The castle turrets of Lilli Putt Family Entertainment Center greet travelers from afar, inviting ladies and lords to wile away the day in a trifecta of leisure activities. Towering trees and domesticated dragons dot the landscape of a challenging mini-golf course. There, golfers can knock balls over ramps and around aquatic obstacles in all five seasons of the year. Guests can also celebrate the sun with a ride on one of Lilli Putt’s go-karts, which come in single- and double-seater models.
The scene at the School of Shaolin Kung Fu is a bit of an anachronism, as students pace the well-lit studio and practice an ancient Chinese discipline by aiming high kicks and throwing controlled punches. Their head instructor, seventh-degree black sash sifu Michael Voss, draws from more than 30 years of martial-arts experience to lead a team of fourth- and third-degree black sash instructors and a roster of assistant instructors. In classes of up to 60 minutes, they train students of all ages in traditional styles such as northern shaolin, which teaches students to fight with their extremities while emphasizing agility, speed, and flexibility. They also demonstrate tai chi and seven-star praying mantis, both of which focus on simultaneous defense and attack. Over the course of each class, instructors help students develop their minds and bodies as they hone confidence, physical fitness, and ability to bend spoons using only their big toes.
Learning to fly doesn't have to require a pilot's license. At Rent Flyboards, the team allows visitors to experience the adrenaline rush of rocketing as high as 30 feet into the sky and cruising at speeds up to 18 miles per hour. Powerful jets of water shoot out from beneath the board while a pair of boots keep riders safely fastened in place. All it takes is a subtle lean or tilt to turn the board and handheld nozzles help provide even more stability as riders become accustomed to the thrill of effortlessly hovering at a comfortable level. From these heights, people have the opportunity to see their surroundings from a vantage point normally reserved for birds and fish plucked from the water by hungry birds.
Named one of 2012's top 100 five-star bicycle retailers in the United States by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Penn Cycle and Fitness has helped its customers enjoy smooth cycling for more than 57 years. From spare parts to automobile racks, the shop carries a large assortment of bike-riding gear for casual and serious excursions, while also offering repairs. During repair classes, the staff imparts its knowledge of bicycle mechanics onto pupils, who walk away from the 90-minute sessions with the ability to adjust brakes, fix faulty chains, and provide other other helpful bike-related tips to make sure you learn how to take great care of your bike.
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.
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