Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo's troupe of snake-taming animal lovers tend to dozens of species of reptiles and amphibians, creating a nurturing environment that cares for the creatures and educates the public. From lizards and snakes to crocodilians and tortoises, the zoo's menagerie contains specimen both docile and hostile, and visitors often pose for pictures with animals to commemorate their visit to the zoo. After being successfully raised by sage clans of snapping turtles, each keeper draws on their years of experience and love of animals to conduct presentations and seminars during visits to the zoo.
There’s nothing more exhilarating, albeit unnatural, than hurtling towards earth unimpeded. The instructors at Southern Minnesota Skydiving agree, and by adhering to the United States Parachute Association’s safety standards, they facilitate tandem and solo skydives. For tandems, the pros regulate the entire jump, from 45 seconds of free-fall to about four minutes of floating beneath a large ram-air parachute, which enables soft landings. For the thrill seeker who’d rather fly alone, experienced instructors offer the Static Line course to teach students how to skydive solo or explore options for prosthetic wing surgery.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Safety and excitement go hand-in-hand at Minneapolis Skydive, where experienced instructors guide thrill-seekers on adrenaline-filled leaps through the sky. First-timers are paired with one of these professionals for a tandem jump. After an instructional video and a Q&A session, guests board the plane, get strapped to their instructor's four-point harness, and leap into the sky. They'll move at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour during a 40?60-second free fall; then, once the parachute hatches from its cocoon, skydivers enjoy a 5?7-minute float to the ground. Videographers are available to capture the entire flight on camera, and the video can be delivered digitally. Minneapolis Skydiving Adventures also offers programs for advanced skydivers to become licensed and participate in solo jumps.
Owner Darlene Olson holds court over Merle Hay Lanes’ sleek bowling lanes, where the sounds of laughter and pins crashing fills the air. An Olson family heirloom since 1993, Merle Hay caters to amateurs and pin-toppling veterans alike with open bowling and league play for a variety of age and skill levels. Bowlers quench competition-induced thirsts at Bowlwinkles Lounge with a formidable lineup of drink specials. The bowling alley also plays host to a variety of special events including birthday parties and corporate outings, preventing coworkers from having to bowl in the alley behind the office.
With a front nine that dates back to 1910 and a second nine first designed in 1956, Faribault Golf Club has established a historical legacy that includes hosting the Minnesota State Open and Minnesota PGA Pro-Am. The fairway chain stretches across 6,447 yards of gently undulating terrain, where fairway-side timbers, glassy ponds, and hypnotic tee boxes supply the bulk of the course's difficulty. Water hazards come into play on five holes, including the par 3 eighth, where players must send tee shots somersaulting over a pond stationed directly between the green and the divot-pocked launch pad. The par 5 18th offers a grandiose finish to the round, where a sound approach shot can set up a birdie putt that, if made, grants golfers the right to carve the club's decorative hedges into their favorite acronym. After their round, guests can retire to the Top View Grill, a full-service bar and restaurant with a fireplace, outdoor seating, and splendid views of the 9th and 18th holes.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,447 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 70.7 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 129 from the farthest tees
Three tee options