Harnessing the equine expertise of two renowned members of the Professional Horsemen's Association, Caughman Farms advances students of all skill levels in both English and Western riding styles. The content and length of each lesson will depend on the student's individual experience, rate of improvement, and collection of tasseled chaps, but all pupils will learn the basics of horse care, cleaning, and equipment. The mild-mannered canter of a retired juvenile competition horse permits fledgling steed steerers a large margin of error and level of comfort. Two instructors accompany small children to ensure each tyke's safety and feeling of security while instilling the important life lesson that all good things come in stereo. Leaving behind the small, covered beginner area, more advanced equestrians can gallivant around the spacious indoor arena atop a homebred stallion.
When visitors step into one of the South's largest children's museums, there's one thought that commonly crosses their minds: That's a big kid. Waiting to greet them is a 40-foot-tall statue of EDDIE, a reinforced, molded-plastic boy who weighs 17.6 tons and—like almost everything at EdVenture Children's Museum—is ready for kids to explore. After they've climbed inside his heart, up to his brain, and slid down his intestines—all while learning about their own bodies—kids race to explore the rest of the museum's more than 350 hands-on activities contained within nine exhibit galleries. As a testament to its attractions, EdVenture Children's Museum received the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, an honor given to only 10 libraries and museums in the nation.
Past Eddie, EdVenture’s permanent exhibits include the World of Work, where kids climb aboard a John Deere tractor, take the helm of a 24-foot fire truck, and learn the value of money by spending Eddie Bucks on groceries or flooding the market to undermine the local economy. At the Aha Factory, wee ones recycle everyday items into paper snowflakes, pipe-cleaner butterflies, and glitter-encrusted egg cartons. Children 3 and younger, meanwhile, can explore the My Backyard exhibit, an age-appropriate haven of soft surfaces.
Certified professional photographer Gene Taylor has fine-tuned his artistic vision while working in photojournalism and portrait photography for more than 30 years. During classes at Your Photo Safari, Gene introduces students to the photographic arts and the workings of DSLR cameras. Sessions begin in classroom settings, allowing students to get acquainted with camera basics as well as advanced features such as setting white balance and reducing blur. After learning how to navigate the multiple settings and buttons on their digital cameras, students traipse to area gardens to explore the natural world through their lenses. The hands-on experience allows students to take home artfully composed shots of plants bathed in natural light or trees planking over riverbanks in a bid for Internet fame.
• For $17, you get a one-year individual student membership (a $35 value). • For $25, you get a one-year individual membership (a $50 value). • For $50, you get a one-year family membership good for up to four people (a $100 value).