With just 2,000 square feet and only three bedrooms, The Bourbon Lodge surrounds guests in the coziness and attentiveness of a bed and breakfast, but its small size belies the many adventures surrounding it. Situated on a hill overlooking 300 private acres—from which the logs came for its timber frame—the lodge connects guests to dense forest and two spring-fed lakes for activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. On hunting trips, guides supply hunters with bird-dogs, guns, and ammo to hunt for game ranging from turkey to deer, depending on the season. They also help hunters sharpen their marksmanship with 15 stations of clay shooting. For fishermen, the lodge's staff maintains rental boats for unguided fishing trips. The lodge's seclusion also caters to those seeking relaxation, with amenities such as a hammock and alarm clocks that hit their own snooze buttons. Come meal times, the dining area fills with aromas from dishes such as fresh omelets, fried fish, and rotisserie chicken.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
It’s only 5 kilometers long, but the Zombie Survival Dash, as the name might suggest, is a bit more than the average run. As runners tagged with timing chips for tracking, placement, and action shots make their way toward the finish line, they're also equipped with three flags representing their health. Meanwhile, the course's stretch is littered with both traditional obstacles and costumed zombies who block, stumble, and chase runners and attempt to steal their health flags.
All the while, spectators look on, as every half hour a wave of 300 survivors is unleashed upon the course. Then, spectators, survivors, and zombies retire hand-in-hand to an all-day after party with live music and entertainment, just like at the end of a real zombie movie. Vendors dispense food and drink as partiers participate in zombie-themed fair activities such as faux-grenade tosses and body-bag drags.
Although it's only a 50-minute drive from St. Louis, Riverside Wildlife Center is a world away. The US Department of Agriculture?licensed indoor and outdoor facility houses more than 400 wild animals, ranging from some of the world's largest cats to exotic birds. Guests can stand 4 feet away from lions and tigers to meet them nearly face-to-face or snap photos of the center's 9-foot alligator. They can also hold, feed, and play with dozens of other creatures, including baby alligators, frogs, snakes, and turtles.
You can quantify the family-friendly digs and activities at Blue Springs Ranch. Twenty-nine cabins; 150 campsites; 3,000 feet of ziplines. That's not to mention the ranch's organized float trips down the picturesque Meramec River, which bumps right up against the camp, and trail rides through the surrounding wilderness. And in 2013, Blue Springs started a new tradition: hosting an annual rodeo starring the Lone Star Rodeo Company.
Club members have access to several shooting areas at Top Gun's Lonedell location—including a sporting clays course, a 150-yard rifle range, an elevated archery range, and tactical and static pistol bays with reactive targets.
Top Gun Shooting Sports' 18-lane indoor range at Top Gun's Arnold location remains open even during bad weather. Its roomy booths are 40 inches wide and 84 inches tall, accommodating a shooter and an instructor at the same time. A HEPA-filtered ventilation system removes up to 99.97% of particle discharge, and HD monitors in the retail area let other guests watch live activity.
Sprawling across 214 acres, Top Gun Sportsman's Club surrounds its visitors in a beautiful outdoor setting ripe for shooting sports—and every element of this members-only club was designed with users' comfort in mind. In addition to shooting, the club features hiking, a 300-yard driving range, and fishing on a stocked 7-acre lake. Complementing the ranges, a training center equips instructors to teach classes through a blend of classroom and live-fire training.
Visitors can also peruse the pro shop or relax in the members' lounge. For use of these facilities, Top Gun's staff coordinates several levels of membership (the indoor range is also open to the public).