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.
Early in the spring, when the threat of snow still hovers over the state of Minnesota, the golf course at Sundance Golf Banquet Bowl is open. Later in the fall, when the threat of snow once again looms and golf carts begin to go into hibernation, the course remains open. Over the years, the 18-hole, par 72 course has become reliable place for determined golfers to battle for being the first or last of the year to sneak in a round. Recently, Sundance augmented its links with a bowling alley, inviting visitors to escape the elements and pick up some strikes in the process. Away from all the competition, the facility's bar and grill refuels tanks with popular house-made pizzas, half-pound burgers, and plenty of beer and cocktails.
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: * Designed by Joel Goldstrand * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,308 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Four tee options