An inflated pirate stands atop a castle, challenging intruders to enter his bouncy domain and scale to the top of its slide. This is just one of the air-filled attractions that delights Jumpin' Joeys' pint-size visitors. Within the indoor playland, kids can weave around inflated obstacles, crawl through tunnels, and bounce like an astronaut on the moon's rubber surface. And when they're not pretending to be kangaroos, kids (and adults) can meander over to the refreshment area for drinks, chips, and candy. They can choose to partake in open-play, parties, or special themed attractions, such as zombie zones during Halloween.
Nestled amid the scenic Georgian countryside, Three Angel Farm invites students of all experience levels to settle into the saddles of seasoned, reliable training horses. Skilled instructors draw on their experiences working with special-needs children in therapeutic riding settings as they carefully match mount and pupil, limiting class sizes to around five in order to give each saddle-filler adequate attention. Above all else, the farm’s equestrians prioritize communication and emotional bonding between rider and horse to help them develop strong relationships and respect for one another despite their differing tastes in footwear.
“This was a crazy, insane house … basically a frat house, but to the 10th degree,” Conan O’Brien said of The Big House while interviewing Gregg Allman in May 2012. “Now, they’ve turned that house into a museum!” he marveled. The talk-show host and his legendary musical guest joked about how much work that must have taken. “To refurbish it, man, you just about have to jack that one up and roll a new one under it,” Gregg said, chuckling.
Although the three-story, Tudor-style building has certainly been cleaned and restored, it’s still the same place where many founding members of The Allman Brothers Band—with their family and friends—lived and played their iconic music. Drawn to Macon by a contract with Phil Waldren Records, Berry Oakley and his wife, Linda, first rented the Big House in 1970, less then a year after the band formed. Guitarist Duane Allman and his brother Gregg joined the couple, and soon a rotating cast of characters was coming in and out of the high-ceilinged rooms. Past the first floor’s parlor and through the french doors, a sunroom became the music room where the band would, in Berry’s words, “hit the note,” and the kitchen and backyard became fertile spaces for songwriting. But tragedy struck the band before long: in 1971, Duane died in a motorcycle accident, and in 1972, Berry died in another. The remaining family moved out soon after.
Today, the Big House showcases Duane’s 1975 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar—which he played with more than half the time—and other instruments, handwritten song sheets, gold records, show contracts, and other band memorabilia. The room where Duane lived is preserved the way it was when he lived there in the 1970s complete with a leather jacket hanging in the closet.
On the 24 lighted courts of John Drew Smith Tennis Center, Carl Hodge and his team of instructors guide adults and children in the fine art of clobbering tennis balls. Hodge carries a No. 1 doubles ranking in the Southern Section of the United States Tennis Association, and he uses his expertise to keep students prepared for challenging matches or mutant grapefruit invasions. The adult and child programs offered by Middle Georgia Tennis are presented in four progressive levels, beginning with essential serving and swing techniques and leading up to positioning and strategies to avoid hitting the ball runner.
A rustic Western-saloon vibe pervades The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, which has hosted a plethora of live music acts every Friday and Saturday since its founding in 2005. Its stage has been the stomping ground for local as well as nationally recognized musical acts, such as Drivin' N Cryin' and Bottle Rockets. The Hummingbird augments its concert schedule with an array of other events, including pub trivia and guest-DJ nights. An ever-changing beer selection, featuring domestic and craft brews on tap, helps keep visitors fueled throughout the festivities.
Showcasing hands-on, interactive exhibits, the nonprofit Georgia Children’s Museum sparks an enthusiasm for learning in visitors between the ages of 2 and 12. Youngsters can design a newspaper page in the journalism exhibit, anchor a news broadcast in the TV studio, or curl up with a book in the hushed confines of the reading room. Meanwhile, in the internationally themed Passport to the World exhibit, tykes don authentic kimonos, beat handmade African drums, and discover how Magellan built the blimp that he used to circumnavigate the globe. The Smarty Pants Gift Shop stocks glass pendant necklaces and Magna Morphs toys, whose sets of animal parts can be reassembled into new, imaginary creatures. Above the store, in the Little Learners’ Loft, kids aged 2 to 5 enhance their make-believe skills with age-appropriate toys. Along with its permanent exhibits, Georgia Children’s Museum accommodates kids with events and weekly activities, including craft and story times.