The shifting seasons bring beauty and bounty to Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard, from the baby buds and bursting petals of spring to the branches heavy with peaches, apricots, cherries, and apples during summer and autumn. In 1994, the Ditmars family laid 300 trees into the ground as a family project, but slowly expanded their hobby into a full-time orchard, now cultivating almost 4,000 trees.
In the summer, fat juicy strawberries nestle in rows ready to be picked, and in fall, fields overflow with acres of bulbous orange pumpkins ready to become jack-o’-lanterns or a horseman’s fancy new hat. Amid fiery foliage and crisp autumn air, families adventure through the onsite corn maze and attend fun fall festivals that feature face painting and hayrides. Kids can clamber over tractor tires and whoosh down slides in the orchard’s large playground. Guests reenergize at the country kitchen, where lunch selections include apple cider, frozen fruit pies, and fresh-made chicken-salad sandwiches, as well as native Iowa wines available by the bottle or glass.
Fox Run Golf Club prides itself as a course that challenges boundaries. From a design perspective, it represents the two different architectural models of golf courses, at points immersing golfers in a wooded, parkland setting and, elsewhere, challenging them to display deft control over an open, links-style layout. A semiprivate club, Fox Run also eliminates the barrier between public courses and members-only clubs, inviting daily fee players and members alike to enjoy manicured grounds worthy of an exclusive club or a course covered in Persian rugs. Measuring 6,200 yards from the back tees, the layout provides four tee options from which golfers can play. On the driving range, players can calibrate their swings while aiming at 11 targets equipped with Laser Link flagsticks, which ensure that distances are accurately measured and also to make sure pins don’t run away to pursue careers as javelins. Off the course, guests can relax in The Den at Fox Run, which serves up drinks and casual grill food.
“How do you take your coffee?” asks Andy Morse, son of Breezy Hills Vineyard owners Darrell and Roberta Morse. “We ask people that a lot.”
Here’s what they’ve learned: people who take cream and sugar usually prefer sweet, fruity wines, and black coffee drinkers tend to go for robust, smoky red wines. The staff starts with this simple question because they understand that wine tasting can confound the novice. No snobs, the Morses start off new wine drinkers by introducing them to the basics of tasting and then allowing them to explore for themselves the unique sensory experience of their 17 locally made wines. Handcrafted elixirs such as their popular Misbehavin'—which blends red and white wines to create the pale blush of a sunburned ghost—pair well with the vineyard’s delectable plates of chocolate truffles and nuts.
Throughout the week, Thunderbowl puts its signature twist on the classic game of bowling with a lineup of themed leagues and events. Orchestrated by the alley's staff, the league roster includes the Golden Agers senior league, the Ladies Night Out league, and the Have-A-Ball league, which comprises teams of one adult and one child. Events include a carnival day held in August, which includes revelry and a chance to win prizes. At Thunderbowl's snack bar, the kitchen crew fuels bowlers to prevent them from hiding marshmallows in the finger-holes of their bowling balls by crafting specialty burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches such as a patty melt with grilled onions and a chicken philly.
As the only professional dance company of its kind in the region, Ballet Nebraska takes its mission to entertain and educate seriously. The company performs seasons of classic works and new favorites, pirouetting through The Nutcracker and mixed-repertory programs at area theaters and on tour. But the ballet's greatest contribution to the community might be its education and outreach programs. The artists frequently perform at charity benefits, stage productions for students, and hold workshops on storytelling through movement at local libraries, where silent storytelling is a must.
Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, Prairielands Chiropractic Clinic emphasizes improving your health in an effort to reduce the risk of pain and illness in the first place. Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could. This is one of the main re