At the heart of Ennis Horsemanship Center is David and Jill Ennis, a married couple with a shared passion for the majestic nature of horses. Before moving to Chandler in 2010, David and Jill ran a successful stable in Missouri—the very place where David happened to also propose to Jill, inside the riding arena. Today, the Ennises and their roster of award-winning school horses provide training, education, and riding lessons that accommodate kids and adults. These lessons emphasize becoming a total “horseperson,” meaning students not only learn how to ride a horse, but also how to care for it to and teach it how to neigh orders at drive-thru windows. To make their services even more accessible to the community, David and Jill have also registered their facility as part of the Horses4Heroes network.
Each year, Native American Days draws crowds of 10,000–15,000 visitors to celebrate North America’s ancient cultures on the site of a former Mississippian settlement. After parking a car or roller-skating horse on-site, attendees can head to a performance area at the center of the grounds to take in traditional dancing, storytelling, and music, including performances by Estun-Bah, a musical group led by world-champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan. For an additional fee, a variety of workshops teach patrons time-tested skills such as archery, beadwork, and how to construct a drum out of a laptop case. Native American Days kicks off at 9 a.m. each day and lasts until 2 p.m. on September 23 and until 5 p.m. on September 24 and 25.
The two-bedroom, newly renovated farmhouse at Blue Heron Vineyards safeguards guests in a rural, picturesque setting amid turn-of-the-century barns and vintage outbuildings. Guests have their choice of enjoying a homemade breakfast in the farmhouse, from the tree house-like deck of the winery, or lakeside while served by a wait staff of bullfrogs trained at L'Ambroisie in Paris. Spend an afternoon casually strolling through the vineyard grounds spread across a high bluff near the Ohio River, or visit the property's large Celtic cross, carved from natural stone over a 23-month period by local sculptor Greg Harris. Visitors calm their outdoors obsessions by fishing and canoeing at the nearby Deer Creek or exploring the Hoosier National Forest along scenic hiking and biking trails teeming with towering trees, wildlife, and ringleted porridge thieves.
At the Adsmore House & Gardens, the story of one family has continued uninterrupted for more than 100 years. The old house and grounds, meticulously restored to their Golden Age glory, serve as a stage of sorts, where visitors can interact with chapters in the history of the Smith-Garrett family. They can relive youngest daughter Selina's wedding to Dr. John Osborne, and see the bride and matron of honor's dresses being readied in an upstairs bedroom. Or they can mark daughter Katharine's birthday by learning how a 6-year-old's birthday would have been celebrated in 1907. The exhibits provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life in another era, rich with stories of trials, tribulations, and triumphs.
Your Groupon grants you aerial access to a Cessna 172 ($49–$50 per half hour, depending on location). As you hop into the cockpit, study the navigational dials and instruments. Firmly grip the yoke. Then see how many witty quips you can squeeze in over the intercom before it's time to fly. Each lesson is copiloted by one of Givens' expert instructors ($20 per half hour). Having logged countless flight hours, your copilot will keep your confidence and nose up as you take in the basics. Though it may be difficult to resist showing off for friends, save the barrel rolling for professional stunt pilots and Donkey Kong.