The Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College regularly rolls out cultural buffets of music and theater, commencing the holiday season with the sweeping harmonies of the Vienna Boys Choir. Founded in 1498 by Emperor Maximilian I to soothe the battle wounds of Tyrolean troops with show tunes, the Vienna choirboys are known the world over for their dulcet tones and crowd-pleasing repertoire. Guests drink in melodies from seats in the house's coveted Orchestra and Grand Tier 1 sections, as the boy wonders take the stage to intone time-tested holiday tunes, Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, medieval chants, and renditions of "The Farmer in the Dell." Prior to the concert at approximately 3 p.m. in the center's lobby, audience members can relish in a complimentary performance by the Danville Children's Choir.
Set amid Kentucky's tranquil hills, Aspen Hall Manor's bed and breakfast spoils its patrons with uniquely decorated and sumptuously spacious rooms bedecked with king-sized beds and private bathrooms. A romantic escape for couples or pets with driver's licenses, this 9,000-square-foot Greek Revival Manor House—constructed in 1840 and spread along an acre of land encircled by Magnolia trees—-is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The McDowell House Museum began its life as the home of Dr. Ephraim McDowell. While he lived on its premises, during the nation’s early days, Dr. McDowell pioneered the ovariotomy, a medical treatment unheard of in 19th-century clinics. On Christmas morning in 1809, he surgically removed a 22-pound tumor from the ovary of Jane Todd Crawford—the first procedure of its type ever successfully performed.
Today, Dr. McDowell’s house stands as a monument to his medical mind and the people that it saved. On tours through the museum—which is furnished in turn-of-the-century antiques and early medical equipment—guides explain the doctor's lifesaving procedures while strolling through the home’s restored Georgian interior. Guests can wander through Dr. McDowell’s medical office, search for old-fashioned remedies in his apothecary shop next door, and recuperate from their exertions in the formal gardens. The apothecary shop contains more than 200 pieces of antique medical equipment including a leech jar, early American mortars and pestles, and fossilized tongue depressors. The house and its grounds also overlook Constitution Square State Park, which contains the first post office west of the Alleghenies along with replicas of an early jailhouse and courthouse.
A rustle of wind whips through the dark forest rising up behind the deserted building, increasing the sense of foreboding that has settled over the clearing for much of the afternoon. The silence is broken by a bird’s shrill call from a distant tree and, as if on queue, a masked figure steps out from inside the weathered structure and aims his marker at his opponent hiding behind the small trailer in front of him. Suddenly finding herself splattered with vibrant purple paint, the targeted adversary takes off across the green field, firing off a polychromatic round of pellets in her wake.
Founded with the hopes of granting its guests the chance to experience adrenaline-laced interactions such as these, Band of Brother Paintball offers acres of play space for pigment-slinging snipers. Before sending patrons out for rounds of fast-paced play, the knowledgeable staff outfits them with an arsenal of rental equipment and paintballs. Once armed, shooters take to obstacle-laden fields, bobbing and weaving between metal cylinders as they try to create passable forgeries of Impressionist paintings on the backs of fellow combatants.