MacNair’s Country Acres’ riding instructors have brought man and steed together on a nearly 300-acre educational ranch for more than 40 years. The beginners' group lesson instructs future derby winners—adult and children as young as 6 alike—in the skills needed to saddle up in style. Each two-hour course imparts the importance of horsemanship by showing the basics of grooming and tacking up, as well as where on the gums to apply peanut butter for realistic-looking speech. Riding is the most anticipated part of the course, and students spend an hour applying all they’ve learned on the ground atop a pseudo Secretariat with coaching from one of MacNair’s professional instructors.
The Historic Oakwood Cemetery and Mausoleum was the final resting place for the fallen Confederate soldiers 150 years ago. Over time, it has grown into a lush 102-acre garden that memorializes those we have lost and helps community members explore the past. While the cemetery still has plots available for those who want to secure a location, it also wants visitors to explore its tree-dotted landscape in search of a more evasive goal: knowledge. Tours explore the cemetery as a place that “pays respects to the dead while celebrating life” with a focus on the many oaks, cedars, and dogwoods that create natural serenity and the historic markers that show a glimpse of life all the way back to the Civil War.
At Jellybeans Skate Center, lights dance over a maple hardwood floor. The focal point of the family-friendly center, the sprawling surface beckons skaters to take a spin on its sleek expanse as they twirl, practice backward maneuvers, or play vinyl Frisbee with the DJ during his break. Elsewhere, the snack bar refuels skaters with cookies, popcorn, and pizza, and a fun center buzzes with air hockey and arcade games.
The sound of rubber wheels rolling and clacking across a hardwood floor is a familiar one to generations of American families. At Jellybeans Super Skate Center, those wheels roll to the beat of both contemporary pop music and golden oldies in a winking nod to roller skating's timelessness. As the music mingles with the sound of laughter, colored lights trace patterns on the hardwood floor and the skaters gliding along on both quad and inline skates. During breaks, skaters can also refuel with pizza and snacks at the concession stand and give their upper extremities a workout in the arcade. In addition to open skates, the center hosts birthday parties and skating classes, which teach four-wheeled fundamentals to aspiring skaters.
A multifaceted family entertainment center, Go Bananaz delights kids with inflatable play places, bumper cars, and arcade games. A pirate ship lifts children up to 18 feet in the air, the arcade area boasts classic games such as air hockey, and a separate toddler area allows tots to play safely. With all-encompassing party packages, kids can play video games, enjoy pizza, and sip juice.
Dead Broke Farm's name derives not only from the cost of owning horses, but also from the terminology for teaching a horse to wear a saddle—known in the industry as “breaking a horse to ride.” Trainers stable “dead broke,” or thoroughly saddle-trained, horses, alongside more spirited animals on the 110-acre farm. They also house steeds saved through their horse-rescue program, with more than 70 of their mounts avoiding fates in slaughterhouses and other undesirable ends since 2004.
Horses show off their trotting chops during farm trail rides, carrying riders on explorations of the rolling hills and whispering creeks scattered across more than 10 miles of bridle trails cut through woods populated by deer, cranes, and other wildlife. Private rides allow for more personalized routes and can incorporate stops at scenic ponds for proposals or more challenging terrain for advanced riders. Instructors also schedule horseback-riding lessons, teaching balance through rides over undulating terrain rather than through exercises such as riding a horse that is riding a seesaw.