Amid rolling hills and green pastures, Marc and Lisa Sleeckx oversee All Hoofed Up Ranch, where crops, animals, and pastoral scenery flourish. The duo leads trail rides on their faithful fleet of Tennessee walking horses, exploring sites such as Mohican State Park and Malabar Farm State Park. Marc and Lisa saddle up the horses for carriage rides in the summer and sleigh rides through the winter snow, letting them hibernate in peace in the spring and fall.
Also a trained chef, Marc leads a cooking school at the ranch, inviting guests to benefit from his kitchen wisdom. After graduating from culinary school in Belgium, Marc immersed himself in the culinary scene, opening a restaurant for the European Parliament and training under the chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant. During classes, Marc teaches his students how to craft succulent dishes such as seared ahi tuna, coq au vin, and filet mignon—some of which he may prepared while cooking for the former president of Germany, multiple ambassadors, and baseball pro Chipper Jones. Marc also possesses a deep knowledge of wines, which he shares with students during wine-education classes and tastings.
It’s no surprise that as a mother of five, a Cub Scouts den leader, and a tutor to autistic children, Tender Touch Farm instructor Lisa Gilliam has a way with children. She’s been sharing her passion for riding with youngsters for more than a decade, encouraging them to grow and learn through equestrian experiences such as camps and lessons. Within one-hour lessons, she teaches kids how to maintain their balance and communicate with the horse without the use of words or Morse code messages nudged into their sides. After lessons, kids also get exposure to the nonriding components of horse care, such as grooming and anatomy.
After decades of winning the admiration of stock-car racing fans with his aggressive driving strategy and off-track charisma, Rusty Wallace now gives others the chance to experience the rush of racing. He joined forces with Sodikart to roll out the Rusty Wallace Kart Experience, pairing kart with driver at some of the country's most celebrated racetracks. Racers can hop in a custom RT8 (or its kid-friendly counterpart, the LR4) and hit the gas, tearing up everything from the versatile road courses and speedy main track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway to the challenging lava pits of the Milwaukee Mile.
But this go-karting business has a big brother?the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. It's a high-speed trip into the pro-racing trade, with breathtaking ride-alongs and racing experiences in stock cars. Guests buckle up and sit shotgun alongside professional drivers as they fly down straightaways and around curves. They can even get behind the wheel themselves, finally feeling what it's like to be a professional driver.
Vehicles leisurely roll across African Safari Wildlife Park's landscape, yielding to a host of friendly creatures. Camels, giraffes, zebras, forest-dwelling bongos, Asian sika deer, and Scottish highland cows await you. Guests can hold cups filled with feed, which exotic muzzles devour, and a walking area provides an up-close look at enclosed species such as the rare white alligator. Warm-weather months bring out additional activities, including animal rides, pig races, and educational animal shows where guests can interact with small animals. Food and beverages from African Safari's ice-cream shop, snack bar, and grill help sate midday hungers caused by watching a guanaco sneeze.
Since its founding in 1998, the Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. has been dedicated to preserving, and educating others about, the rich history of the railroad in Northwest Ohio. The center's sprawling gift shop and museum, which features two model-train layouts, explore the role of trains in American life in the past and the present. Outside, quarter-scale deisel and steam trains chug across a field crossed with railroad tracks with dozens of gleeful passengers in tow. As part of its celebration of all things railroad, Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. also curates seasonal events, such as train rides brimming with holiday festivities.
With a temperature of 84 degrees every day, CoCo Key Water Resort creates a tropical atmosphere for year-round amphibious amusement. With 50,000 square feet of attractions, families and other social units are sure to find something to suit every swimsuit, from the adventurous Parrot's Perch armed with water cannons to soothing giant whirlpools in the Palm Grotto indoor spa. With its balmy climate control, swimmers can spite the weather and enjoy a tropical paradise that's far more relaxing than trying to cram a palm tree and a tube slide into their shower.