Somewhere in the mountains of Chattanooga in 1928, Garnet Carter patented the first miniature golf course, inciting a nationwide pastime that brought families and friends together around pintsized putting surfaces.
Inspired by the local history and an indoor golf course visited while on vacation, Nathan Brown and his friends began fantasizing about their own miniature golf course, either building one in their hometown or patenting the first ever zero-gravity moon course. After tireless efforts and multiple failed rocket launches later, Scenic City Mini Golf opened its indoor greens in November 2010.
Dimpled balls roll along verdant turf that simulates real grass, while beige and blue turf mimic sand and water traps, adding strokes to scorecards for errant shots. Hole 14 requires golfers to double back and hit golf balls around, then beneath the hole's rough and toll troll, while hole 17's two-tier design draws shots into one of two preliminary holes before they can approach the green below. Pre- or postrounds, golfers can cool off with Blue Bell ice cream from the snack area, enjoying their frozen treats in a cone or as a milkshake, malt, or float.
The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species—including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins—and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.
The twinkle-toed instructors at Chattanooga DanceSport prepare Fred Astaires of all ability levels to grace dance floors with confidence. Over the course of three private 50-minute ballroom lessons, singles, twosomes, or singles and pet mannequins learn their choice of classic dance steps such as the waltz, tango, fox trot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. Once moves have been etched into muscle memory like "Grover Cleveland wuz here" was etched into the Oval Office's window, pupils show off their newly acquired skills in a two-hour social dance party. Lessons can be scheduled Monday–Saturday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. depending on instructor availability, and dance parties take place on Saturdays from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
For more than 25 years, Choo Choo Diving and Aquatic Center's SSI Open Water instructors and assistants have been helping people feel comfortable and confident in the water. During the three-hour Scuba Rangers program, children learn about scuba safety and scuba gear assembly, then experience the sensation of breathing underwater without accidentally swallowing bubble bath. Each class takes place from 6–9 p.m. on Saturday evenings and teaches kids how to interact with underwater life and identify different types of fish, while providing them with basic underwater communication skills, such as the super slow-motion high five.
Mr. & Mrs. M sets Macbeth and his lady free from the bonds of history by transforming Shakespeare’s power-hungry power couple into noir characters complete with black bow ties and blood-red lipstick. Under Scott Dunlap’s direction, the conniving twosome weave through murderous plans like characters from Fritz Lang or Orson Welles while starkly lit and backed by a dissonant soundtrack of techno and swing music. Eerie visuals inspired by the films of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch flesh out the production, which was inspired in part by ghosts spotted in Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s historic corridors. Timeless themes trail through the juxtaposition of several different eras, including morality's demands on the conscience, the terror of embracing one's free will, and the eternal search for a product to keep a bloodstained dress from turning all the laundry pink.
A Double-A affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers and winners of the 2009 Larry MacPhail Trophy for inventive promotional efforts in the community, the Lookouts induce crackerjack-tossing cheers thanks to a skilled roster of battle-ready bat-and-glove brandishers. Longball-lovers can witness the home-run swing of right-fielder Kyle Russell or cheer for the base-stealing antics of shortstop Elian Herrera. Settle into an up-close lower-box seat (the seating areas in green) at scenic AT&T Field, where guests can absorb views of the surrounding greenery and use their souvenir program to call out the opposing first baseman's credit score.