Kersey Valley offers a range of family fun for everyone. Its laser tag course plunges competitors into military-style battles through more than 20 different firefight scenarios across 55 acres of battlefields. Lasers modeled after MP5 submachine guns fire over 1,000 feet during assassination missions or airstrike missions when the staff careens through the air on ziplines while trying to pick players off. The zipline adventure tours prove equally thrilling for Kersey Valley visitors, who glide through the skies across 14 legs of sail-ways that stretch between 200 and 800 feet per leg. Some first-time riders prefer to stretch their aerial time to the max by zipping more than 800 feet long in one run. Those who prefer to keep their amusements more grounded may frolic through seasonal, family-themed adventures, including the Maize Adventure and the Kersey Valley Spookywoods.
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.
In the 1780s, blacksmith John Davidson moved from his log cabin, Rural Retreat, into Rural Hill, a majestic plantation-style house he built on his 265 acres of fertile farmland. The land and two houses were passed down through the Davidson family in the ensuing years, but in 1886, the mansion burned down. Then, in 1898, the log cabin also burned down, and the family was forced to live in a log kitchen building.
Visitors can still visit that log kitchen building today (it's the only historical residence remaining on the property) and see how hard life could be in an era without such modern conveniences as easy-squeeze mayo. The property has become, among other things, a field-trip destination, where historical re-enactors teach youngsters how 18th-century people baked, lit their homes, and did other basic tasks.
There's plenty of other reasons to visit, too. The secluded hill plays host to special events throughout the year, such as a fall corn maze and a Scottish festival with Highland games. And visitors can hike through nature on its peaceful 5K trail or entertain wedding guests at the cultural center.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.