More than 50 species of butterflies flit between the petals of an ever-changing array of exotic plants inside the greenhouse as sunlight streams in through the glass ceilings. Outside, experts launch owls, falcons, and eagles into the air to fly—and many come back down to land on the arms of the audience. Since 1952, the staffers of Callaway Gardens’ educational nature preserve have immersed visitors in their passion for wildlife management and conservation across more than 4,600 acres of demonstration gardens, arboretums, and outdoor sports attractions.
At the 5-acre Horticultural Center, visitors wander through three conservatories, a grotto, and an outdoor garden and stand at the base of a 22-foot indoor waterfall. They can also soar up to 30 feet above the forest floor on a five-zipline treetop course replete with ladders, logs, and netting or practice their lumberjack calls on a 10-mile discovery trail through the trees. Staffers regularly lead guided hikes through the woods, hold a range of butterfly shows and cultural workshops, and help facilitate seasonal events—including circus, music, and theater performances and a holiday light show. On overnight stays, they welcome guests into lodgings such as a rustic inn, 155 secluded pine cottages, and 57 stone and wood villas with balconies.
A tiger sits beneath the setting sun, her tail beating the ground as her gaze locks onto a man passing by. Luckily, the two aren’t deep in the jungle, but at Wild Animal Safari outside Atlanta, where guests view these majestic animals from the safety of slow-moving vehicles. During tours, personal cars and guided buses wind through 3.5 miles of the park’s territory, passing the habitats of 650 animals such as camels, zebras, and american bison. After the driving tour, safari groups set out on foot to spy smaller animals, including lemurs and peacocks, with opportunities to feed and pet some species. Afterward, pizza and burgers await the hungry at the safari café, and the Wild Animal gift shop offers mementos such as T-shirts and stuffed safari guides.
Gleaming bowling balls rumble down 40 polished wooden lanes at Junction Lanes Family Entertainment Center, where clusters of bowlers lace up multicolored kicks and spend an hour waltzing to the tune of clattering pins. On weekends, regular lights and just-whitened smiles give way to the black lights, strobe lights, disco balls, and rousing music of cosmic bowling.
Mini golfers can head over to Treasure Cove, an 18-hole course awash in neon obstacles and vivid oceanic murals. Pirate ships, buried treasure, and creatures of the deep enliven the underwater-adventure-themed course.
At The Depot Grill, players sink teeth into piping-hot pizzas from Buchi Z Pizza, creamy scoops of Bruster?s Ice Cream, or steaming buns loaded with Nathan?s Famous hot dogs. This sustenance shores up gamers so they can hone their reflexes at the arcade.
With over 24 locations across the Southeast to serve your tanning needs, Club Sun Tanning is a positive and professional environment for those who wish to look their best and feel healthy while also acquiring much needed UV light.
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Atlanta Rocks' expansive vertical playground is home to hundreds of climbs, 50 top-rope stations, and more than 12,000 square feet of professionally set routes atop a safe climbing surface. All passionate climbers themselves, the staff has created interesting and intricate problems to solve for climbers of all skill levels. Climbers looking to enhance their know how can participate in one of the gym?s many programs, and the staff also drops knowledge on beginners with introductory climbing courses that include all required gear and cover subjects ranging from advanced lead climbing to the fundamentals of massaging knots out of tense rope.
Imagine That! and Future Tech founder Kelly Williams has always loved science and art—up until her children were toddlers, she had spent her life building a career as an environmental engineer working for the EPA. But when she began volunteering as a leader of art and science programs at her local church and school, she unexpectedly discovered that she loved teaching children even more. Since 1995, Imagine That! and Future Tech learning centers have fostered a passion for science and technology in students aged 3 through 14. Alongside hands-on, age-appropriate instruction in the basics of physics, chemistry, and simple machines, the kids learn to work futuristic wonders such as building and programming robots to navigate obstacle courses and follow instructions. Science camps and workshops at locations all over the Atlanta metropolitan area give children a firm foundation in the sciences and prepare them for tomorrow’s world of ever-more-advanced computers and automatic doors.