An all-day pass allows golfers to explore Otter Creek's three nine-hole courses, the North, East, and West; all characterized by narrow fairways, multiple bunkers on almost every hole, and plenty of roughage and foliage to challenge errant shots. The par 5 fifth on the North course, the longest hole at 584 yards, imposes complex obstacles such as a fairway that rises for 200 yards before a slight dogleg right and turkey bone left, leading to dueling bunkers guarding the green with Otter Creek to the right. After piloting the cart to the West course, golfers test their midrange game on the par 3 sixth hole, an uphill iron shot about 200 yards out that leads to an undulated green that moves left to right. Ottter Creek's 27 distinctly different holes allow golfers to practice a variety of shots during a full day of course play, providing enough time for snorkeling in the course's pond to retrieve a hearty supply of golf balls.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Catering to the growing minds of toddlers as well as preteens, kidscommons features three floors of interactive exhibits that introduce basic scientific concepts and kindle creativity. The Gateway Bridge Laser Harp, for example, allows visitors to invent a catchy melody using an instrument made without traditional strings. Meanwhile, a human-sized robotic arm lets kids control a mechanical shoulder, elbow, wrist, and fingers while attempting to perform simple tasks. In addition to a 17-foot climbing wall, the museum hosts a small aquarium that mimics the micro-ecosystem of Indiana creeks and waterways, complete with fish, Hoosier mermaids, and other aquatic lifeforms.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fit seekers challenge themselves on cardio and strength machines and hoist free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or bop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Sprawling over 500 acres, eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat entertains guests with a swath of old-fashioned adventure in the middle of Indiana. Fourteen ziplines, two sky bridges, and a rappelling tower offer a bird's-eye view of the scenic forest year-round. As zipliners soar back and forth above land and lake, guides lead tours of ATV riders on off-road explorations below. The rhythmic cough of paintball guns echo through the trees as teams compete for dominance on one of 10 scenario fields, some of which feature crashed planes. After a day of fun, visitors retire to the climate controlled cabins or open campgrounds for a night spent in the embrace of Mother Nature.
Beneath their joke-slinging exterior, comedians can be fiercely competitive. When vying for club bookings or working material at open mic night, their desire to be the best bubbles up and sharpens their wit. So when Indiana Comedy Festival puts a $5,000 prize on the line, it turns the competition into a war. Across three weeks and 14 cities, 20 comedians fling their best anecdotes and observations to make it to the finals and get within a mic-stand's reach of the purse. These are no amateurs, however; many of the contestants boast credits from such programs as Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, HBO's Def Comedy Jam, and The Bob and Tom Show.