The Hixson Museum of Flight displays historical aircraft including a North American T-28 Trojan, 1958 Piper Apache, and 1946 Taylorcraft. For those who want to learn about the history of aviation from the sky, the museum also hosts private flights and occasional flight events to get guests in the cockpit so they can take in Middle Valley from the air and see how many stray frisbees have ended up on their roofs.
"Tread softly," say players on Insane Paintball?s outdoor forts course. No matter how careful you are on the ground, opponents likely lurk atop the field?s 14 one- and two-story buildings, waiting to strike on the unsuspecting players below. More buildings tower above the wooded field, where teams can take cover behind mounds and old, paint-splattered cars.
Those pellets fire from Insane Paintball?s semi-automatic rental guns, part of gear packages that include face masks and compressed-air bottles. Snacks await players after long stretches of recreational, scenario, or tournament games, as do shopping sprees inside an on-site 3,500-square-foot retail store. Besides stocking new gear, the store hosts certified technicians, who repair malfunctioning equipment such as guns that only let players load crayon nubs.
Over the course of 50 to 55 minutes, the Missionary Ridge Local takes train-spotters on a 6-mile travel through time along Chattanooga's original rail lines. Once the classic, old-timey steam or diesel locomotive has chugged its way out of Grand Junction station, it will pass through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel, which predates both the Civil War and its disappointing sequels, the Civil War Reloaded and Civil War Revolutions. When they arrive at East Chattanooga Depot, locomotive looky-loos will also witness the two ways to turn around a train. One involves the more familiar turntable method, and the other uses a wye, resulting in a maneuver similar to a three-point car turn but that doesn't involve slamming into the trash cans in your alley and waking the neighbors. The Missionary Ridge Local is closed Sunday–Friday in January and February.
The Junior League of Chattanooga, a coalition of local women improving their community through charity work and education, won the 2011 Nonprofit of the Year award from its city’s chamber of commerce. Recognized as the second oldest Junior League chapter in the South, the organization has poured approximately $2 million and 425,000 volunteer hours into the city since its founding in 1917. With more than 600 current members, the Junior League of Chattanooga fundraises by holding annual events, such as the Tour du Jour, a walking tour of stylish local kitchens, and by selling the League cookbook, Seasoned to Taste, which features recipes for delectable meals and after-dinner treats sweeter than the heartwarming bird song of a marshmallow Peep. League wealth flows throughout the city, funding the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile as well as advocacy against online predators and workshops on baby-care basics.
The framing experts at Reflections Gallery & Framing have prepared photographs, artwork, and family heirlooms for display while guarding them against wear and tear with custom framing for 25 years. Conservation-quality materials, such as UV-filtering glass, guards keepsakes against damaging sun rays and radioactive art critics, and acid-free paper and pH-neutral mats preserve images by eschewing photo-unfriendly chemicals found in ordinary materials. Gussy up a standard 11”x14” photograph for the gallery ($95) with standard glass and backing, frame a 16”x20” oil painting ($98), or shield-dress an 8”x10” wall hanging ($131). Custom shadow boxes can present a vast array of physical memorabilia, from a collection of butterflies to baby’s first split atom. While selecting a frame, visitors at Reflections can sip complimentary beverages from the hot-tea bar and peruse the gallery’s rotating lineup of local original art.
The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species?including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins?and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.