Thronateeska Heritage Center provides an exploration of science and South Georgian history through an interactive science center and history museum, both of which are free to the public, as well as a planetarium. Wetherbee Planetarium’s SciDome hi-def projection system, 40-foot diameter dome, and surround-sound system is the first of its kind in the world, launching reclining stargazers into celestial vistas with a higher definition than the actual night sky. Get sucked into shows, including the Liam Neeson-narrated Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity, a harrowing journey to the formation of the early universe, the birth and death of stars, and premium-boosting collisions of giant galaxies. Or bring your cosmic dowsing rod to Oasis in Space, a beautiful voyage through the universe on a quest to find liquid water, a key ingredient in the delicious recipe of life. Two more shows focus on the nature of molecules and the history of the telescope.
When the neon curlicues above its marquee first lit up in 1916, the Capitol Theatre promised Macon residents the finest movie-going experience available, with cozy leather seats and a gold-fiber screen. After shutting down in 1976, the theater languished for 30 years, suffering from water damage and neglect until renovation began in 2003, restoring the space to its former glory. Brass-banisters encircle the wrap-around balconies above the venue’s open floor, dotted with cabaret-style tables and seats occupied by frugal 1920s ghosts still trying to get their 15-cents worth from their original admission.
Playing whimsical performances that have been praised by AOL News and the Lake Oconee Breeze, the Macon Symphony Orchestra charms eardrums with contemporary gems and golden oldies of both classical and popular music. With the help of his bow-wielding compatriots, conductor John Simons will shepherd concert-goers through the symphonic frontiers of Hollywood, lassoing tunes from golden-age classics such as Gone With the Wind and modern-day hits such as Titanic.
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.
The fitness experts at Body Evolution snap muscles into shape with heart-pounding, unlimited boot camp classes for six weeks. The hour-long sessions fight fat and sculpt muscles with cardio and weight intervals beneficial to both men's and women's physiques. Fitness junkies can attend all nine classes offered each week—including 5 a.m. sessions, ideal for attending before work or after a night of heavy owl chasing.
The Flint RiverQuarium pulses with animal life both aquatic and terrestrial and with an array of interactive exhibits. Sea-creature gawkers can view more than 120 watery friends at play inside the blue-hole spring, and fans of fowl can visit the Cypress Pond Aviary, which houses a multiplicity of native birds unaware of Alfred Hitchcock. After ogling submerged or airborne species, guests can check out the theater, in which a three-story-tall screen flickers with stunning nature films that show creatures in their natural habitats. The aquarium staff presents dive shows, alligator feedings, and penguin-led anger-management classes to provide visitors with a variety of inclusive educational demonstrations.