As the aerial concierge behind Fly This, Erik Graper accompanies patrons through the air aboard his powered hang-gliding trike. Erik boasts pilot certifications from the FAA and USHPA, as well as a 10-year flying career that includes more than 10,000 flights without an accident or taking a wrong turn into an interdimensional wormhole. He introduces novices to the sport during discovery flights that soar to as high as 2,000 feet and coaches more seasoned pilots through advanced training and instructional flights. Each excursion takes off from Nickajack Lake and circles the airspace high above it, affording passengers rare views of the Tennessee River Gorge.
At The Pottery Place, everyone gets to put glaze-dipped brush to ceramics, no matter their age or experience. The studio draws visitors into this world of ceramics painting with informal instruction and open studio time, as well as lively, themed birthday parties. Whatever the structure, guests are free to choose from a menagerie of unfired cups, plates, animal figurines, and serving trays, not to mention a wide spectrum of glaze colors. Glass fusing and mosaic-making are always on offer, too, and patrons are always welcome to bring their own food or drink.
At first, The Great Pumpkin Race doesn't seem too different from any other 5K: runners take their marks and dash to the finish line. But before they can cross that line, they must swap their inner athlete for their inner artist. The race's finale requires participants grab and gut a pumpkin, and then create an original carving. Only with their newly designed pumpkin in tow can they consider their race completed. That night, The Great Pumpkin Race's runners and spectators gather to watch the lighting of the day's jack-o'-lanterns.
A Chattanooga landmark, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center honors African-American heritage through artistic and educational programming in its museum and performance hall. The museum hosts educational exhibits including "Bright Ideas: African American Inventors" and the Fine Art of Jazz. Students can learn to create their own art in summer classes or participate in a school field trip. Every year, the museum also sponsors a Heritage Festival with original art, live music, and food tastings down Martin Luther King Boulevard.
It's not every 5K run in which participants look like they've been tie-dyed by the end of it. But most runs are not this much fun either. As runners put one foot in front of the other during Color My Run, volunteers cover them with colorful dust, adding extra joy and a bit of silliness to an event where your finishing time isn't everything. That sense of joy also extends to the charitable recipient of each event as well, which is often a children's hospital.
Somewhere in the mountains of Chattanooga in 1928, Garnet Carter patented the first miniature golf course, inciting a nationwide pastime that brought families and friends together around pintsized putting surfaces.
Inspired by the local history and an indoor golf course visited while on vacation, Nathan Brown and his friends began fantasizing about their own miniature golf course, either building one in their hometown or patenting the first ever zero-gravity moon course. After tireless efforts and multiple failed rocket launches later, Scenic City Mini Golf opened its indoor greens in November 2010.
Dimpled balls roll along verdant turf that simulates real grass, while beige and blue turf mimic sand and water traps, adding strokes to scorecards for errant shots. Hole 14 requires golfers to double back and hit golf balls around, then beneath the hole's rough and toll troll, while hole 17's two-tier design draws shots into one of two preliminary holes before they can approach the green below. Pre- or postrounds, golfers can cool off with Blue Bell ice cream from the snack area, enjoying their frozen treats in a cone or as a milkshake, malt, or float.