During a trip to the Nashville Zoo, guests greet animals who crawl, swim, creep, and fly through a wide range of habitats and displays, including a three-acre savannah and 15,000-square-foot lagoon. Pack a map and board a train to peek at elands, swap tales with zebras, and challenge ostriches to a game of Simon Says. The fun continues indoors as the Unseen New World exhibit enthralls visitors with reptiles, snakes, and bats, and the amphitheater plays host to daily animal shows. Elsewhere throughout the park, kids can scale a 66,000-square-foot jungle gym and emit whoops on the Wild Animal Carousel, burning off excess energy before moving on to meet toucans, cougars, and sasquatches.
Nurses for Newborns supports families most at-risk for infant mortality by performing in-home nursing visits that include assessments of the infant's sleeping environment and education about safe sleep practices and positive parenting skills. The organization's representatives conduct visits with teenage moms and mothers with disabilities, families who are experiencing poverty, and those whose babies are born with medical problems. In addition to providing necessary medical care and teaching parents useful skills, they also provide donated materials such as diapers, clothing, food, cribs, and bedding.
Live goats scamper across a verdant vista dotted with farmhouses and open prairies at Lady-K Farm, a working dairy farm. Its owner, Karen, spends much of her days shepherding the farm's goats. She supplies bottles of their milk for local families and also uses it to create fresh-smelling bars of natural soap. In addition to wrapping bars in pristine packaging for wholesale, Karen has taught soap-making classes for 15 years to help others harness the milk's skin-softening benefits. Karen also sponsors an annual Goat Husbandry Conference to teach prospective goat owners how to care for the animals, especially when they dress in sheep’s fur in blundered searches for their own identities.
At the age of three, an age when most kids are honing their recipe for Play-Doh spaghetti, Danika Miles was perfecting her dance moves. She competed with the River Cities Dance Company, minored in dance at Marshall University, and went on to earn an MBA so that she could share her passion with others. Finally, she founded BareFeet Studios, a facility with two dance spaces and sprung-wood floors. Within BareFeet, Danika and fellow instructors lead student—as young as three to adults—in dance forms such as ballet, hip-hop, and tap. They also offer open-level yoga, Zumba, Pilates, and fitness boot camps.
Students with years of experience can audition for BareFeet Studios' senior company, which performs at benefits, charity events, and conventions with other professional dance companies. The studio additionally hosts an annual spring concert, birthday parties, and private lessons.
The creations at BBQ Beach leave palates awash with tropical-inspired flavors such as mango, banana, and pineapple—and that’s just from the drink list. As the blender churns out peach-cobbler coladas and pear margaritas, bartenders serve their infused-craft-bottled-beers with flavors like banana nut and tangerine. To anchor their libations, patrons dive into dishes full of complex combinations, such as the citrus-grilled mahi-mahi served atop a sweet tamale corn cake, crested with a splash of lime and sliced avocado. The menu also includes the Man Overboard burger, a towering swell of beef, pulled pork, hickory bacon, shaved ham, and a fried egg that doubles as a flotation device.
Outside, the patio large flat-screen TVs and comfy couches entice visitors to gather around the bar or fire pit framed with slabs of square stone.