With few trees to knock down errant drives, the wide-open course at Kestrel Ridge rewards control and course-management skills for players negotiating its more than 6,000 yards. Players point their tee shots down the center of the fairway from one of four different sets of tees, taking care to avoid numerous lurking fairway bunkers and the water hazards that run alongside the fairways of holes 1, 8, 9, and 10. When they're not engaging in physical altercations with swirling crosswinds, visitors should take time to appreciate the open expanse of rolling Wisconsin countryside through which the course winds. The track saves its crown jewel for last, with an 18th hole that forces players to nail a small, sloping landing area from the tee and then carry their approach over a rock ravine that runs alongside the right of the hole and contains fossils of Neanderthal golfers.
After a round, tired golfers can head to the clubhouse bar for traditional pub fare or re-create dramatic putts on the two large putting greens. A driving range hosts hitters on both grass and rubber mats and challenges them to assail greens located strategically between 125 and 230 yards away.
For the students of To The Pointe Performing Arts, no dance step is just a dance step. Because the school follows a holistic approach to learning dance, every step comes with a bounty of knowledge—its place in the style, its cultural origin, the muscle movements it requires, and the discipline required to master it. Whether they're 6-year-olds encountering their first tap shoes or high-school students refining their skills in Russian ballet technique, the team of experienced dance instructors make it their business to forge not only great dancers but educated citizens of the world. In addition to youth classes, the studio also offers DanceFit and tap classes for adult students.
Awarded “silver” for best martial arts school/studio by Madison Magazine in 2007 and 2008, Kicks Unlimited offers weekly kickboxing classes for teens and adults. Each class features ultra-aerobic cardio-boxing, bag-punishing sport kickboxing, and full body conditioning for upcoming mixed martial arts and craft nights. Check out the schedule for Fitchburg, Middleton, or Sun Prairie and call ahead to schedule your first life-changing duel with a stocky, indifferent punching bag.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with certified instructors. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The echoes of hooves clopping against loose dirt carry across the green pastures of Madison Horse Connection, where equine aficionados bestow their vast knowledge of safe riding techniques upon pupils of all experience levels. Riders hone basic horsemanship and steed-steering skills with the ranch’s varied collection of horses and ponies, whose gentle personalities and built-in air bags make learning safe for first-timers and advanced riders. Veteran instructors can guide students through the ins and outs of various riding disciplines, such as western, hunt, jump, saddle-seat and showmanship. These instructors also lead day- and week-long horse camps all year round. When they aren’t carrying students through lessons, the facility’s horses stop in to make appearances at summer horse camps or pony parties for younger children.
Little Amerricka takes young thrill-seekers on a journey into the past with its 1950s wooden roller coaster, The Meteor, as well as several restored rides from amusement parks of a bygone era. More than two-dozen rides and attractions cater to all sizes and shriek tendencies of visitors, from adrenaline-pumping go-kart races (for riders 56 inches and taller) to relaxing rotations on the kiddie ferris wheel. The conductor of the Whiskey River Railway chugs the train along 2-mile treks through the rustic Wisconsin countryside, where runaway bumper boats graze native grasses before being lassoed and brought back to the amusement park.