Replete with ornate gardens and a brick mansion fronted by towering, white columns, Rippavilla Plantation winds the clock back to the time of the Civil War. In the fall, the smells of bonfires and steaming hot chocolate fill the sprawling grounds as they host pumpkin paintings and other old-timey, outdoor fun. The Rippavilla corn maze tests internal compasses and scarecrow-bribing techniques on a 10-acre, labyrinthine path. As they pass through the maze, guests encounter signs that boast historical facts about major Civil War battles in 1862, putting them in touch with the site's legacy. For a plus-size serving of fresh, autumn air, guests can also board the hayride to circle the grounds, which are devoid of the sinister ghouls that often emerge at many fall festivals; instead, the grounds remain family-friendly throughout the night.
The staff at Nashville Baseball Training Academy, has an ideal stage—stretched out across 10,000 square feet—to flex their baseball skills and diamond-smarts. Here, a seasoned team provide baseball and softball instruction, as well as speed, agility, and strength-training programs. They pair their wisdom with the facility’s amenities, including an indoor practice field, and automatic batting cages.
Across Xtreme Paintball's two outdoor fields, colorful salvos paint the sky as opposing gunsmiths duke it out during simulated battles. Red-and-black inflatable cover peppers the speedball field, guarding teams from enemy fire. The warzone field sets the stage for intense scenarios such as capture the flag and team elimination, during which players attempt to mark each opposing paintballer or stick a Kick Me sign to their back. Both open-air arenas play host to casual paintball outings, special events, and league play.
Xtreme Paintball's safety-focused experts monitor each 3–10 minute skirmish. The staff also checks over equipment between each game, whether players rent their gear or airdrop it in from home.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
Tennessee Skydiving, LLC, which is one of the closest skydiving schools to Nashville, boats a squadron of crack skydiving instructors that are more daring than most. Riding alongside clients in their spacious and speedy turbo-charged plane, the instructors strap themselves to jumpers for tandem jumps at the standard height of 10,500 feet, which provides 45 seconds of free fall. Sometimes, though, they urge the pilot to climb higher—up to 18,000 feet—for jumps they call “extreme tandem”. At this height, divers need oxygen tanks to breathe, but the risks are well worth the reward—a lengthier, 90-second free fall at face-stretching speeds of up to 120 mph. Even at such intense speeds, adventurers have no need to fear because Tennessee Skydiving is Department of Defense certified with most of their instructors being ex-military.
At Centennial Sportsplex, groups of laced-up gliders soar across a 200'x85' rink during public skating sessions. After strapping on chartered hockey or ice skates over thin socks, guests arc in gentle figure eights, practice salchow jumps, and carve complex polyhedrons into the smooth, icy surface. Snacks from the concession stand (available for purchase) quell seismic tummy grumbles mustered up after speed skating across the rink's frozen tundra. Visitors can store their worldly possessions in coin lockers or tote along their own padlocks to take advantage of complimentary lockers. Centennial Sportsplex recommends wearing a jacket or sweater in the rink, which at times feels as chilly as the snub of a popular snowman.