canceled or released early due to snow or inclement weather. Snow Day rates apply to schools in Watauga County and the following adjacent counties: Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Johnson (TN), and Wilkes.

Use code SNOWDAY2020 to activate this special rate for a Flex Ticket, or LOCALSNOW2020 to activate the 9am-5pm ticket on our Online Reservations Platform. Pricing will be reflected on final cart review page of checkout.

 Ski Ticket (9am – 5pm) — $8
8-Hour Flex Ticket  – $10
Ski Rental Package*  — $6
Shape Ski Rental Package*— $10
Standard Snowboard Rental Package*— $15
Burton Learn-To-Ride Snowboard Package*— $18
Ice Skating Package*— $10

If school is rescheduled for Saturday attendance or rescheduled on a Holiday, and canceled due to snow, Snow Day rates do not apply. Snow Day rates apply to tickets and equipment rental sold between 8:30am and 4:00pm. Snow Day rates are not sold for night sessions.

College students are only eligible for the Regional Snow Day Flex Ticket when classes are cancelled for winter weather. Regular rental rates apply to college students.

Students should present a report card or other school ID from one of the listed counties. Teachers and Staff should present a pay stub or other employment identification. Home-school students may present a home-school authorization letter from the NC Department of Non-Public Education along with a parent’s driver’s license confirming the specific county residency. Home-school teachers do not qualify for Snow Day rates.

*Package includes helmet

Sugar Mountain Resort 

Special pricing available to K-12 students and teachers on days that school is cancelled due to winter weather. Pricing available to Ashe, Avery, Mitchell & Watauga counties in North Carolina and Carter & Johnson counties in Tennessee.

College students do not qualify for this special pricing but should refer to the College Discounts page for applicable discounts that may be available for them.

K-12 Student and Teacher Snow Day Pricing
Full Day or Half Slope/Lift Ticket 17
Ski Rentals 10
Snowboard Rentals 21 (deposit required)
Sugar Bear Ski School 58 (Full Day) or 45 (Half Day)
Polar Bear Snowboard School 96 (Full Day) or 58 (Half Day)
Ice Skating 10

Beech Mountain Youth Sledding Hill Provides Free Winter Fun

Are you looking for frugal winter fun for the family? We have a wonderful opportunity for you that is only a short drive outside of Boone!

Photo credit:

The popular youth sledding hill in Beech Mountain is open daily, weather permitting, through early March. The hill provides free sledding for children 12 and under.

Sledding conditions are usually favorable thanks to Beech Mountain’s average annual snowfall of nearly 90 inches, plus a snow gun for making the white stuff when Mother Nature isn’t.

The sledding hill is located next to the Visitor Center at 403 Beech Mountain Parkway in the heart of Beech Mountain. Hours of operation are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and select holidays.

It’s operated by the Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Department with safety personnel on duty. Plastic sleds are required. Folks may bring their own, or they are available for rent or purchase at three stores within walking distance of the sledding hill.

Parking is available across the street near the Brick Oven Pizzeria (which serves hot chocolate), while Wi-FI and warm restrooms are available in the Visitor Center. People are encouraged to call (800) 468-5506 to receive live updates on sledding conditions.

“We provide real-time updates from the sledding hill,” says Beech Mountain tourism director Kate Gavenus. “All we have to do is look out the window.”

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sledding hills are operating with new restrictions in place. For the 2020/2021 sled season, there is a limited capacity of 50 persons for each of the hills, including sledders, spectators and staff. Social distancing measures and masks are also mandatory for all users.

New Year’s Eve Family Friendly Activities

2021 is almost here! A huge shout-out to all the High Country families. Your perseverance was huge in 2020. We are believing that 2021 is going to be great for all. Here are five family-friendly activities to help you celebrate.

Photo Credit: App Ski Mtn
  1. App Ski Mtn – Family Friendly Fireworks are now scheduled for 9:30! (Ski or Skate Reservations are required.)
  2. New Year’s Eve Countdown on Netflix – Countdowns, confetti, fireworks and more. Ring in the new year whenever you’d like — with all of your favorite characters!
  3. PEEPSFEST (r) – Family fun is the name of the game at PEEPSFEST®, the annual two-day New Year’s Eve festival celebrating the fun and excitement of the PEEPS® Brand at the iconic SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA. Each year, fans arrive from all over the country to enjoy family-friendly activities and marvel at the PEEPS® Chick Drop – a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 400-pound lit PEEPS® Chick that descends on Dec. 31 to commemorate the beginning of an exciting new year. The live streaming of the drop will begin at 4:30pm on the 31st!
  4. Rapunzel’s New Year’s Eve Party – Get ready to let down your hair and say good riddance to 2020. Rapunzel is hosting this virtual Zoom party that includes an easy at-home craft, a dance party to the soundtrack of Tangled and a kick-off to the New Year with confetti, balloons and all of your at-home festive props. MORE INFO
  5. Ski Sugar – Due to weather, the New Year’s Eve Celebration will be Saturday, January 2, 2021.

