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.
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.
Featuring a curvy, 700-foot indoor track that’s primed for high-speed competition, Joe’s Karting lets participants put the pedal to the floor at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Harness the power of nine miniature horses trotting inside each go-kart’s gas-powered engine during races that last approximately seven minutes and include up to eight drivers. A briefing session on rules and safety precedes the proceedings. Each basic annual membership includes a head sock that lets racers feel the breezy air on their beautifully waving helmets, as well as a free "hot laps" birthday session, offering big fun in pint-sized vehicles.
Perhaps one of Council Bluffs' most famous residents, Gen. Grenville M. Dodge has been called "the greatest railroad builder of all time." A Civil War veteran, Dodge's involvement in political, financial and military affairs made him an associate of many of the most influential Americans of his time.