For eight years, the husband-and-wife team at Carousel Winery has cultivated the vines of their family farm into a collection of award-winning wines. On Saturday, August 6, Marion and Sue Wilson will throw a party at Carousel's six-acre winery to celebrate its continued success as attendees sample flights of reds and whites, try out descriptors such as "oaky" and "four," bite on BBQ ribs and chicken, and show off complimentary Carousel glasses. Throughout the afternoon, enjoy a variety of events and prizes devoted to the number eight, such as a Crazy Eights card tournament with an $88.88 gift certificate prize and eight door-prize drawings for $8.88 gift certificates. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the sultry voice of Charlene Blay leads her four-piece jazz ensemble, The 2nd Editions through 5/8 time signatures and various deconstructions of the Scooby Doo theme song.
Stretching across more than a thousand acres at the foot of southern Indiana's Hoosier National Forest, Wilstem Ranch's rolling farmland is home to creeks, caves, natural-rock outcroppings, and more than 30 miles of woodland trails, marking it as an ideal family escape. A creek populated by small-mouth bass attracts local fishermen; wildflowers, native plants, and trees color the historic landscape in natural vegetation. Additionally, a variety of cabins?equipped with kitchens, hot tubs, and fireplaces?provide cozy accommodations year-round.
Then there's the zip lines. Tours send thrill-seekers flying across 4,000 feet of French Lick woodlands, experiencing unparalleled views and leaving squirrels chittering in jealousy. There are no ground landings on these canopy tours?each of the nine lines spans from platform to platform for maximum excitement.
Where prospectors once used the running waters of a river to search their hauls for gems and gold, Copperhead Creek Gem Mining Company employs a winding wooden sluice. Deputized geologists shovel scoops of raw material sourced from 12 mines into wire mesh sifters, allowing the current to carry off the dirt and reveal the colorful stones that lie within. The company also offers bags of mining rough that are likely to contain fossils and arrowheads, along with geodes that visitors can crack at home by using a hammer or throwing them really hard against a tree.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.
Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.
Paradise Rental Boats carefully curates fleets of Yamaha, Bayliner, and Sun Tracker boats, so that sun-kissed riders can jet across the sparkling waters of Indiana’s Lake Monroe and Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona at their leisure. The company's vessels range from party barges and yachts—which hold groups of up to 26—to the smaller, two-person WaveRunner, whose highly responsive steering suits drivers trying to chase down and catch their fish dinner. Onboard radios and CD players let mariners groove to their favorite tunes, and the company also rents optional accessories for water sports, such as wakeboards, water skis, and artificial bait for licensed fishermen.