A captain licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, Jim Steele’s more than 25 years of boating⎯including time spent at the helm of Opryland’s water taxis⎯comes in handy as he coaxes The Blue Heron, a specially built 40-foot pontoon, about the Cheatham Wildlife Management Area on daily tours. Out on the water amid soothing birdsongs and the burbles of river critters, Captain Jim can be found behind the wheel of the craft, exercising his chops as an entertainer as he regales his passengers with chuckle-inducing anecdotes and factoids about local flora and fauna. With the comfort and safety of his guests always in mind, Captain Jim equipped the Heron with a restroom and keeps the vessel stocked with a comprehensive library of life jackets to fit adults, children, and pet iguanas of all ages and sizes. Hitting an average cruising speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour, the Heron affords its passengers leisurely looks at area wildlife as it embarks upon all manner of tours, from gold-tinged sunset cruises to kids' adventures punctuated by the gleeful laughter of curious youngsters.
Four years after he first stepped onto a skeet field, Terry Hetrick joined the All American Team and All State Team at age 17. Two years later he won the Pennsylvania State High Over All championship, one of many state, regional, national, and world titles he’d collect before being inducted into the Pennsylvania Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame in 1996.
Though he continued amassing accolades after relocating to Nashville in 2000 – including eight Tennessee state championships and another hall of fame induction – he decide to chase his lifelong dream of teaching. At Terry Hetrick Shooting School, he’s mentored national and world champions alongside celebs such as Nicole Kidman, who learned how to shoot looks that melt hearts. Along with future champs and famous faces, Terry works with all levels of shooters to impart shotgun and clay target fundamentals, instill safe gun-handling technique, and help his students dispose of of bad habits.
For 25 years, PGA instructor Bill Breen has spread the gospel of golf fundamentals in thousands of lessons designed to smooth herky-jerky swings into controlled, reliable motions. Bill showers clients with saucy golf knowledge accrued through a competitive career that included three victories in mini tour professional events, shooting a 64 in one round of a tournament, and once gouging a divot that looked exactly like Scotland. His teaching philosophy revolves around establishing sound grip, alignment, and posture?the basic building blocks of the swing?and developing repetitive ball flight. Harpeth Valley Golf Center's facilities provide a sound training ground, as bermuda-grass practice tees emulate on-course conditions and the short-game area invites players to practice their chipping form and flagstick-pole-vaulting technique.
The 4,800-square-foot activity arena at The Monkey’s Treehouse, named Best Children's Play Program by Nashville Parent, dazzles pint-sized patrons up to eight years of age with a plethora of interactive and climbable activities. Once inside, tiny jaws drop at the sight of a four-room wooden tree house complete with bridges and slides. Children use their imaginations in a pretend town and play with trains, cars, Calico Critters, doll houses, and baby dolls and can create masterpieces in the art studio. The little ones two and under can enjoy a gated play area designed just for them.
The Treehouse's proprietors, who are parents of young children themselves, work with trained staff to keep the jovial funhouse meticulously clean and safe. There are plenty of diverse activities for everyone, including free Wi-Fi.
Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown pulls no punches as living-legend Willie Nelson and a posse of hit-making deputies coat eardrums in vibrant layers of pure country topped with authentic honky-tonk. Spearheading the celebration, Willie shares his swollen songbook, impeccable picking, and inimitable voice, crafting melodies that resonate through the antennae of music lovers of every ilk. The event’s aural buffet also features a diverse assortment of breakout jongleurs; artists who may be performing include Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, and Lee Brice.
All three of National Dance Clubs locations are helmed by competition dancers with backgrounds in classical dance, theater dance, and athletics, so it's no surprise the company celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014. In kind, students are treated to amenities of competition caliber?each location has a floating dance floor that is at least 2,000 square feet, as well as a state-of-the-art sound system. But this shouldn't intimidate beginners. NDC says that most of its new students have never taken a dance class before, but they'll quickly feel comfortable thanks to three-way instruction packages that include private lessons, group classes, and practice parties.