A rider since age 5, Brooke Walton saddled up to a horse not long after her own feet knew steady ground. By age 15, she had already qualified for national medal finals, ridden in her first Grand Prix, and earned invitations to represent the United States for Young Riders in France and Venezuela. In 2003, Brooke finally harnessed her passion and natural aptitude for horse riding into the founding of Indigo Road Farm, a training facility on whose grassy pastures she now nurtures show horses and hosts lessons for new riders. Horses housed in one of three barns whinny in contentment as they survey their lodgings, which include 17 rubber-matted, ventilated stalls and perks such as bimonthly massages from a professional chiropractor. When freed from their stalls, steeds gallop across Indigo Road Farm's four spacious pastures, sand area, and derby fields strewn with waterside jumps.
Trainers Kimberly Carter, Rachel Lecture, and Sarah Boudreaux willed Bramblewood Stables into being through hard work, fortuitous circumstances, and the bonds of friendship. Bramblewood's cadre of skilled instructors tailor riding programs around classical dressage, balancing the relationship between horse and rider through empathy, understanding, and trust falls. ARIA-certified instructors Kimberly Carter and Rachel Lecture elucidate the art of hunt-seat riding, emphasizing flat work leading to jumping. As horse and rider explore well-lit dressage and jumping rings and more than 80 acres of scenic trails, trainers guide steeds and their owners through programs geared toward the breaking of younger horses, balancing older horses, and performing maintenance on coin-operated horses.
Combining science education with interactive entertainment, the Butterfly Pavilion houses five exhibits, 1,600 free-flying tropical butterflies, and a multitude of creepy, crawly creatures. Begin your day with a Tropical Odyssey, a bilingual adventure complete with larger-than-life caterpillars and butterflies and a zip line that allows children to sprout wings and soar like a penguin. Crab-walk to the Crawl-A-See-Em exhibit where brave souls can hold Rosie, a Chilean tarantula, and discover leaf insects, scorpions, beetles, and giant millipedes, and head to the Water's Edge to touch sea stars and more. Furthermore, levitate to the Wings of the Tropics exhibit to admire butterflies from around the world as they rest on your eyelashes. End your safari with a hike on the Butterfly Pavilion's half-mile natural trail teeming with prairie dogs, rabbits, ogres, herons, hawks, and eagles.
League bowling is alive and well at Wade Hampton Lanes. There are morning and late-night leagues, church and practice leagues, leagues for men and seniors and youths, and even a league for homeschoolers and their families. This roster is a testament to the broad range of people who enjoy bowling at the center, where 32 synthetic lanes also attract casual bowlers, especially during events such as the creepy cosmic bowling that takes place on Halloween weekend. When these bowlers aren't picking up splits or pouring concrete in the gutters, they're playing video games in the arcade, browsing the pro shop, or noshing on wings and sipping draft Yuengling brews in the bar and grill.
Hollywild Animal Park's family of animal lovers care for a stable of four-legged, photogenic stars. Dozens of resident critters include lions, a white tiger, and Tank, the white rhino best known for giving its spots to an outcast cow in an act of zoological altruism. Trips on the Outback Safari ride breeze past 70 acres of rolling terrain, and visitors can purchase feed to bestow upon hungry quadrupeds including fallow deer, zebras, and Scottish Highlanders. A specialized feeding area provides additional opportunities to bottle feed the next generation of mammalian stars, and a picnic area gives humans chances to gloat about opposable thumbs as they nosh nimbly on sandwiches.
PlayNation is an indoor playground where kids ages 1–9 can romp with abandon no matter the weather. The indoor play-set subdivision boasts an array of imagination-stimulating apparatuses, including climbing walls to foster future Mount Everest summiteers, and swings to provide valuable experience for future careers in aviation. Younglings can get exercise, expel pent-up energy, and play with their peers, and the designated seating area gives moms, dads, and umbrella-piloting nannies a place to catch up on adult interaction while children and charges frolic freely.