Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Voted About.com’s Best Haunt in Memphis for two years running, Hauntedweb of Horrors ushers guests through two winding walk-throughs filled with gruesome scenery and ghoulish live denizens. The Tormented haunt plunks guests into Dr. Hacker's asylum, where they encounter frenzied inmates in macabre hospital locales. Eluding the doctor deposits patrons in the Dark Bayou—a quagmire beset by bloodthirsty locals and the vengeful ghosts of catfish dinners past. Feet can also tiptoe past psychedelic terrors in The Dark Matter haunt's labyrinthine tangle, navigating a surreal landscape of 3-D visuals that baffle the senses. Each frightful journey lasts approximately 15–20 minutes or 20–40 high-pitched screams. Although Hauntedweb does not recommend that children tour its spooky innards, its proceeds help Youth Villages to reach kids in need. While this Groupon is valid any day through October 31, customers attending the Hauntedweb of Horrors October 29 through October 31 should expect long lines and possible delays.
One of the oldest community theaters in the country, Theatre Memphis has been putting on high-quality productions for 90 years. The 2010–2011 season features six highly acclaimed plays and musicals fit for auditory and sensory feasting. Tony Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical, [title of show] (January 14–30), is a love letter to the musical theater that follows two struggling writers in a race to craft an entry to a musical theater festival. Amadeus (February 4–20) traces Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as he rises to become the number one ranked composer in the eyes of Austrian Emperor Josef. March 11–April 3, the stage and its reddest curtains dance to Cabaret, along with a charmingly carefree nightclub performer. Richard III, the third in William Shakespeare’s acclaimed three-part Richard series, appears April 8–24, preparing the stage for Picnic (April 29–May 15) and Crazy for You (June 3–26).
Instructor Lynn Givens knows from experience the kinds of dangers lurk in the world. After an experience with a stalker who threatened her and her son, she started training in armed self-defense, going on to earn a state instructor's certification in less than a year. Wanting to help prepare others for such threats, she joined the instructional team at Rangemaster, where today she and several other instructors lead more than 30 training courses.
Understanding that all clients have unique training needs is what drives the staff at Rangemaster. The team operates under the direction of owner and chief instructor Tom Givens, who previously spent 25 years in law enforcement and security. Applying training standards compliant with organizations such as the NRA, Tom's team-teaches classes from the Level I – Basic Personal Protection Course to advanced classes such as Low Light Skills and a three-day Dynamic Marksmanship course. When not leading classes, the instructors oversee a range that welcomes the general public and members, who enjoy perks such as class discounts and their own entrance music played at every visit.
West Tennessee Skydiving's tandem jumps infuse thrill seekers with adrenaline as they plunge an exhilarating 14,500 feet through the air while safely fastened to a trained instructor. Guests start their aerial experiences at the company's private airfield, where a 20-minute instructional video and 20 minutes of hands-on training impart the finer points of jump protocol, safety precautions, and fairy-dust application. Skydiving duos then board a climate-controlled airplane, where students latch onto instructors at four separate points on their gear before the pair hop out the door in tandem. For one minute, aeronauts accelerate through the clouds, reaching speeds of up to 120 miles per hour before releasing the parachute. Then, for five leisurely minutes, guests and their instructors gently cruise back to terra firma, witnessing scenic aerial views and birds' secret handshakes along the way. Upon landing, instructors conclude the four-hour adventure by debriefing jumpers and granting them a skydiving certificate.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been breaking strings and the hearts of screaming fans since its inception in 1952. This year, the orchestra will once again resonate throughout the elegantly crafted Cannon Center, sending seasonal shivers down the tickled spines of all audience members. The Home for the Holidays performance includes vocal joys from soprano Ashley Brown, best known for her portrayal of Mary Poppins on Broadway, in addition to a medley of carol-worthy classics performed by the Memphis Symphony Chorus and the University of Memphis Concert Singers. The evening's combination of power and cheer will cause many to be moved to tears, which will likely form puddles in the theater, making exiting nearly impossible without an inflatable raft.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.