Through the 80s and early 90s Graham Rawlinson accumulated more than a decade of experience piloting jets, hot air balloons, and ultra lights. Knowing how moving soaring through the sky can be, he opened Skyward Balloons in 1993 to share the experience with others. Today, Graham leads a team of Transport Canada–approved commercial pilots that ferry guests into the sky in kaleidoscopically coloured balloons. Leisurely sky-floats take guests 500–3,500 feet in the air, cruising over cities and the countryside for scenic champagne tours. Sightseers revel in aerial views of yawning pastures as they soar along, waving to earthbound onlookers and comparing lakes and ponds to unassuming puddles as lush treetops appear small enough to use for cleaning one's ears. The crew can accommodate corporate and group outings and are also certified to train student pilots. Their fleet of 10-storey-tall balloons can even help companies and public communication programs get the word out through airborne advertising.
Sally Creek unrolls a professionally designed nine-hole golf course that challenges club swingers with par 3, par 4, and par 5 play. The tree-lined borders and interweaving Sally Creek impart a park-like atmosphere, and golfers muster the poise needed to navigate the ponds, bunkers, and herds of buffalo. Call ahead to schedule a tee time, or reserve online.
As the centrepiece of a sprawling 32-acre site, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum preserves Canada's rich baseball heritage while leading visitors around the base paths of the game's history. In one room, fans ogle displays dedicated solely to the Expos and Blue Jays, and in another, artifacts from across the globe trap eyes in a pickle between vintage photos and authentic uniforms. The consistently rotated lineup of displays also saves a spot for current Canadian ballplayers, as well as for autographed Babe Ruth mementos that, despite their age, still retain their new hotdog smell.
Each year, the Hall of Fame adds new members to a select group of inductees, which currently includes 93 individuals and ranges from pro ballplayers and amateurs to umpires and trainers. In 2012 alone, the museum and its surrounding ball fields will play host to more than 450 events, highlighted by training clinics and minor league games. The 10th annual Kids on Deck summer camp also calls the site home, giving youngsters aged 8–14 the chance to perfect such vital skills as bunting and spitting a sunflower seed at least 10 feet.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Now operating out of two locations, Pinacle Health & Fitness helps keep fitness seekers on track with group fitness classes such as spin, yoga, and fitness kickboxing, as well as an array of coaching clinics. One-on-one sessions range from personal fitness coaching to holistic lifestyle coaching including guidelines on how to eat well and how to properly access a pomegranate's sweet, sweet innards. Through online accountability coaching, trainers educate clients with regular email blasts and virtual resources including the centre's very own online magazine. The centre's registered massage therapists also loosen up limbs with relaxation and prenatal massages performed before major events such as marathons or marathon childbirths.
Based on the American classic by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati's Tony Award–winning stage adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath represents an onstage gale of acting chops, emotion, and clever puppet commentary from the opera box. Antoni Cimolino, general director of the theatre, also directs this classic Great Depression–era tale of a family's migration from Oklahoma to California in the 1930s and the challenges they face in a series of migrant-worker camps. The cast includes award-winning veterans of The Canadian Stage Company, Vancouver Playhouse, and collaborators of visionary thespian Robert Lepage. Both an entertaining and educational windfall, this production of The Grapes of Wrath creates opportunities for field trips, peer bonding, or an undeserved afternoon of fun for complacent dependants. This play is suitable for ages 12 and older.