Anyone with a compass and a good pair of shoes can walk through a forest. Lake Lanier Canopy Tours' guides make it their mission to give lovers of the outdoors a unique view of nature from ziplines and sky bridges that snake through the treetops around Lake Lanier Islands Resort. All in all, 30 ziplines stretch above terra firma to form several distinct paths for exploring the canopy. The Lakeside tour follows four sky bridges and several ziplines that pass over Lake Lanier itself, and the Legacy Night tour takes riders equipped with headlamps and lanterns across seven ziplines. The company's most adventurous excursion, the Pine Isle tour, makes its way across a total of 11 ziplines, including the Duals, twin lines that send riders side by side for 1,500 feet at speeds upwards of 50 miles per hour.
Professional guides accompany every adventure to make sure participants are safe as they soar down the lines, traverse sky bridges, and negotiate with eagles for permission to use their trees. All of the tours are designed and built by Association for Challenge Course Technology professionals, and all gear, decks, cables, helmets, and harnesses are certified for safety.
At Pirates Cove Adventure Golf, 27 challenging holes test the putting skills of players of all ages while steeping them in 18th-century pirate lore. As balls bank off rails and roll between obstacles such as boulders, the greens wind past colorful flower gardens under shady evergreens and a towering pirate ship. Throughout the course, a waterfall cascades into a stream that flows under wooden bridges, recalling how Blackbeard made his prisoners slowly walk the plank before doing a cannonball, for everyone's safety.
At Great Play, kids are encouraged to break bottles—virtual ones, arranged on virtual shelves—in the center’s Interactive Arena. They are part of a hand-eye coordination game for kids, in which sensors track their “throws” and the computer-generated bottles projected onto the walls fall accordingly. Another version sees kids honing their throwing arms by aiming for an animated strike zone while a simulated crowd cheers.
But regardless of the specific games kids play on any given day in the 3,000-square-foot arena, each activity hews to the play center’s overall goal: to build kids’ motor skills and athletic abilities from an early age. Programs for younger kids focus on fundamentals, such as running, skipping, dodging, and tumbling. Meanwhile, athletic camps for older kids build skillsets that come in handy during pick-up games on the playground or at their first Olympic trials at age 3.
A motley collection of secure and sanitized play structures dominates each Catch Air location's indoor play arena to sate the lively imaginations of children as well as the safety concerns of their parents. Each of the four locations opens its doors seven days a week to unique lineups of attractions, including three-tiered castles covered in colorful nets and padding, with space shuttles attached to appease every child's love of anachronism. Tykes 12 and younger can wade through ball pits or take to an interactive, light-up dance floor to practice moves before they reach the age when practicing becomes embarrassing. The staff maintain a watchful eye at all times and clean every play structure daily before opening. Staffers also host parties to celebrate birthdays or the end of second-grade finals week.
Paradise Rental Boats carefully curates fleets of Yamaha, Bayliner, and Sun Tracker boats, so that sun-kissed riders can jet across the sparkling waters of Indiana’s Lake Monroe and Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona at their leisure. The company's vessels range from party barges and yachts—which hold groups of up to 26—to the smaller, two-person WaveRunner, whose highly responsive steering suits drivers trying to chase down and catch their fish dinner. Onboard radios and CD players let mariners groove to their favorite tunes, and the company also rents optional accessories for water sports, such as wakeboards, water skis, and artificial bait for licensed fishermen.
In WhirlyBall, participants maneuver free-range bumper cars and use a handheld scoop to collect wiffle balls to launch at the overhead targets located on either end of the court. You'll work together in teams of up to five at a time (up to 20 players are allowed on the court at once, and at least 10 are required) to crush your opponents in a whirlywind of scoops and balls. Surrounded by safety bumpers, your vehicle enjoys a complete range of motion with powerful steering that allows you to turn on a whim or a dime. If more than 20 Whirlers are in the party, players can be rotated in and watch from the comfort of leather lounge couches instead of gathering posterior splinters on the end of a rigid bench.