Star Galaxy Stables furnishes aspiring equestrians with the skills and knowledge requisite for both horse riding and ownership. On the first day of class, an experienced instructor with a 40-year professional training background, shares a myriad of horse-care tricks, including proper grooming methods, nutrition, and bedazzling, while leaving plenty of time for sitting on a horse. The class also covers the differences between breeds, such as which are better for recreation or show, and the estimated costs of ownership. On the second day, take a field trip to The National Equestrian Center, a much larger horse-training operation that has both indoor and outdoor arenas and the stable of a professional trainer.
Filled with millions of dazzling lights, the 35-acre drive-through fantasyland at Santa's Magical Kingdom brings the North Pole to children, along with a chance to whisper wishes into Father Christmas's ear as cameras flash. The 4-story-tall doors to Santa's kingdom sweep open to admit slow-moving cars or turtle-drawn racing chariots into the holiday fantasyland. Eyes widen in wonder while taking in a 300-foot waterfall flowing from the clouds, Santa's reindeer soaring overhead, the fancy footwork of the bulbs in the Tunnel of Dancing Lights, and the giant gingerbread bulldozers of Candyland. Kids are welcome to drop off letters to Santa in his North Pole mailbox before stepping out of cars and into Kringle's General Store.
Youthful believers outfitted in bright smiles climb onto Santa's lap as photographers snap vivid, waterproof memories that are copyright-free and ready to be reproduced for holiday-card mailings or magazine-cover submissions. Before and after pictures, little ones and adults can let imaginations run wild through shelves brimming with unique holiday toys, gifts, and décor. Every evening, Santa's elves bake fresh chocolate chip cookies and their special recipe hot chocolate along with other goodies available at the snack bar, made from a secret recipe that's as coveted as the gold medal in the reindeer-games Olympics. Santa's Magical Kingdom opens every night at 5:30 p.m., from November 15, 2013, to January 5, 2014.
When the summer heat is too much to handle, the Chesterfield Family Aquatic Center becomes an outdoor oasis of cool water and play. Surge down three water slides, practice your backstroke in the competition pool, or let the currents carry you as you float down the lazy river. The center also houses changing areas, showers, lockers, and a sunny deck. In the aquaplay unit, a massive bucket dumps a waterfall on frolicking groups below and a shallow pool tricks little kids into thinking they're in an endless puddle.
Each expert equestrian at Pemberley schools riders ages 6 and up on the essentials of good horsemanship and welcomes them to pick his or her brain of its abounding horse knowledge. The first horseback-riding lesson will be a one-hour evaluation that surveys guests on their previous riding experiences to be paired with the appropriate horse and trainer ($60). The next two lessons are 30-minute, horse-handling sessions ($55 each), in which riders will learn how to entice graceful gallops out of their faithful steeds, properly tack their four-legged partners, and sleep standing up.