The Alafia River slowly flows along the edge of Misty Farms, where 15 acres of woodsy terrain serve as an idyllic training ground for horses and their owners. As steeds sleep in 12'x12' matted stalls or search for misplaced lottery tickets in the fenced-off grass jumping fields, the staff of trainers teaches lessons that foster camaraderie between riders and mounts with topics ranging from basic care to more complicated jumps and show maneuvers. Outside the paddocks, visitors hop on the saddle for trail rides along the river, enjoying the slow gait of a quiet trek in the woods or a speedy gallop of a train-robbery getaway.
Red Fox Stables' experienced equine lovers bring together human and horse for relaxing trail rides, enlightening lessons, and equestrian camps for kids. During trail rides, riders steer their four-hoofed vehicles through the Alafia River Corridor Preserve, keeping their eyes open for passing deer, armadillos, and other wildlife. Horse whisperers match riders to their mobile half based on gender, height, and age, providing helmets that riders 18 or younger must wear.
During lessons, lone rangers or small groups get hands-on training in grooming and tacking before seizing the reins themselves on the riding area and trails. The stables? seasoned instructors record each lesson on video, allowing students to track their progress and search their gentle steed's expressions for signs of true love. Red Fox Stables also caters to horse-oriented youths with camps and birthday-party specials, during which kids interact with equine residents and enjoy horse-related crafts and games.
Situated on roughly 120 acres of battle-ready landscape, Köhn Sports Paintball Park is one of the largest paintball and air-soft parks in West Central Florida. A rousing excursion for novices and experts alike, today's paintball package grants you park entry (a $15 value), 500 rounds of paint (a $15 value), paintball gun rental (a $10 value), and all other necessary rental gear (a $15 value). Suit up with a facemask, chest protector, three-pod paint-carrying case, and nitrogen-gas air tank, and round up friends to duck and dodge a flurry of pigmentation before unleashing compressed-air torment upon a combatant. Köhn Sports Paintball Park is open on Saturdays and Sundays, and reservations are needed during the week.
At HorseFleet Academy, experienced equestrian Kat Wiggins hones the horseback acumen of riders both new and seasoned during focused, private lessons. Specializing in English–style riding, Wiggins helps beginners of all ages learn the basics of balance and control before they attempt to jump gorges, ford rivers, or lasso another rider’s lasso. More advanced students can display the fruits of their training at local horse shows or attend clinics to learn among expert riders and show judges.
Photography is ubiquitous in contemporary life and culture. The founders of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts recognized this fact, so they sought to create a setting where visitors from all walks of life could appreciate and experience photography. As one of the few photography museums in the country, FMoPA presents exhibitions, which exclusively use this medium to explore themes that expose some intriguing or exciting aspect of history or modern, everyday life. This focus allows the museum to prominently feature pieces that other art institutions might not necessarily show, such as works of photojournalism or historic photographs.
In addition to scheduling upcoming exhibitions, FMoPA also includes a permanent collection. The collection aims to preserve particularly important images, such as those of various masters of the medium, including Harold Edgerton, Clyde Butcher, Hans Silvester, and Berenice Abbott.
After studying the museum's exhibitions?which can include images culled from national and international sources?guests can step behind the camera themselves during photography workshops for students of all skill levels. Then, budding photographers can display their latest shots at 15 Minutes of Fame, a showcase where up to six presenters exhibit and discuss their original work. They also host a photography group, the Photo League, for those photographers that want to share tips and helpful hints once a month.
Grand Prix Tampa's sprawling grounds host adrenaline-spiking activities including go-karting, miniature golf, and a ropes course. The big track's tire-bordered speedway invites drivers to rev through tight corners and speed-encouraging straightaways, and the family track welcomes single- or double-seat karts during more tot-friendly races. Racers can catch their breath and calm skittish fuzzy dice on one of two 18-hole mini-golf courses, where dimpled spheres roll through miniature castles and dodge fountain-speckled waterways on their way to the hole. A towering geodesic dome houses a winding ropes course, which challenges climbers to hop across bouncing wooden steps and pegs while supported by a safety harness. The turbo bungee's elastic trampolines launch tethered guests into the ether, where they can catch the wayward baseballs soaring from nine onsite batting cages. Meals at Grand Prix Tampa's Pit Stop Cafe silence hunger pangs with sandwiches, snacks, and kids’ meals, which guests can dine on beneath the Castle Arcade's twinkling panoply of claw machines and air-hockey tables.