The Great American Outdoor Show has always been a family event, and this year is no different. The Family Fun Zone is not just a place for kids, but for the kids-at-heart, teens, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, really the whole family! This year NRA has partnered with Talk of the Town, who is assisting with the laser shooting gallery, safe archery simulator, bullseye darts and professional gun safety standards.
The NRA Family Fun Zone tests the wildlife knowledge of their visitors. Attendees take a guess at what animal made a specific print, what pelt came from which animal and the habits and preferred environments of other animals. The wildlife indicator test is part of the Youth Hunter Education Challenge and is going on for the entire show.
Other parts of the Family Fun Zone include the air gun range, magnetic archery, barrel racing with stick horses (a very cute event), the trout pond, a kids casting contest and a large photo booth with wild props.
Additionally, the Family Fun Zone includes the 3-Gun Experience. It can be found right beside the main Family Fun Zone area, but all you have to do is listen for the nostalgic plink.
The 3-Gun Experience is broken into four sections, airsoft pistols, rifles and then two sections devoted to a mock 3-gun tournament. The airsoft pistols and rifles are open to anyone who wants a bit of practice before trying out the 3-Gun Experience. Yet it seemed like it was appealing to many first time or beginner shooters.
There was no age requirement for the 3-Gun Experience, “Most of these kids have been raised on a farm. They’ve probably been shooting since they were seven years old,” said one of the NRA staff members. As long as each contender was physically able, they were welcome to compete.
Within the 3-gun sections were buckets containing the different firearms—shotgun, rifle, pistol, from left to right respectively. During the timed event, shooters begin with shotgun (left bucket), race over to pistol (right bucket) and end with rifle (center bucket). The targets were about seven to ten feet away, and must be hit before being allowed to move on to the next gun.
No matter the outcome every kid, and kid-at-heart, walked away with a prize or gift from the Family Fun Zone. What’s more fun than that?