Zoo Atlanta set up shop in 1889 after a traveling circus rolled into town and stayed indefinitely. Financial hardships had driven the circus owner bankrupt, leaving a flood of out-of-work circus performers and animals without anywhere to go. With the help of generous donations from concerned residents, Atlanta adopted the animals and converted a part of Grant Park into what is now Zoo Atlanta.
Since those early days, many animals have found their home at Zoo Atlanta, from elephants and tigers to gorillas and zebras. All in all, more than 1,500 animals currently roar and romp in their respective enclosures, meeting up once a night to dish over visitors’ summer outfits.
A typical journey through the zoo begins at Flamingo Plaza, from which visitors can choose one of two paths: They either take the left path and come face to face with elephants, warthogs, and lions, or they can choose the right and find themselves amid a flurry of exotic birds and excitable children at the KidZone playground. Visitors can walk at their own pace and follow their own path, still watching otters play, the nation's largest zoological collection of gorillas and orangutans swing through trees, and pandas pretend like they don’t care people are watching them sleep.
FastFrame first germinated in Europe before spreading to Japan, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. A trained local helms each of the 300 locations, and guarantees every design for 30 days and the craftsmanship for a lifetime. Artisans crown original works of art and prints with ornate mouldings. They also store historical artifacts and three-dimensional memorabilia in shadow boxes. FastFrame’s team has even been known to frame sports equipment, plasma-screen televisions, and childhood homes.
Confined to plutonium-powered DeLoreans and unwieldy telephone booths, time travel is a dangerous and mischief-baiting activity. Instead, let history repeat itself as often as you can stand it with today’s Groupon: $42 gets two adults and up to four children or grandchildren (under 18) a yearlong family membership to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (an $85 value). Individuals can purchase solo museum membership, including admission and member benefits for one person, for $30 (a $60 value).
Despite having just debuted in 2011, right when corn was invented, Athens Corn Maze entertains huge crowds Thursday–Sunday with its smorgasbord of autumn fun. The 5-acre corn maze includes six stations, and visitors who reach all six are entered into a weekly drawing to win a $25 gift card. Once explorers escape the labyrinth, they give their minds a chance to rest and enjoy nature’s splendor during a hayride that circles around the stalks and through the woods. Next, they abandon the tractor beds to refuel at the concession stand before riding atop a pony and petting the cows, calves, horses, goats and bunnies that reside at the farm. Before departing, kids can take a turn in the bounce house, or visitors try their hands at shelling corn, shucking it straight into a huge pit where kids and parents play.
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.
Most people probably don't consider the television to be a danger to their fresh bouquet of flowers. But because it's an appliance that gives off heat, it can easily wilt or dry out blooms. This is the kind of expert advice doled out by the women of Valentin Occasions, who in their years of flower-shop ownership have perfected the challenging art of ensuring flowers last as long as possible. Their experience has made them adept at handling a variety of jobs—they can put together everything from bridal bouquets and corsages to birthday vases and casket sprays. They also deliver weekly to businesses after an onsite visit to determine the appropriate size and shape for reception or boardroom bouquets.