Conner's A-Maize-Ing Acres mixes agriculture with entertainment, dazzling visitors come harvest time with its slate of attractions. As the season changes from summer to fall, the farm rolls out family-oriented activities ranging from ambling hayrides to walks through the pumpkin patch. More than 100 barnyard animals lean toward outstretched hands, whereas a hay jump and corn box beckon kids with energy to burn. Amid all the hustle and bustle, an old barn—emblazoned with the greeting Howdy above its door—reminds folks to slow down, drink in the crisp air, and brainstorm Halloween costumes that will make neighborhood dogs whimper.
The seasoned jumpers on staff at Skydive Amelia Island have all successfully completed thousands of jumps. The dedicated professionals securely strap themselves to beginning skydivers and plunge from a plane to enter a freefall of up to 120 miles per hour. These experienced skydivers hope their enthusiasm for diving is catching, as one of them says: “The falling is so exhilarating, I just wanted to keep on doing it”.
The red and black ship cuts through the waters of Matanzas Bay, its sails waving in the wind. On deck, members of a pirate crew call one another by names such as Oly Mackarel, Jaybird, Anastasia, Clipper, and Dirty James as they cavort between bow and stern, dazzling their audiences. Their ship, the Black Raven, was designed as a floating live performance theater—and accommodates more than 120 passengers as a crew of performers in full buccaneer dress produce interactive and dynamic plays in the spotlight. The actors work the crowd with a variety of rehearsed but unscripted skits, geared toward audiences of all ages, and may change their performance to engage specific audience members.
Wooded areas filled with abandoned automobiles, empty houses, and overturned barrels might evoke the set of a gritty war movie, except for one detail: they’re all covered in colorful splotches. These are some of the sights on the six unique fields at GTF Paintball, which host colorful mock battles on their expansive outdoor property. Whether participants stage urban combat on The Houses, or take to The Village to engage in fast-paced rounds, they can lose themselves in settings that simulate both real-life battle and pranks played by expressionist painters. No matter what the scenario, GTF places an emphasis on safety by chronographing markers and requiring goggles in all playing areas.
Since 1959, Putt-Putt of Fernandina Beach has hosted friendly rounds of mini golf for families, leagues, and tournaments. Co-owner Aaron Bean was one such player—he began working at the putt-putt location as a teenager and still currently holds the course’s nine-hole record of 10 strokes and most convincing celebratory swan dive into the ocean, which is located just steps away. The course has also tested the putting prowess of players in the 2010 Sonny’s Florida State Putt-Putt Championship and 2011 Southern Putting Tour Championship.