The readers of Creative Loafing Atlanta voted Stoddard's Range and Guns "Best Shooting Range in Atlanta" in both 2012 and 2013. In addition to the amenities of the range itself, much of the credit for these accolades goes to the NRA-certified instructors, who teach courses such as basic handgun classes. Firearms experts also run the gun shop, where the staffers sell firearms and perform services such as cleaning and scope mounting.
The head cheer coach at Where A Star Is Born operates on the belief that there’s no such thing as too young to cheer—after all, she started cheerleading at the age of 5. That’s why the coach and her staff of seasoned cheerleaders welcome students aged 5–18 to try out for the All-Stars team, attend a cheerleading-and-gymnastics day camp, or come to weekly tumbling and stunting classes.
In April of 2011, a group of friends on a fishing trip—all veterans of the hospitality industry—got to talking about their love of food as they cooked their dinner around a campfire. The smoky flavors, crackling flames, and friendship merged into an idea to create a barbecue joint with traditional Southern comfort fare and an interactive dessert element.
Today, diners pile into wood-backed booths to dig into ribs slathered in house sauce, smoked sausages, and a menu stocked with homestyle fare. From three types of mac 'n' cheese—traditional, broccoli, and pulled pork—to fresh-ground burgers made with short ribs, brisket, and ground chuck, the kitchen crew crafts its own takes on classic comfort fare as flat-screen TVs flicker above the bar. The dessert section includes do-it-yourself s'mores that are toasted tableside by a portable burn pit and touted as "the only dessert in town that requires a disclaimer," an honor previously held by torch-it-yourself crème brûlée.
It was a summer getaway for generations of children, but in 2011, after almost 50 years of laughter and fun, Sun Valley Beach closed its doors indefinitely. The waterslides have become as dry as beef jerky, the miniature golf course remains unputted, and the 1.5-acre pool is now home only to the memory of frolicking. But not all hope is lost. Save Sun Valley Beach, a coalition of local businessmen who refuse to give up on their childhood swimming spot, wants to reopen the park and is ready to kickstart their efforts with a Beach Blast.
On September 14 and 15, the Clinton Nature Preserve looks to welcome thousands of projected attendees for a car show, arts-and-crafts expo, and all manner of vendors and attractions for families to enjoy. Beyond the scheduled expos, attendees can mingle with actors from The Walking Dead and hear country star Doug Stone sing his hit song, "In a Different Light."
The experienced instructors of Primary Fitness welcome students of all ages to participate in a fitness curriculum that accommodates a variety of fitness goals. A weekly schedule details a large slate of Zumba classes, with different skill levels aimed at children 4-12, experienced exercisers, or active, older adults. Other group class options include expressive dance—in which children explore movement and choreography—or hip-hop dancing. The studio also offers pole fitness classes, allowing those beginning and advanced to explore a full-body workout with choreographed routines.
At 5-Tool Sports Training Center's 7,000 square-foot, air-conditioned facility, David Collings—a former scholarship player at Andrew College and the University of West Georgia—leads a team of specialized instructors whose collective experience includes minor-league play and collegiate-level coaching. Together the team shapes young baseball players with results-oriented clinics, including a pitching program designed after those used by major-league franchises and the Chinese national team. Other sessions range from summer camps that cover all aspects of the game to position-specific clinics, such as introductory and advanced catching with Mike Day––a four-time College World Series catcher who went on to play with the Montreal Expos.
To keep their skill set sharp, athletes can schedule time in one of four 55-foot hitting cages, two of which boast Iron Mike pitching machines or two dedicated pitching lanes. Private instruction gives kids individualized feedback, and a video-analysis room allows them to see the errors in their swing or the understated chicness of swapping out a cap for a beret.