In the never-ending quest to create summer fun and family memories, parents spend hours planning vacations and family outings.
That’s just what our family did recently. On a long weekend, we headed to Pine Mountain to try out the new TreeTop Adventure, advertised as a “dizzying course of zip-lines and other high-flying challenges deftly woven into the natural forest.”
It sounded like fun and it was. That is, if you don’t mind balancing on wires 30 feet above ground.
It’s one of Callaway Garden’s newest attractions, designed after a team traveled throughout the southeast checking out other zip-line and tree-walking adventures in order to create the best tree-walking experience. The result has participants literally walking among the trees on wooden discs, swings, ladders and swinging bridges. There are also five zip-lines.
My daughter had been on a zip-line at camp last year and my husband thought it would be a great adventure. I was up for it, too, until I was about 20 feet up in the air and remembered I didn’t like heights.
The good news (for me) is that the guides are happy to rescue you if you freeze in place and can’t go any further. It may take a few minutes to get the ladder and set up the pulley system, but they’ll get you down. When they tell you to jump and you can’t, they’ll give you a push, too.
It was a much more successful adventure for my daughter and husband who made it all the way through the “challenges.” Fortunately, they weren’t ready to try it again like some of the others around us. One little guy zipped past us on his third round of the excursion.
Once was good enough for the other two. And, for me, a third of it was just fine. The morning did succeed in creating family memories. They’ve enjoyed multiple re-tellings of how mom was rescued from a tree.
TreeTop Adventure includes five zip-lines along with 19 more sections of ladders, discs, wires, netting and other suspended surfaces, all among the trees - as high as 30 feet above the ground. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day at Callaway Gardens. Cost is $30 per person and reservations are required. Gardens admission is additional. Reservations can be made at callawaygardens.com or by calling 800-225-5292. Participants must be 54 inches or taller. Harness holds up to 260 pounds with a maximum waist size of 48 inches. Closed toe shoes are required. The course takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
First Fridays in Downtown LaGrange
The First Friday movie and music series on downtown Lafayette Square will return June 1. The movies are shown on a screen in the square, beginning at dark. Attendees bring blankets or chairs to sit on. Downtown restaurants are open and many provide carry-out for picnics on the square. Retail merchants are also open later on these Friday nights.
7 p.m. to midnight June 1, The movie is “Footloose” followed by a DJ-led dance party on the Chamber of Commerce plaza.
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. June 29, Red, White and Blue Friday includes a musical program presented by the community orchestra, directed by Neil Brumbeloe. The performance includes several pieces from John Philips Sousa marches and selections from West Side Story. The movie for the night is “A Dolphin Tale.”
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 3. A “flashback to the 80s” costume contest will be held followed by the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Music for the evening is by Doublewide Revival.
West Point Lake
While there are always opportunities for fishing, boating and camping, West Point Lake also has 25 day use parks that include tennis courts, ball fields, basketball courts, fishing piers with fish attractors and picnic shelters for individuals or large groups. Three public swimming beaches — Earl Cook, Rocky Point and Yellowjacket — are open to the public until Labor Day.
West Point River Park
The national Trust for Public Land donated the more than 170 acres to West Point in 2004, designating it for green space, parks and wildlife areas. Volunteers have created areas navigable for hikers, bicyclists and walkers. A 0.4-mile concrete Heritage Trail, accessible to those with wheelchairs, is on the east side of the park, with a picnic pavilion. The entrance to that trail is off U.S. 29. Much of the rest of the trails are for the more hearty exerciser. The Perimeter Trail makes a 2.9-mile loop around the entire area.
FSU Flying Circus
The flying circus is a summer tradition at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain from June 1 through Aug. 3. There are no performances on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
3:30 p.m. Mondays
3:30 p.m. Thursdays
8 p.m. Fridays
3:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays
3:30 p.m. Sundays