Last year, Jenny's Light launched the Circle of Moms support group, a welcoming space for women to meet twice a month to discuss the challenging aspects of motherhood. Due to the pilot program’s success, Jenny's Light plans to create a resource guide to help certified support groups launch Circle of Moms programs in other cities. In order to replicate the program elsewhere, the organization needs to raise funds to develop a curriculum guide. Each guide will include at least eight session outlines and a DVD that will be used during group sessions.
Inside the family-owned Jumps & Downs, youngsters aged 1–10 tumble into a capacious ball pit, 5,000 balls strong—one of the many attractions that pepper the 3,600-square-foot facility. The indoor play center’s inflatables encourage airborne activities, building kids' motor skills every time they leap in one of the bounce houses, dive down the giant plush slide, or climb up the obstacle course. Groups of kids unleash cake-fueled manias on the playscape during birthday parties that come complete with all manner of festive accoutrements, including a private room, paper goods, invitations, and a copyright lawyer to make sure no scofflaw children sing "Happy Birthday" for free.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which sprawls across 1,137 acres of winding hiking trails and color-dappled garden paths, opens its leafy gates for a Divas Night Out event replete with live entertainers, fashion shows, and 27 display booths. Suds and spirits pour from an on-site cash bar, quenching palates piqued by the event’s wine tastings, food samplings, and appetizer menu. Guests can feast their retinas on designer duds and crab-walking models during a trio of fashion shows before jaunting through retail booths laden with elegant apparel, home décor, and holiday gift items. Acoustic crooning pairs with toe-tapping jazz during a set by The BZ Girls, underscoring psychic readings and prophetic finger-puppet shows by Ruth Lordan. Strut into the gift shop for a 10% discount on all purchases, or test your luck during a raffle rife with Arboretum swag.
At Gorilla Combat, students draw inspiration from the primate world, in which bands of gorillas bond by playing, wrestling, and protecting one another with weapon-free defense maneuvers. Certified trainers and pro fighters lead classes for all levels of skill and fitness, teaching kids how to punch during youth boxing lessons and showing grown-ups how to grapple during judo, jujitsu, and MMA sessions. In addition to cultivating strength and confidence, classes equip students with enough stamina, coordination, and discipline to perform an accordion while running a marathon. Full-size boxing rings welcome practice jabs and full-blown muay thai matches, and a collection of barbells and rowing machines helps athletes condition their muscles between classes or bouts. The instructors also offer personal training for those wishing to toughen up for a fight or an onslaught of sour-faced emoticons.
Having trekked to Minnesota from India, South Africa, and across the United States, the instructors at Yoga Prairie pack a world’s worth of experience into a single studio. They each have attended at least 200 hours of certification training, and all share a focus on practicing yoga with correct physical alignment. During daily classes, the instructors guide students through diverse, therapeutic programs based on traditions including Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga. They also operate as a 200- and 500-hour yoga teacher training program, helping students work toward becoming instructors themselves.
Sever’s Corn Maze isn’t just a cornfield with some paths cut into it. It’s a full-scale celebration of the autumn season, combining traditional harvest activities and treats with bounce pillows, petting zoos, and magic shows. The farm welcomes in guests from mid-September through the end of October, inviting them to share in the fun of picking their own pumpkin, biting into a crisp caramel apple, or finding all of the checkpoints in a themed maze without running into the centaur scarecrow. The Severs offer enough activities to keep families busy all day, including seeing which little piglet will win the derby race. Knowing that guests can work up an appetite between all their activities, the Severs offer a range of autumn goodies including brats, kettle corn, cheese curds, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa and cider.