Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cherokee Hill Farm’s 100 acres have hosted the equestrian pursuits of owners Mike and Linda Schatzberg for more than 25 years. When the horses aren't resting in one of the stable's 22 stalls, they graze on green grass and croquet mallets in one of the grounds' pastures or tote riders into the 380-acre landscape of the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center. Horse owners board their steeds at the farm, where staff members lovingly care for and train them. The Schatzbergs' passion for shar-peis led them to create an onsite kennel where pups can play while their owners ride. Beginning riders benefit from the blue ribbon expertise of instructor Mike, who specializes in hunt-seat riding.:m]]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.