Sean Dickson knows firsthand how fitness can equate to survival. He spent 10 years in the Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, attending Ranger School, and working as a recon scout in Iraq and as a special forces medical sergeant in Afghanistan. He found CrossFit when he returned to Alabama, and has since set PRs that include a 465-pound deadlift and a 5:37 mile. Along with his fellow instructors, Sean leads students of all levels through intense workouts that use Olympic weightlifting equipment, stumps attached to chains, and kettlebells to build strength. The class schedule includes three strength-building classes a week, with the rest of the classes based on metabolic conditioning and the art of ripping off a T-shirt.
Southerland Station has always nurtured budding creativity. Founded in 1958 as a blueprint- and drafting-supply store, the shop has since grown in size and scope, gearing its inventory of imagination fuel—which now numbers 40,000 different items—toward a younger audience. Oil paints and canvases offer outlets for artistic talents, which can also be honed in one of the shop’s art classes. Lego sets and model trains appeal to both the imaginative and the literal-minded, replicating reality through brightly colored bricks or 1:220 scale trains that are accurate down to their Union Pacific livery. And, though it now represents a smaller portion of the business, the drafting-supplies section is still there, giving mechanically inclined kids materials for blueprinting their next treehouse or battery of anti-cooties missiles.
With a lineage that traces back more than 30 years to its founders' respective schools, Tiger Rock Martial Arts has grown to more than 200 locations nationwide. Tiger Rock's primary focus is tae kwon do, through which certified trainers teach youngsters the skills to defend themselves, as well as confidence and discipline. Adults can learn tae kwon do as well or encounter martial-arts moves in a calorie-torching aerobic workout. Tiger Rock also partners with sports teams to bolster their training or with corporations to get their employees up, moving, and healthy.
Staff Size: 50+ people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Train ride
Locals agree that the best was to take in Noccalula Falls Park's natural beauty with a ride on The C. P. Huntington Train. The train wends its way through park grounds, taking guests between the outdoor animal habitat—home to a lion, a lynx, and foxes, to name a few—and the deer park, home to 10-point buck named Rambo.
The locomotive chugs by Pioneer Village, a collection of rough-hewn log buildings assembled in the style of early settlements. The trek concludes by the park's miniature golf course, which uses natural rock formations, waterfalls, and streams to add challenge to its 18 holes, rather than showcasing a less friendly challenge that goes through the lion's habitat.
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children. During two fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops. Each playtime includes a Pump It Up cup filled with party favors.