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.
The Atlanta Steeplechase brings equine entertainment to more than 30,000 guests each year with its hoof-happy races at Kingston Downs. Enjoy a great view from virtually any seat as jockeys race their steeds around the track in search of the finish sign and some edible flowers. Not just a horse race, the Atlanta Steeplechase entertains guests with a full schedule of family-friendly events, including dogs chasing flying discs, pony and hay rides, sky-diving demonstrations, and whinnying workshops. A general-admission ticket includes parking and grants access to the infield, where mustang mavens tote picnic accouterments for trackside comfort. The Subscriber Backstretch package includes reserved parking along with admission for six—enough for Brady-esque broods.
The Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department's summer pool passes inspire aquanauts to swim, splash, and celebrate the sunny season. Swimmers share splash space in Dellinger Park's Olympic-size pool (open from May 21 through September 5 and closed Wednesdays), which provides ample room for to-scale reenactments of favorite Spanish Armada battles. A diving well eases flying leaps, and a leisurely stroll through the shallows of the wading pool allows enough time to contemplate snack selections at the concession stand.
The American West stands frozen in time at Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The bronze forms of cowboys and many of the Native Americans encountered by Lewis and Clark populate the sculpture court. At the hall's center stands Vic Payne's Eagle Catcher, a two-story sculpture that depicts a large eagle with its wings outstretched. Its talons lock with the arms of a Native American man who leans backwards as he grapples with the aviary predator—a symbol of the struggle for the American West.
The impressive sculpture is just one stop on the museum's tour, which takes visitors into a permanent collection that comprises more than a dozen galleries and temporary exhibit halls featuring as many as 12 exhibits each year that explore the west from the 1800s through present day. More than 100 traditional paintings and sculptures by the likes of Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and George Catlin depict cowboys, Native American cultures, and breathtaking natural landscapes in the American West Gallery. Other spaces focus on the Civil War, while the Modern West Gallery interprets the western United States through abstract paintings and other contemporary forms by such artists as Nelson Boren, Thom Ross, and Ed Mell. Beneath the portraits of every U.S. president in the Carolyn and James Millar Presidential Gallery, personal letters written by the robotic arm of each leader humanize the lofty figures of American history.
In addition to exhibits, Booth Western Art Museum hosts adult art classes and seasonal events, such as April's "Civil War Comes Alive!", wherein visitors might stumble upon Abraham Lincoln mid-Gettysburg Address or spot soldiers firing cannons, and October's Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium, which features Native American dancing, gun-fight reenactments, and a traditional western marketplace. Kids can savor hands-on history in Sagebrush Ranch, where a three-quarter-scale stagecoach, an authentic loom, real Western wear, and a bounty of other attractions await to grant little ones with an immersive educational experience.
Beneath vividly colored rafters, a climbable children's playground blooms with pirate ships, a maze of bridges, and inflatable bounce rooms to inspire kinetic play and stoke little ones' imaginative fires. DACKids' safety crew keeps a responsible eye on the kiddie revelry, monitoring the Pirates Cove play park dressed in full, seaworthy costume. Under their responsible gaze, kids shuffle across the sandy floor of the Giant Octopus's lair or maneuver over rope ladders, fire foam-ball cannons, and waggle flags perched atop wooden forts.
The DACK Pirate Cove accommodates birthday celebrations with packages that allow wee ones to explore and burn off steam for 90-minutes before retiring to a private room, where partygoers revel in food and festivities while parents connect to the in-house WiFi to research how pirates doled out justice for sneaking second helpings of cake.
Holiday Harbor Marina & Resort, which is located approximately 25 minutes north of Atlanta, rests on the shores of scenic Lake Allatoona in a wilderness escape teeming with family-friendly fun. Up to six people can spend a night in one of the resort's seven fully furnished cabins complete with two bedrooms, a lakeside porch, and a kitchen. Roast marshmallows over the communal fire pit, or grill burgers, hot dogs, and wookiee ribs on the group-use grills. Guests can reconnect with the concrete jungle via wireless Internet and satellite TV.