Featuring more than 20,000 square feet of play space, iJump's two locations delight pintsize adventurers with indoor attractions and all-inclusive birthday parties. After conquering inflatable slides and imaginary city-states, kids can hone their racing chops on two types of age-appropriate go-karts at iJump's original location. In addition, a 20-foot rock wall beckons explorers to strive towards its summit, and arcade games set kids on a quest for prizes. At the newer location in Crestwood, parents can relax in the lounge outfitted with a huge HDTV and free WiFi—amenities also available at the other facility—while kids safely submerge into the ball pit in search of lost wallets filled with prospective business clients. Committed to clean fun, iJump provides hand-sanitizer stations throughout its spaces.
More than 50 species of butterflies flit between the petals of an ever-changing array of exotic plants inside the greenhouse as sunlight streams in through the glass ceilings. Outside, experts launch owls, falcons, and eagles into the air to fly—and many come back down to land on the arms of the audience. Since 1952, the staffers of Callaway Gardens’ educational nature preserve have immersed visitors in their passion for wildlife management and conservation across more than 4,600 acres of demonstration gardens, arboretums, and outdoor sports attractions.
At the 5-acre Horticultural Center, visitors wander through three conservatories, a grotto, and an outdoor garden and stand at the base of a 22-foot indoor waterfall. They can also soar up to 30 feet above the forest floor on a five-zipline treetop course replete with ladders, logs, and netting or practice their lumberjack calls on a 10-mile discovery trail through the trees. Staffers regularly lead guided hikes through the woods, hold a range of butterfly shows and cultural workshops, and help facilitate seasonal events—including circus, music, and theater performances and a holiday light show. On overnight stays, they welcome guests into lodgings such as a rustic inn, 155 secluded pine cottages, and 57 stone and wood villas with balconies.
A tiger sits beneath the setting sun, her tail beating the ground as her gaze locks onto a man passing by. Luckily, the two aren’t deep in the jungle, but at Wild Animal Safari outside Atlanta, where guests view these majestic animals from the safety of slow-moving vehicles. During tours, personal cars and guided buses wind through 3.5 miles of the park’s territory, passing the habitats of 650 animals such as camels, zebras, and american bison. After the driving tour, safari groups set out on foot to spy smaller animals, including lemurs and peacocks, with opportunities to feed and pet some species. Afterward, pizza and burgers await the hungry at the safari café, and the Wild Animal gift shop offers mementos such as T-shirts and stuffed safari guides.
Though giant gorillas aren't indigenous to Alabama, there is a place where you can spot one: Adventure Park at Grants Mill. Zip-lines send riders soaring past a towering sculpture of the aforementioned ape as it clutches a helpless victim in one over-sized hand. Other parts of the complex are brimming with their own treasures: a restored train engine and train car planted in the parking lot house a sports bar and casual restaurant. Visitors can also bounce between an elevated ropes course, remote-control race car track, bungee dome, water wheel, and miniature golf course.
With rides and attractions intended for everyone from young children to thrill-seeking adults, Alabama Splash Adventure provides entire families with a way to escape the heat. All it takes is a quick trip down one of the slides or a dip in one of the pools to help guests cool off. The park hosts a couple of dry rides, too, and a copious supply of complimentary sunscreen helps ensure that nobody's visit is ruined by a sunburn, whether they're in the water or out.
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