Cut through the back woods of Mount Crescent Ski Area populated by man-made and natural obstacles during Zombie Run Omaha 5K. The 3.1-mile track can make anyone's blood run hot—especially when they're being chased by cold-blooded zombies. Before taking off from the starting line, runners don flags around their waist and attempt to complete the track without having their flag stolen by one of the many zombies that lie in wait throughout the course. Once they make it to the finish line, runners can celebrate their survival at the apocalypse party, where a DJ serenades everyone with spooky tunes, and vendors provide post-race green monster punch.
Thanks to 20 hard-working snow-making machines, skiers and snowboarders of all levels can zip down nine different runs reaching up to 2,000 feet, and also enjoy night skiing at this western-Iowa resort. Although gravity will pull patrons inexorably toward the bottom of the slopes, two chairlifts return as many as 3,600 snow surfers to the top each hour, where they can take in views of the ski area's 50 acres, test their mettle on trails such as the challenging Double Trouble Chute, or make a snow-sculpted diorama of the entire cast of Happy Days. Afterward, skiers can warm their toes in the newly renovated two-story lodge and replenish their bodies with a drink from the Mountain Cafe & Bar. Guests can also rent skis and snowboards, take lessons, or conquer the slopes on an office chair.
“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.
Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.
Not many people would peg Santa Claus as a runner—his rotund figure doesn’t help his case—but The HoHoHo5K Fun Run seems to prove them wrong. Santa’s fitness prowess is redeemed thanks to a hoard of runners taking to the streets of Council Bluffs in holiday costumes; popular selections include the man in red, as well as Mrs. Claus and other holiday characters. The race takes participants through downtown and past Bayliss Park, which will be aglow with string lights, and past water and hot-chocolate stations. Participants are encouraged to donate a new toy on the day of the race to help local kids have a memorable holiday, and a portion of the race’s proceeds further these efforts.
Each year from March 20th to November 15th, golf balls dot the fairways across the 2,966-yard, nine-hole course at Treynor Recreation Area. Two water hazards lay hidden throughout, but only affect play at two points: off the third tee, where players reach the fairway by hitting over a pond, and on the dogleg left fifth hole. With no tee time requirements, the course allows players to show up unannounced?making it a good way to practice for crashing a neighbor's dinner party. After holing out on the ninth, players can tie up their golf bags outside of The Clubhouse Sports Bar and Grill and head inside for post-round bites and beers.