During Artful Hours’ painting workshops, students learn not just from a master, but from two: their instructor, and the famed painter whose brushwork their instructor helps them copy. During each session, students recreate a classic painting—such as Edvard Munch's The Scream or Van Gogh's Almond Blossom—on their own canvas, adding personal flourishes such as a new color scheme or a couple of whale sharks in the background. Budding artists can hone their craft in BYOB adult sessions, kid sessions, or private-party lessons.
A menagerie of feathered and furry guests greet visitors at Nichols-Boyd Pumpkin Patch, including Gretel the Swan, Tom the Turkey, and April the Zedonk (a cross between a zebra and a donkey). Guests nestle into the hay-lined beds of Big Red or Big Green for a tractor ride through the farm’s pumpkin-filled fields before stopping off for a sweet Dixie cup full of secret pumpkin juice. The pumpkin patch also offers face painting, a ride on Nick the Train, and a gift store with homemade pumpkin bread, peanut brittle, and Mississippi honey. Farm visitors can conclude their trip with an Odyssian amble through the corn maze, traveling in the daytime or moving at night armed with glow sticks and wood chips to feed to teething scarecrows.
The state-of-the-art equipment, convenient amenities, and variety of exercise classes at Courthouse Racquet & Fitness's six locations earned the club several of Jackson Free Press's Urban Living awards in 2011 and 2012, including Best Fitness Center/Gym and Best Yoga Instructor. Visit the flagship Lakeland location to swim in a pool of professional athletic proportions. Explore the 13,000-square-foot Madison 51 facility's yoga, spin, and boot-camp classes or the Northeast center's indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
The newest location in Brandon boasts more than 100 treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and other pieces of cardio equipment. Women can take advantage of the Downtown site's ladies-only cardio area. Three locations offer childcare, and the Byram facility has launched an afterschool program, where kids can do arts and crafts and engage in healthy physical activities in an environment devoid of teddy-bear drill instructors.
Certified dance instructors who have trained with Arthur Murray, Fred Astaire, and the National Dance Council of America impart ballroom, Latin, and swing moves to dancers in all-level and wedding-specific courses. The main ballroom's mammoth disco ball, grown from a sequin planted on the roof, tosses light across a blacked-out ceiling that, along with high-tech lighting, fosters a nightclub atmosphere during weekly dance parties.
Lingofest's bilingual instructors lead a variety of engaging activities to captivate children in one-hour introductory classes that focus on the individual needs of each student. Basic nouns and verbs are communicated via games, songs, and colorful pictures while niños ages 5–11 soak in vocabulary. Two-hour adult classes accommodate beginner to advanced speakers in groups that meet once a week over the course of a month. Instructors incorporate as much conversational practice as possible into each lesson, and provide helpful workbooks, audio and video materials, and guest speakers handpicked from frenetic fútbol broadcasting booths.
On the Ross Barnett Reservoir sits the Main Harbor Marina, and subsequently, the full-service Main Harbor Store. There, the staff dispenses a host of boating aids, ranging from ethanol-free fuel to ice, food, and supplies, such as life jackets or inflatable marinas for boating vacations on the go. But the store doesn't merely indulge its customers in boating merchandise. It also rents out party-boat behemoths, such as pontoons fit for a dozen people looking to relax in the sun and dip their faces into the marina's waters. And in addition to personal watercraft, or small jets fit for three passengers, there's also the massive, 30-foot party barge, which holds up to 16 people and features two levels of above-water decks, as well as a slide.