In a 4,000-square-foot studio filled with natural light, Urban Fitness Kickboxing's instructors teach kickboxing, muay thai, jujitsu, and mixed-martial-arts classes. They also lead groups through Body Focus classes that tone muscles and burn calories with kettlebells and calisthenics routines. Onsite showers wash away sweat after workouts.
In the evenings, groups gather inside QBHome Paint & Sip Studio?a chic space flanked by artfully exposed brick walls?to mingle over wine before beginning the night's painting session. An instructor guides participants through the step-by-step re-creation of a featured painting. Subjects are diverse, ranging from a funky high-heeled shoe to a replica of an expressionist masterpiece by lauded artist Maurice Evans.
The interactive exhibits and programs compiled by the Pink Palace Family of Museums reinforce a mission that has stayed constant for 80 years: to "inspire people to learn how history, science, technology, and nature shape the Mid-South." Attached to Clarence Saunders' mansion built in the 1920s, the museum's permanent exhibits take an eclectic approach to chronicling the past, revealing everything from ancient fossils to contemporary southern history. Inside, visitors can chart the history of Memphis from the early Spanish explorers through the Civil War or walk through a replica of Saunders' original Piggly Wiggly—the country’s first self-service grocery store, and even see a shrunken head. Global adventures are chronicled on a four-story screen at the CTI-IMAX theater, and the Sharpe Planetarium explores the cosmos from the comfort of a 130-seat theater.
Traveling to east Memphis, one can discern the natural side of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Lichterman Nature Center encompasses 65 acres of lush gardens filled with native wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The center combines self-guided nature walks with plant sales and educational activities to expose visitors to the natural world.
Most of the modern world is mapped—GPS devices capably guide people through entire road trips and atlases describe more terrain than most people could cover in an entire lifetime. While it's difficult to reawaken humanity’s sense of surprise and discovery, The Mid-South Maze is up for the challenge. Every year, the maze’s manufacturers spend months carving up their cornfield into clever patterns that, when viewed from the sky, might appear as a famed sports logo or the face of a long-departed pharaoh. On the ground, however, that pattern vanishes, leaving wanderers to use their wits to navigate the arching corn passageways.
The Mid-South Maze entertains with more than just its winding labyrinth. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, actors clad as ghostly apparitions haunt the herbaceous hallways of a spooky tractor ride. A giant jumping pillow launches kids skyward and gently cushions their falls, and a corn cannon fires ears of corn at targets up to 100 yards away. Anyone who hits a target wins a prize from one of the maze's sponsors and the right to eat nothing but popcorn balls until Thanksgiving.
Range USA's staff's goal is not only to school students in responsible gun ownership, but also to create a communal environment. Instructors teach classes ranging from basic handgun and advanced tactical training to programs designed specifically for women and youths. When spending a day at Range USA, the facility's own 1776 Deli & Eatery keeps hunger from interfering with focus. Prior to your visit, check out the FAQ page, which anticipates visitors' questions.
Thrill-seekers of all ages weave through Golf & Games Family Park?s 40-acre mini metropolis of indoor and outdoor attractions. Scampering legs can dart and dash through the neon-clad, 6,000-square-foot indoor laser-tag arena. A burbling waterfall streams through the park?s 54-hole mini-golf course, hemmed by lush landscaping and statues of various jungle-inhabiting creatures. Bumper boats bob in cerulean waters churned by colliding vessels as they circle a central, life-size elephant statue, and two go-kart courses cater to future and present-day adults. Guests can engage in more conventional contests such as volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes within the bucolic tree lines that frame the open picnic pavilions or hone various swing types at the park?s batting cages, 120-stall driving range, and spacious putting green.