GO USA Fun Park enthralls visiting families with abundant racing, gaming, and putting attractions strewn throughout its indoor and outdoor facility. A fleet of 20 go-karts stands ready to hug the turns and gun down the straightaways of a nearly quarter-mile-long track. A fully lit 18-hole mini golf course challenges werewolves building immunity to silver putters, and 30 golf tees equipped with coverings for rainy days or cold weather allow for skill-building practice shots. Batting cages enhance swinging skills with hard- or softballs approaching helmeted craniums at slow, medium, or lightning-fast speeds. The indoor arcade brims with an array of video and redemption games, with nifty prizes awaiting homes behind an overflowing counter.
The staff at Nashville Baseball Training Academy, has an ideal stage—stretched out across 10,000 square feet—to flex their baseball skills and diamond-smarts. Here, a seasoned team provide baseball and softball instruction, as well as speed, agility, and strength-training programs. They pair their wisdom with the facility’s amenities, including an indoor practice field, and automatic batting cages.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
Tennessee Skydiving, LLC, which is one of the closest skydiving schools to Nashville, boats a squadron of crack skydiving instructors that are more daring than most. Riding alongside clients in their spacious and speedy turbo-charged plane, the instructors strap themselves to jumpers for tandem jumps at the standard height of 10,500 feet, which provides 45 seconds of free fall. Sometimes, though, they urge the pilot to climb higher—up to 18,000 feet—for jumps they call “extreme tandem”. At this height, divers need oxygen tanks to breathe, but the risks are well worth the reward—a lengthier, 90-second free fall at face-stretching speeds of up to 120 mph. Even at such intense speeds, adventurers have no need to fear because Tennessee Skydiving is Department of Defense certified with most of their instructors being ex-military.
At Centennial Sportsplex, groups of laced-up gliders soar across a 200'x85' rink during public skating sessions. After strapping on chartered hockey or ice skates over thin socks, guests arc in gentle figure eights, practice salchow jumps, and carve complex polyhedrons into the smooth, icy surface. Snacks from the concession stand (available for purchase) quell seismic tummy grumbles mustered up after speed skating across the rink's frozen tundra. Visitors can store their worldly possessions in coin lockers or tote along their own padlocks to take advantage of complimentary lockers. Centennial Sportsplex recommends wearing a jacket or sweater in the rink, which at times feels as chilly as the snub of a popular snowman.
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.