Tampa Bay Sporting Clays sits on 250 acres of forest and brush. A trail system connects three sporting-clays courses, each consisting of 8–13 stations that challenge guests of all ages and experience levels. Promatic throwing machines fling clays up into the tree-lined courses, mimicking game flying from the field. A five-stand course and a Super Station with wobble trap give guests more target scenarios, and a team of instructors are onsite to help refine marksmanship.
Two archery courses start with the stationary course set up for crossbow, field-point, and broadhead arrows with 20 targets placed 10–40 yards away. The 3-D course integrates the wooded terrain, giving archers 20 stations. Beyond maintaining the extensive shooting facilities, owners Mike Mezrah and Bill Arthur prize the social aspect of sport shooting. They invite both members and nonmembers to relax at the pavilion.
Public Safety Organization's Fall Festival honors the changing seasons with hayrides and a healthy dose of mud as the festival kicks off with a nearly 3-mile morning mud run. Afterward, families enjoy themselves until sundown, stopping by the petting zoo to bond with barnyard animals, and noshing on autumnal food and drinks.
This annual 5K run winds through Genesis Preparatory School's campus?varied terrain that encompasses hills, pine-covered flatwoods, and, of course, gallons of mud. Racers slog through it, and navigate a sprinkling of obstacles, too, but it's worth it at the finish line. Afterwards, participants can enjoy live music and enough food to ensure that no one has to refuel by running the race backward.
Dade City's Wild Things puts visitors within 3 feet of most of its menagerie, which includes more than 200 animals on exhibit. Botanical gardens blanket the zoo's 22-acre expanse, providing a scenic backdrop for creatures such as a tiger, lion, lemur, bear, and baboon. Separated from most animals by a few feet, a chain-link fence, and the ability to knit socks out of their own fur, opposable-thumbed guests can explore the animal offerings by walking tour or tram ride. Dade City's Wild Things further upholds its aim to connect people with animals by offering opportunities for close cross-species interaction, such as feeding buffalo in grazing fields on the Jungle Safari Ride, swimming with a tiger, or reserving an animal encounter, which provides a chance for visitors to interact one-on-one with a choice of critters including a zebra foal, gator hatchling, and African pygmy-goat kid.
At Wildlife Survival Sanctuary, the volunteers treat the resident rescued animals like family. Every day, they provide toys for several exotic species including tigers, iguanas, and potbelly pigs, along with special nutrients for a 26-year-old geriatric leopard. These enrichment activities ensure the animals remain mentally stimulated at all times, preventing boredom. And because the animals never come in direct contact with the public, they can make this sanctuary their home without fear of being poked or prodded. Different species each have their own oversized habitats across the 10-acre campus, where they receive plenty of affection as they live out their lives.
Since 2007, CARES (Community Animal Rescue & Educational Shelter) has rescued and found homes for more than 1,000 pets. CARES aims to both strengthen the bond between pets and people and enhance the quality of pets' lives through responsible adoptions, sheltering, and community outreach and education. Along with rescuing dogs from local high-kill shelters, the volunteers and staff pair pets with foster families and permanent, loving homes.