At Fantasea Scuba & Travel, scuba diving can take you to the bottom of a pool, the depths of an ocean. or to Fiji. The company hosts dive trips to far-flung tropical locales, where participants can pair their dives with sunbathing and scenic walks on the beach. However, they also prep new divers for the open water with Minneapolis–based lessons, held in natural bodies of water and swimming pools.
For the past 26 years, the SSI and PADICenter has trained new divers in the basics. The SSI and PADI-certified instructors also impart more specialized skills, such as deep-sea diving and ice diving, which is essential for reaching the very back of your freezer. The gear shop complements the lessons with an array of equipment, from brands such as Scubapro, Cressi, Mares, Sherwood, and more.
Pump It Up's Inflatable Party Zone balloons kids’ excitement with an enormous playspace that welcomes open-play sessions and private parties. Tots 34" and taller run and leap in huge bounce houses, soar down an inflatable slide, and practice for future zero-gravity triathlon events in a bouncy jousting arena and basketball court. Various open-play sessions give kids of all ages free rein to the fun zone while accompanying parents stand by to officiate bounce-house property-line disputes. Pump It Up also boasts myriad celebratory and special-event shindigs, with friendly staffers supervising jumpers, and serving pizza and favors in a vibrant party room.
Since 1970, Skateville Family Rollerskating Center has facilitated friction-free entertainment on a classic indoor wooden rink. Multicolored lights tumble from retro fixtures high above the skating surface, swathing skaters in incandescent hues and mirages of Mardi Gras beads. In addition to hosting guests during open-skate hours, the family-owned roller arena gathers classes and groups together for field trips and fundraisers. The snack bar's hot dogs and soft drinks keep skaters energized, and an onsite arcade keeps hands from whining about all of the foot-centric entertainment.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
On any given night, the crowd at McKracken’s might be gobbling up appetizers and pizza from the late-night menu, available until 1 a.m., and hanging out until the bar’s lights go dim an hour later. As regulars often stay late playing pool or watching sports on the room’s many flat-screen TVs, the pub’s proprietors team up with Last Call Car Service on Friday and Saturday nights to bring customers and their vehicles home safely for free within 10 miles of the pub.
On afternoons and evenings, bartenders pour top-shelf spirits, cocktails, and draft and bottled beers that complement McKracken’s regular menu of pub classics. Smoked pig wings come from the kitchen tossed in sauces such as habanero or mahogany, the tasty alternative to licking a coffee table, and six burgers offer protein options from veggie to pork shoulder. As groups chat during McKracken’s weekend breakfast or into the night, the remodeled space keeps them entertained with flat-screen TVs, pool tables, darts, and live music every Friday and Saturday night.
Through the tree line at Adventure Zone Paintball, visitors can often hear the scattered reports of paintball markers and the thwack of their projectiles finding their targets. These friendly conflicts take place on seven fields, each ranging in size and configuration to encourage different combat situations. The largest is Hidden Valley, a heavily forested arena interwoven by trails and spotted with cover. The Outback encourages long-distance play with its central clearing, with players hiding in sniper towers, squatting behind plank walls, and standing awkwardly to pretend they are just trees. The small Urban Chaos field facilitates fast-paced games as teams duck behind overturned barrels and underneath the gate of a pretend car wash.