Some runners race for the thrill of victory while others just want to escape from the living dead. Half traditional 5K, half horror movie come to life, the Zombie Run 5K has something for everyone. At the starting line, the human racers—known for their ability to enunciate, give warm handshakes, and appreciate paprika—are tipped off that horror looms as they embark from a flipped tanker that has spilled zombie-birthing toxic goo. After a 1K warm-up, the tension ratchets as contestants enter the second K's militarized zone, where the walking, lurching, and jogging dead begin to give chase.
Now since zombies are a fictional creation, they're played by fellow racers clad in bloody makeup and trained in zombie choreography. And since eating people is still illegal in the U.S., humans wear flags that the zombies grab in lieu of chomping. Zombies multiply like zombie rabbits across three more running zones, including a vaccination hydration center reprieve and a heart-pounding 2K free-for-all to the finish. Alive or "dead," everybody gets to finish the race, which is followed by the Quarantine Party—featuring live DJ music from alive DJs, snacks and refreshments, and movie-quality zombie makeovers for people who want to nail the job interviews they have the next day.
Started as a nonprofit club back in 1974, Des Moines Skydivers originally provided a way for its skydiving-enthusiast members to enjoy an expensive passion as cheaply as possible. After upgrading its Cessna 195 to two newer models, the group expanded its focus, welcoming members of the public to Winterset Airport for first-time jumps, tandem jumps, accelerated training courses, and varied jumps for seasoned skydivers. The group also holds an annual get-together every Labor Day weekend called Dollar Daze, during which partygoers can pay a dollar to either jump from an airplane or give a quick smooch to the pilot.
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park sprawls over 80 acres of fields and slopes buzzing with a variety of year-round activities, from go-karts and bumper boats to downhill sledding. The team puts together two 5K races throughout the year: the Mud Run and Beer Run. During these meticulously constructed events, Sleepy Hollow will pit runners against manmade obstacles and natural obstacles.
Being an Iowa-based company, Sleepy Hollow supports more than 300 groups annually, providing funding for causes ranging from local schools to cancer research. The park also serves as the permanent residence of the annual Des Moines Renaissance Faire and Haunted Scream Park.
The team at AKA Des Moines Combat Entertainment has taken care to make the experience of combat as realistic as possible. Most notably, they don't use any brightly colored, plastic weapons; all of AKA's laser taggers are full metal, which lends to the sensation of carrying actual tools of combat. This seemingly small detail helps players feel immersed in realistic firefights during pulse-pounding scenarios such as capture the flag, search and destroy, sniper, and escort. Game props, such as time bombs, add additional tension?as do the high-tech taggers themselves, which can be calibrated to read damage, lives, and respawns.
As the only marina on its namesake body of water, Saylorville Lake Marina is a hub of activity, clamoring with visitors seeking to enjoy the 26,000-acre body of water. From May to October, outdoors-enthusiasts can set out on their recreational journey of choice with pontoon boat, jon boat, and bicycle rentals. Those with their own watercraft can take advantage of year-round indoor storage, as well as the tow-vehicle valet service, which helps boaters launch onto the waters to rapidly escape a wicked witch. Back on land, visitors can refuel from a long day at Latitude 41 Bar & Grill, the floating on-site restaurant.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.