The door of the limousine opens and flash bulbs burst in a thunderstorm of press and paparazzi. The crowd shoulders each other behind velvet ropes, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the diamond-studded star at the head of the red carpet. When the sea of people parts, a self-assured third-grader is revealed as she greets her fawning public.
Popcorn Media gives kids the chance to experience strutting down the red carpet during their Movie Star workshops and weeklong camps. Attendees soak up the secrets of screen acting from a director who works with Disney and Nickelodeon studios while producing their own unique work. They oversee each production element that goes into a film's creation, from lighting and filming to rehearsing and giving their parents an autograph. At the end of each session, kids attend a red-carpet premier of their work amid the applause of friends and family.
The snow-dusted, icy lakes around Minneapolis sprawl like white deserts, indistinguishable from the shoreline beneath powdery blankets. With practiced eye and sure footsteps, Metro Lakes Fish House Rental, LLC's guides traverse the seemingly barren expanses, finding the spots most likely to conceal fish. They drill through the ice, erecting ready-made ice fishing cabins around themselves as the work. Their portable houses comfortably seat up to eight people, and come equipped with rods, bait, and portable TVs to keep guests entertained.
Melding a flurry of powerful forehand chops, pinpoint pivoting, and sneaky backhand lobs, tennis is second only to competitive chainsaw sculpting as America’s favorite sport at which to grunt. Sponsored by the United States Tennis Association Northern Section, the Tennis Festival of the North features three days of events that include demos, clinics, an exhibition match, and jet-engine–powered tennis-ball launchers. Tennis fans and fanatics alike will enjoy an all-inclusive pass that includes access to Friday-evening demos and drills, Saturday and Sunday clinics, and general-admission seating to Saturday's exhibition. Tennis pros and experienced instructors lead informative sessions on topics such as Boomers and Beyond, Playing Tennis After 50, and Nutrition Hints for Winning Tennis, while attendees can also browse a vendor fair and an interactive fan zone. Additionally, Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Davenport and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova will be present to talk tennis and cut up the court during an exhibition match.
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.
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.