Members of Freedom Boat Club enjoy the luxury of captaining their own aquatic excursions without the maintenance and storage hassles of owning a boat. Outings begin with a boat-orientation course, during which an experienced captain teaches students key nautical skills such as tying knots, docking in the wind, and navigating by the position of a half-eaten sandwich that kind of looks like the Big Dipper. Once skippers feel comfortable commanding a water chariot, they take to the seas for a day of sailing along with up to six additional guests. With the trial membership, boaters can choose any available Hurricane deck boat, inshore fishing boat, or pontoon. Hop aboard Orange Beach's 21-foot Hurricane 2100 to cut through the water on the strength of a 150-hp engine or commandeer Perdido Key's Sweetwater 2486 pontoon boat to benefit from a deck-top canopy in the event that a witch's curse makes it rain salamanders.
Pilot your brain-plane into a four-way collision with history, nature, and wildlife at the Tallahassee Museum, where wild-lovers can wander 52 acres of Florida florae and faunae as it floridly lounges in the state's natural greenhouse atmosphere. Saunter along the Habitat Trail, via elevated boardwalks that allow you to view animals from above without intruding into their habitats and TV-watching habits. In addition to waterfowl, foxes, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and river otters, you’ll catch glimpses of the endangered Florida panther, the state’s official mammal, and the endangered red wolf. Step into the pre-Internet world your parents and older siblings grew up in at Big Bend Farm, an 1880s living farmstead with a restored period farmhouse and kitchen, as well as reconstructions of an outhouse, blacksmith shed, and smokehouse. Historical voyeurs, meanwhile, can peer inside the rear windows of the restored 1850s plantation house of Catherine Murat, George Washington’s great-grandniece, who later became part of French royalty by marrying Prince Achille Murat, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. With a plethora of annual events coming up, such as the upcoming Market Days on Dec. 4 and 5, you’ll have plenty of more stimulating things to do this winter than hibernate and alphabetize your action figures.
Owned and operated by the Capital Region YMCA for more than 33 years, Camp Indian Springs boasts one of the Tallahassee area’s most venerable summer sleep-away spots. Spread across 77 peaceful acres shrouded by maple, oak, cypress, and pine trees, the campus lets kids truly be kids, as opposed to air-traffic controllers. Campers stay in cabins with 8–12 peers of their same age and gender plus two staff members, promising safety and individual attention with a 1 to 7 staff-to-camper ratio. Camp Indian Springs draws its name from the crystal-clear spring at its heart, and gives kids a venue for swimming and water sports, as well as arts and crafts, archery, and other field sports. Nature-survival instruction teaches outdoor-oriented campers how to fend for themselves, ensuring that the next generation will not forget how life was lived before status updates. Surrounded by living, breathing humans and thrown into situations that don’t contain holograms, they'll re-learn to express themselves without angry emoticons.
Now in its seventh year, SouthWoodstock is an all-day, annual event featuring top artists in grassroots rock, blues, jazz, and folk music, as well as dance performances, art displays, children’s activities, a car show, and other all-day attractions. One indoor stage and one outdoor stage will delight teleporting melody mavens with dynamic performances. This year’s extensive lineup includes artists such as Drew Tillman Band on blues guitar and vocals, fiddlers from the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra playing folk and ethnic music, the big-band brass-heavy Thursday Night Music Club, King Cotton southern-rock-infused blues, and Beethoven's Revenge, a vindictive string quartet that’s perpetually trying to figure out who took Ludwig’s toothbrush. The festival will also feature dance performances from the elegant and talented Tallahassee Ballet, as well as other twirling troupes.
Boasting a variety of pigment-ready fields, Arc Angels Paintball arms and equips players for polychromatic combat operations. Paint-packing players take to the turf with an all-day field pass, dashing between splatter-coated plywood forts and diving for cover behind inflatable bunkers. Fast-paced games of elimination pit teams of 3–10 against each other in a compact arena, necessitating the tactical use of suppressing fire and indoor voices. Designed to break on contact, paintball shots may cause a momentary sting, but they are infinitely less painful than once-popular paintcubes.
Professor Gallop Franklin shuns half measures. Not content to settle on one black belt, he trotted headlong into four—one in goju karate, one in tae kwon do, one in tang soo do, and one in nisei goju. A devoted martial artist since 1963, Gallop pulls from his lifetime of training and instructional experience to lead karate classes at his dojo, Gallop’s Karate. Red and blue mats stretch across the floor of a facility more than 2,000 square feet, where he and his staff of kick-smart martial artists lead students of all ages through karate techniques and training exercises, aiming to enhance physical fitness levels while building confidence and discipline. The instructors infuse adult classes with rigorous drills of functional exercises—a regimen described by reporters from Tallahassee Magazine as “a mind-boggling number of jumping jacks, pushups, karate sit-ups and leg lifts.”
In addition to traditional karate classes, trainers also conduct an energetic boot-camp program that combines martial arts movements with high-intensity exercises. The staff hosts a daily after-school program as well, where they engage youngsters in crafts, games, and karate lessons. They offer students assistance in homework, help them study for tests, and lend constructive feedback on their performance art pieces expressing anguish over bad cafeteria food.