FINDING SOMETHING the whole family can do during the summer can be challenging. The beach is too crowded, and the amusement parks are too far away. And both can be astronomically expensive. You are looking to save gas and your sanity. Thankfully, many family-friendly activities are heating up in popularity for the summer months. Not only do they welcome the whole family to enjoy, but they won’t break the bank, and they will also get everyone up and moving.
First up is Disc Golf. While the two words seem contradictory, the sport’s growing popularity is anything but.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Disc Golf is also known as Frisbee golf. In playing the game, players attempt to toss a plastic disc into each of a succession of basketlike receptacles stationed along a course, with the object being to reach each target in as few attempts as possible. It is similar to regular golf in that it has 18 holes and is played primarily by the same rules. But instead of hitting a ball into a hole in the ground, Frisbees are thrown into metal disc-trapping baskets on stationary poles.
Locally, Disc Golf courses have popped up steadily, with plenty of spots to play a round in whatever county you might find yourself in. It’s also a sport that welcomes all skill levels and almost all ages.
Fourteen-year-old Hannah Brown has gotten into the sport, thanks to her family. She now competes competitively with Lone Star Discs, a Disc Golf manufacturer. She said she loves getting outside and throwing discs, whether competitively or with friends.
“I love being out in nature, throwing discs and watching them fly. The course at Henry Horton is one of my favorite courses where I can play and hang out with my friends,” said Brown.
Myles Love, who is also an avid Disc Golf player, added that the sport keeps you busy without breaking the bank.
“The sport is fun, and there’s a lot of leagues and tournaments locally,” he explained. “There is always something going on within the sport. It’s also pretty affordable. Unless you’re buying tons of discs, it’s not that expensive.”
Another summer activity that seems to have picked up its own cult following is Pickleball.
A paddle sport with combined elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, Pickleball is played on a doubles badminton court. The net is similar to a tennis net but is 2 inches lower and played with a hard paddle, identical to Ping-Pong. It can be played in either singles or doubles matches.
While mostly played indoors, you can find Pickleball at outdoor tennis courts or specially built Pickleball courts.
Felicia Daniels and her family have a long-standing love of Pickleball, which is four generations strong.
explained. “My mother started playing in Tullahoma at the D.W. Wilson Community Center. I hardly ever got to see her because she was so addicted to it. She told me I should start playing so I could see her more, so that’s how I got into it. That was probably three years ago, and that’s how long my husband and I have played. My children started giving me a hard time about never seeing me, and I told them the same story. So now my children have started playing, and even my grandbaby is trying to play too. It has become one big family affair.”
Daniels isn’t alone in her love of Pickleball. Locally, the First Presbyterian Church hosts regular Pickleball sessions welcoming anyone who wants to learn more about the sport. The church is open for Pickleball from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the gym.
The local pool is on almost everyone’s list for summertime activities. The smell of chlorine, pizza, and suntan lotion is not only hypnotic but intoxicating and draws all ages to come in and cool off from the summertime heat.
Area swimming today offers a much more upgraded experience than it once did. Area pools have been upgraded to include swimming options for all ages, such as splash pads and shallow water play areas.
Fayetteville is one such area. The pool is ideal for kids, featuring zero entry with a designated area for small children. Water depth starts at zero entry and goes to 5 feet in depth. The pool also includes a climbing wall and a spiral slide. GN