Much as we love our restaurants, music and nightlife here in Asheville, NC, those are not the only activities available after dark for people looking for something fun! At the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we often send guests out to some of our favorite “other” things to do in Asheville at night.
Imagine parking your car on a quiet side street and then walking down the hill on a lovely summer evening to one of the oldest minor league baseball fields in the country: McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists, farm team for the Colorado Rockies. As you walk to the field you may hear the sound of the announcer introducing the players and, since this is Asheville, the concession stands will be doing a busy trade in craft beer and ballpark food. If it is a home game on Thursday, you will find a great deal on non-craft beers selling for $1 a beer. It’s Thirsty Thursday! Even if you don’t wish to partake of the beer, there is plenty of traditional ballpark food. Grab a bag of peanuts or some crackerjack, load up your hotdog with mustard and relish and head on in to your seats. With a capacity of just 3,500 the ball park is small and the action close. There really are no bad seats in the house and $13 will get you a spot right behind home plate. You will be given a program when you enter the park but will need to stop at the information booth just to your left for a copy of the line-up including the players stats for both teams.
In the tradition of small town ballparks expect to be entertained between innings by cute children playing (and winning) relay races and other games against the team mascots on the field. Depending on the sponsor, children may race in toothbrush costumes, throw Nerf balls into the back of cars or, race around the bases. Tee-shirts are thrown into the crowd and wing eating contests take place. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is not about baseball. The crowd may be having fun but the players mean business. Fastballs will hit more than 92 MPH, home runs have a just as great distance to go as in a major league field and the fielding can be awesome. Finally, if you are lucky, you may find you can go out onto the field and settle down to watch a display of pyrotechnics overhead after the game has ended.
Looking for something a little more highbrow? Just half a mile from our Asheville inn is the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater. Throughout the summer on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, the Montford Park Players perform Shakespeare and other plays under the stars in front of an appreciative crowd of picnickers and theater lovers. Bring a blanket or rent a chair for a nominal fee. Some food and drink is available for purchase but you are also welcome to bring your own picnic. As the sun slowly sets, the lights come on and by the time the production is finished you will be walking back to the inn, your way lit by fireflies (and the flashlight we will be happy to lend you). Tickets are free but for a small donation to the Company, arranged through the Carolina Bed & Breakfast, you will be greeted by the manager, given the best seats in the house, and showered with gifts (umbrellas, picnic baskets, free drinks) and after the show is over you will join the cast on stage for a group photo. And, if you are game, they will give a walk-on role in the production. You will join their costume master backstage and be outfitted as a member of the cast. You can watch the show from your seat, join in the action when it’s time and then return to watch the rest of the show with no one the wiser. Don’t be nervous, the cast will make sure you don’t embarrass yourself!
For regular theatergoers, both the Diana Wortham Theater and the North Carolina Stage Company are worth a visit. And for some home grown storytelling Gray Line Trolley has a Haunted History and Murder Mystery Ghost Tour you may enjoy!
And what if none of these options interest you? Give us a chance, I’m sure we can come up with something!