COLUMBUS BOTANICAL GARDEN: The garden and walk trail are open sunrise-sunset daily; the office is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. 3603 Weems Road. 22 acres of greenspace. Attractive venue for photography, special events, horticulture seminars and community learning. The Garden hosts plant sales, workshops and other events throughout the year. Admission is free. Space is also available to rent for weddings, meetings and other group activities. 706-327-8400. columbusbotanicalgarden.com.
COLUMBUS ICE RINK: Office opens 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; check the website for skating times. Multi-use facility: offers public ice skating; stick and figure skating times, collegiate games (home ice of Auburn University and Florida State University) and Columbus Hockey Association. The rink is next to the Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St. Skaters skate at their own risk; protective gear is recommended. Admission is $7 adults, $5 children ten and under plus $3 skate rentals for public skating. 706-225-4500 or www.columbusicerink.org
COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY’S OXBOW MEADOWS ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, closed on Sunday. 3535 South Lumpkin Road. Throughout the year, Oxbow holds festivals, workshops and seminars for adults and children, including summer camps, and is available for field trips. The Natural History Center is open to the public during office hours. Reservations are required for the TreeTop Trail (weather permitting) and other tours. Free to look at the exhibits and hike the trails but donations accepted; fees charged for TreeTop Trail and special events. 706-507-8550 or http://oxbow.columbusstate.edu/
ANDERSONVILLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; museum opens at 9 a.m. 496 Cemetery Road, Andersonville, Ga. Tour the historic Andersonville Prison, the most famous military prison of the Civil War; the National Cemetery and National Prisoner of War Museum. A free audio driving tour is available at the front desk until 3:45 p.m. Admission is free. 229-924-0343. www.nps.gov/ande
BUTTS MILL FARM: Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Closed Wednesday. Features paintball, go-karts, fishing, horseback riding, miniature golf, volleyball, on-site catering, plus plenty of children’s activities. Two miles west of Pine Mountain on Butts Mill Road. $13.95-$15.95, free for active military and children ages 2 and younger, season pass $36.95. Additional fees apply for horseback riding, paintball, go-karts and some of the other activities. 706-663-7400.
CALLAWAY GARDENS: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. mid-March through the Sunday before Labor Day; beach hours vary. Pine Mountain at 17800 U.S. Highway 27. Includes gardens, resort, preserve and residential community on 6,000 acres. Exhibits include Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center, John A. Sibley Horticultural Center, Birds of Prey show, TreeTop Adventures ($35, plus gate admission), Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel, Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, Pioneer Log Cabin, biking and walking trails, Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl, Overlook Azalea Garden, golf, tennis, fishing, seasonal beach activities, water sports, various races, marathons and triathlons, dining, shopping and lodging available. Special events are held throughout the year, including dinners, workshops and festivals. $9-$18 general admission; $12.50-$25 special event admission (does not include Fantasy in Lights or Steeplechase.) Active and retired military with proper identification are free and pay half-price for special events. 706-663-2281 or www.callawaygardens.com.
CHEHAW PARK: Park hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; zoo hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 105 Chehaw Park Road, Albany, Ga., about two hours southeast of Columbus. Over 700 acres of conservation land and a wild animal park dedicated to education. One of the only two accredited zoos in Georgia. The park includes a children’s play park, picnic areas, BMX track, Disc Golf course, stocked catfish pond, nature trails, boat dock on Lake Chehaw, Mountain Bike Trail and camping area. The zoo features native and exotic wildlife, a petting zoo, aviary, gift shop and more. Park passes are $3 for adults and $2 for children 4-12, seniors and military. Park and zoo passes are $10.85; $8.85 for seniors and $7.10 for children 4-12 and military. Children 3 and younger are admitted free. 229-430-5275.www.chehaw.org
FDR’S LITTLE WHITE HOUSE: 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. daily. 401 Little White House Road, Warm Springs, Ga. Features FDR Memorial Museum & Video, Historic Pools, Museum, Walk of Flags and Stones, guest quarters and servants’ quarters, legacy exhibit with the “Unfinished Portrait,” gift shop, picnic areas. Events and programs are offered throughout the year. $6-$10. 706-655-5870.
FLORENCE MARINA STATE PARK: Park hours are 7 a.m.-10 p.m., office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 218 Florence Road, Omaha, Ga. Camping, boating, fishing, nature trails, miniature golf and more. The Kirbo Interpretive Center teaches visitors about Native Americans, nature and local history and displays snakes, turtles, fish and artifacts from prehistoric Paleo-Indian period. $5 parking pass. 912-838-6870. www.stateparks.com/florence_marina.html
HISTORIC WESTVILLE: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 9294 Singer Pond Road, Lumpkin, Ga. 1850s Living History Museum, 25 structures and costumed interpreters. Guided tours are available. Admission $10, $8 for seniors, college students, military; $5 for students through 12th grade. 888-733-1850. www.westville.org.
OLD SOUTH FARM MUSEUM AND AGRICULTURE LEARNING CENTER: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; call ahead to make a reservation. Off Ga. Hwy. 41, two blocks north of intersection with Ga. Hwy. 36, on Pleasant Valley Road, Woodland, Ga. More than 2,000 pieces of equipment from the 20th century are on display, including antique tractors, a shoe shop with leather goods, freezer lockers, canning plant. Workshops are held throughout the year. Donations are accepted. 706-975-9136 or www.oldsouthfarm.com.
PROVIDENCE CANYON STATE PARK: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. April 15-Sept. 14, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 15-April 14; the visitors’ center is open 8 a.m.-5p.m. Friday-Sunday. 8930 Canyon Road, Lumpkin, Ga. Hiking trails, geology and astronomy programs, picnic locations, pioneer and backcountry campsites. Home of Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.” Camping and cottages available at nearby Florence Marina State Park. $5 parking fee. 229-838-6870. gastateparks.org/info/providence.
UCHEE CREEK ARMY CAMPGROUND AND MARINA: The office is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 7 Uchee Creek Road, Fort Benning. Nestled along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Camping, boat rental, fishing, event facilities available for rent, Country Store, playgrounds. Fishing on the premises requires a Georgia or Alabama fishing license; boat rental, camping and other amenities require military ID. Several public events take place on the grounds throughout the year. 706-545-4053/7238.uchee.benningmwr.com.
WILD ANIMAL SAFARI AT PINE MOUNTAIN: Hours of operation vary daily. 1300 Oak Grove Road, Pine Mountain, Ga. Ride, drive or walk amongst animals from every continent except Antarctica, large and small, including zebras, giraffes, deer, cattle, emu, panthers. Petting zoo. $19.95; $16.95 for seniors 65 and older and children ages 3-12; free for children 2 and younger. Additional fees for van rental and animal feed. 800-367-2751.