Range USA brings together the local community of shooting enthusiasts on its range and during special events while welcoming new marksmen with informative and confidence-bolstering classes. The 20,000-square-foot Memphis facility houses a shooting range divided into two climate-controlled areas—one with nine lanes at 50 feet deep, the other with 14 lanes at 82 feet deep—with one of the two areas always open to the public. Further afield, Range USA's team also operates a 10-lane shooting gallery in Jackson. Besides overseeing the ranges, the staff also teaches classes, from basic handgun and advanced tactical training to women-only and youth programs. A FAQ page anticipates visitors' questions, such as "What calibers are allowed on the shooting range?" and "Do you have ear muffs to match my belt buckle?" When spending a day at Range USA, the facility's own 1776 Deli & Eatery keeps hunger from interfering with focus.
Located on a private airfield about 45 miles east of Memphis, West Tennessee Skydiving drops parachute-wielding thrillseekers into freefall with the assistance of a USPA-licensed instructor. For those who don't feel comfortable skydiving solo, tandem skydiving allows rookie divers to experience parachuting while harnessed to a professional instructor. Aspiring air-plungers start by learning skydiving basics with a 20-minute video briefing and short lesson from their tandem instructor. After climbing up to 14,500 feet in one of West Tennessee Skydiving's planes, you'll securely hook suits with an instructor and leap out for a 50–60 second freefall, reaching speeds of 120 mph. Once your parachute opens, you'll serenely glide above the globe for five minutes, then steer your canopy in for a cushy landing with the help of your newly minted Siamese un-twin. Afterwards, divers receive a certificate verifying their obedience of the laws of gravity and have the chance to discuss the experience with their figuratively down-to-earth instructor. You can also use this Groupon to get 10% off a DVD of your jump made by a professional freefall photographer ($100).
Theater should inspire wonderment. That's the view at Tennessee Shakespeare Company, an artistic organization dedicated to bringing new life to William Shakespeare's words. Each of its productions aims to burrow beneath the play's familiar surface, finding deeper explorations into psychology, government, and philosophy. This approach brings new life to the timeless works—TSC's Macbeth, for instance, highlighted the civilian cost of civil war, while an all-female Julius Caesar embodied "a bold new way to look at honor, womanhood, and power," according to The Commercial Appeal. That same sense of exploration is extended to contemporary pieces. Once a year, the company members hang up their iambic pentameters to produce the Southern Exposure festival featuring new works from the region.
Dedicated to the legendary train engineer, Casey Jones Village features shops, attractions, and a museum rife with artifacts and anecdotes about Jackson's railroad history. Three authentic railcars are displayed prominently as mainstays from a different era, and children are encouraged to climb up on the engine and ring the train bell. A short film detailing the life of Casey Jones plays in the museum's theater, and a children's area entreats kids with wooden train sets so they can imagine they're piloting the first locomotive to shoot missiles at Saturn. After viewing the museum's offerings, guests can engage in other village attractions, such as mini golf, woodcarving demonstrations, and traditional treats at the antique-laden Brooke Shaw's Old Country Store. Before leaving, visitors can nosh on old-fashioned milk shakes and ice-cream sodas at the 1890s-inspired Ice Cream Parlor and Fudge Shoppe, voted one of the best 50 ice-cream parlors in the country by USA Today.
The Jackson Generals snag flies, slam homers, and take on Southern League rivals in pursuit of a 2011 championship. With the Family Four Pack, two adults and two tots decamp to general-admission seats at Pringles Park, catching nine innings, foul balls, and photos for homemade baseball cards at any Generals home game until June 18. Famished fans refuel with a concessions package featuring four tickets for hot dogs, sodas, and cherries jubilee served in souvenir fireproof helmets. Reap additional benefits on one of the Generals' special promotions nights, delighting in $1 concessions on Thrifty Thursdays, postgame firework displays after weekend contests, and "Dress Like a Pirate Night" on May 19.
Your Groupon is good for one of the company's final three productions of its 40th season. Reacquaint yourself with the classic Oliver! and sing along to the musical tunes of your childhood, such as "Food, Glorious Food," and "Consider Yourself," as the rapscallion orphans of Dickens's tale tear through the streets of 19th-century London. Or opt for a ticket to the regional premiere of Red, White, and Tuna, a two-man portrayal of the inhabitants of a small Texas town with more than 15 characters and 40 lightning-quick costume changes. Or take in the musical Hairspray to relive the trials and tribulations of Tracy Turnblad as she breaks into the 1962 Baltimore dance-show circuit. Instead of threatening lawsuits or vicious revenge, the cast of local Memphis actors will dazzle audiences with their triple threats of singing, dancing, and acting.