Ryan Garner always felt a connection with horses, but he felt an equally strong disconnect with many of the equestrian world?s traditional, intimidation-filled training methods. Instead of ignoring his concerns, the lifelong horse enthusiast began studying natural horsemanship, a method that encourages equine obedience through gentle rider-horse communication both in the barn and on a ride. Now, at RG Horsemanship, Garner shares his mission of trust, leadership, and communication during horseback-riding lessons for up to four participants. Through patient instruction, he helps students connect with their equine counterparts via body language and facial expressions, which ultimately instills confidence in the rider.
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.
Game - Time - Sports' family of coaches have dedicated their time and energy to developing effective exercise habits in kids starting at a young age. Hosting summer camps and programs, they seek to develop motor skills within kids while incorporating sports. With programs designed for children aged 18 months to 10 years, each level is named after the goal it's trying to achieve, such as Introduce, Develop, and Refine. Every staff member is NAYS-, first aid-, and CPR-certified, ensuring that children and CPR mannequins can play safely. The staff also provides aftercare for $10 a day.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for Create and Bounce, which lets kids bounce and paint the day away so their parents can do grown-up things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.
Allyn Glover, the mastermind behind 13 Stories Haunted House, began testing his friends’ courage at the age of 13, when he constructed a homemade haunted trail. Since then, he has fine-tuned his scaring capabilities with the help of animatronics, elaborate sets, quality makeup, and a cast of actors. At 13 Stories Haunted House—which features old elevators that send visitors plummeting down all 13 floors—the aim is to turn visitors' hair white, much like when someone switches your shampoo with a big bottle of whiteout. On the off chance the house doesn’t do the trick, the Big Top Secret in 3D outdoor attraction attempts to scare guests with horror-filled images brought to life with the magic of 3-D glasses.