ProKart Indoor Racing lets riders tear through concrete turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Seated in low-slung black or red go-karts, drivers are just inches above the ground as they careen around the course. Computers track them during the race, recording finishing times. The track at ProKart's Maple Grove facility runs inside and outside, weather permitting.
Visitors need a wagon to haul the oversized cargo that grows in Dehn’s Pumpkins’ patch: though the smallest pumpkins start at 1 pound, some tip the scales at 80. After guests pluck their ideal pumpkin straight from the vine, they can snag carving tips or even knives from a local artist who demonstrates jack-o'-lantern skills. In addition to the bright orange squash, the farm also offers decorative indian corn, cornstalk bundles, hay bales, and squash and pumpkins harvested specifically for baking. Cornstalks sway in a 5-acre maze—this year etched with the shape of a tractor—and shelled corn fills a huge pit where kids dig and play with beach toys or the wheelbarrow they always carry with them. Guests also can enjoy hayrides; greet the goats, cows, calves, and dogs that live on the farm; and jump in the Pumpkin Jumper bounce house.
A nonprofit Christian fundraising group for youth ministries in the Twin Cities, Fishing for Life hosts the Fish Fair each year to net assets for its cause while attendees snack on fried fish. Budding freshwater huntsmen can learn the fine points of lure making or fly tying and others can try their hands at archery or laser shooting. As young whippersnappers ricochet around the bounce houses and dance to live music, their mellower companions can listen to a tall tale at story time or create a brush-by-brush replica of Mona Lisa Eats a Burrito at the arts-and-crafts table. Boy Scouts in attendance can earn a fishing merit badge with their participation, as each amateur ichthyologist can attempt to catch his or her own dinner at the trout pond.
Designed by prolific course architect Joel Goldstrand, Rum River Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course weaves through 6,308 yards of water-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water hazards present challenges from the very first tee, where aggressive players may choose to lay up or drive balls over a pond to cut the corner off of a fairway that dog-legs right, setting up a favorable approach onto a green 413 yards away. Rum River Hills tests players’ short game with undulating greens that take golf balls through more sharp turns than a golf cart driving through a grocery store.
A full-length driving range allows players to warm up before they take to the course, and the club's PGA instructors offer lessons for those looking to improve their swing mechanics. After a day at the links, course patrons can drop in at McDuff's Restaurant, which serves an expansive menu of salads, burgers, steaks, and pizzas. Inside the sunlit dining room, 11 TVs let guests catch up with live sports, while outdoor patio seating caters to those hoping to reverse engineer the technology of the lawn mowers maintaining the course below.
Course at a Glance:
The aesthetics of a steampunk enthusiast are instantly recognizable, with their penchant for Victorian dress augmented by arrays of cogs and pocketwatch chains. However, finding fellow hobbyists to hang out with isn't as simple as chatting up goggle-wearing tinkerers at their workshop. Steampunk Minnesota provides this service by collecting the area's events for their followers' favorite sub-genre. Masquerade balls, bazaars, and train rides give fans a stage to show off their costumes and gentlemen time travelers the chance to jump to present day without looking suspicious.
Surrounded by cheeky pink carpeting and floor-to-ceiling racks of metallic-colored medicine balls, instructors at Studio K lead 45-minute fitness classes, many of which focus on seniors. With a stone fireplace nested in the corner and mirrors surrounding the walls, cozy classes whip cores into finer fettle during yoga and mat Pilates, and patrons cut a cardio rug during dance-aerobics sessions that include Zumba and Latin Dance. Studio K takes part in the SilverSneakers program, which modifies cardio and strength workouts for seated routines, making it easier for older students and reigning monarchs to participate.