    Celebrate the New Year at Sugar Mountain Resort with a performance by The Rockabilly’s on the Flying Mile slope-side deck from 4 – 6 p.m. (weather permitting) and a firework show at 5:45 p.m.

    Please respect face covering and physical distancing guidelines. If you cannot comply or feel sick please stay at home. Dates and details subject to change.

Deerfield Ridge’s 1st Annual Kids Gingerbread House Competition

We wanted to share this great competition in hopes that many of our High Country families will participate. Let the creativity begin!

Bring the Spirit of Christmas Past to your House

Do you want to bring Christmas cheer to someone’s house this year in Boone? This is such a special way to spread Christmas joy. Click here for more information and to register!

Health System Seeks Community’s Help to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

BOONE, NC – In response to a drastic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations at Watauga Medical Center (WMC), Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is asking for the community’s help.

On Monday, December 7, WMC had almost 80% of its COVID-19 beds occupied. “It’s certainly alarming when 27 of 34 available COVID-19 beds are full,” said Rob Hudspeth, Sr. Vice President for System Advancement for ARHS. “This week we opened 10 new COVID-19 beds, but we are now concerned that even 34 may not be enough,” he added.

As COVID-19 hospitalizations increase, the impact has a rippling effect on all hospital resources. Although ARHS has been stockpiling supplies since January, drastic surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations have caused it to use PPE, equipment and supplies at a much faster rate.

At the same time, non-COVID-19 hospital admissions are also increasing because many people with chronic and acute conditions are delaying routine healthcare. “So often now, when patients arrive at the Emergency Department they are sicker and require hospitalization, which strains our resources even more. Obviously more people in hospital beds means our staff are working more shifts. Their commitment to caring for our community has been remarkable. But we all need to be really concerned that our front line staff doesn’t experience extreme fatigue and burnout,” he added.

Among the most concerning trends for ARHS is the number of hospitalizations across the region. Two critical elements of ARHS’s original surge plan involved using critical care contract staffing and transferring appropriate patients to other hospitals. However, regional conference calls with other healthcare systems this week have revealed that very few contract staffing opportunities exist and the ability to transfer patients is non-existent. “Given that other hospitals are experiencing similar surges, it will be difficult to hire contract labor or transfer patients. So we fully expect this to be a series of challenges we’ll have to solve on our own,” Hudspeth added.

What Can the Community Do to Help?

  • Practice the 3Ws: Wear a mask, wash your hands often, and wait six feet apart.
  • Manage your health: Take your medications and do not delay medical care.
  • Get a flu shot to protect yourself and those around you.
  • Exercise, get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

The Carolina Snowbelles to perform holiday show virtually, premiering December 12

Blowing Rock, NC [December 8, 2020] A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas returns this December 12, 2020 – January 4, 2021 with a “very virtual” rendition of the High Country’s newest holiday tradition. 

Spectacular changes are happening for The Carolina Snowbelles as they present an online show partnering with Arthur Rasco of Journey Light Creative, LLC. The 1-hour production features a brand new digitally engineered routine inspired by the late Busby Berkeley entitled TWILIGHT. Filmed with green screen technology, this icicle wonderland is made possible by the heartfelt imagination of each dancing Snowbelle who transports us into a magical world where ballerinas drop out of the cool snowy sky and urban dancers multiply by the droves. Finally, the routine culminates into dancing kaleidoscopic snowflakes. 

Enjoy Snowbelle favorites like SING, MERRY & BRIGHT and LIKE THIS choreographed by Cheryl Cutlip while embracing the true meaning of Christmas with SILENT NIGHT choreographed by Bradley Parquette and LITTLE DRUMMER BOY choreographed by Amanda Edge. Kicking their way through the streets, meet our talented Snowbelles up close and in person as they share sights and sounds of North Carolina’s High Country as well as personal heartwarming stories.

Tickets are on sale at Performances can be enjoyed December 12, 2020-January 4, 2021 and all proceeds support The Carolina Snowbelles, a scholarship program of The Project Dance Foundation, a 501-c-3 arts and education organization.   

“We anticipated returning to our home at the beautifully restored Appalachian Theatre of the High Country with additional performances in 2020 after sold out performances last year. Instead, we’ve all learned a new skill; dancing on film, “said Cheryl Cutlip, Rockette alumnus and director of The Carolina Snowbelles.

For a sneak peak of this year’s show enjoy this preview:  Watch Trailer

Project Dance Foundation, 276H Watauga Village Drive, Suite 139, Boone, NC 28607