Retrace and retread tractor history at this Dyersville museum, located 90 minutes from downtown Cedar Rapids. With thousands of toys and exhibits scattered throughout its two-floored exhibition space, the National Farm Toy Museum pays tribute to historic and contemporary crop contraptions. Fun-loving farm enthusiasts may peruse the museum's frenzy of farm implements, including trucks, pedal tractors, and life-size John Deer soil-sifters. Original artwork, dioramas, and two Doug Schlesier sculptures artfully express anecdotes of American agriculture, while miniature farm replicas and Ertl Company toys convey while miniature-sized farm replicas and Ertl Company toys convey to visitors the life-sized growth of American farming. The National Farm Toy Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Fitness Lifestyles boasts such a bounty of amenities that virtually anybody should be able to find a way to get fit. In addition to the usual weightlifting and cardio equipment, there are four indoor tennis courts, a pool, a batting cage, and even a massage therapist on call. A full schedule of classes includes aquatic aerobics in the pool as well as dry-land calorie-burners such as boot camp, spinning, yoga, and Pilates. After a strenuous workout, head to the spa to unwind with a hot stone massage or customized facial.
Energy Center Fitness Club is manned by a staff of personal trainers, group instructors, lifestyle coaches, and massage therapists. Staffers keep the club open 24/7 to give members round-the-clock opportunities to lift free weights, climb aboard cardio and weight machines, and make saltwater taffy in the stretching area. The staff leads more than 20 group classes, whose curricula include boot camp, Zumba Toning, Pilates, and cycling. Owner, trainer, and lifestyle coach Shawn Bollig also discusses nutrition with guests, while the club's Thin & Healthy Total Solution offers clients a weight loss program aimed toward a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Free towel service keeps workouts hygienic, as do the private locker and shower areas. Massage therapy soothes peaked muscles, while Energy Center Fitness Club renders clients tan in lie-down and standup UV booths. A complimentary play area, meanwhile, keeps children entertained and prevents their imaginary friends from hogging the invisible elliptical machines.
A nonprofit arts-education haven for the community, Rhapsody instructs budding virtuosos and aesthetes of all ages through programs in music, art, drama, and other distinctly cultured pursuits. The artistic equivalent of a superhero brigade, the roster of teachers includes many with master’s degrees in their specialty. Among the classes offered this summer, Songwriters Workshop teaches the basics of setting words to music and digging up repressed emotions about previous-life breakups (ages 13+, $75). Transformational Painting allows adults to conjure their inner oil painter (ages 18+, $115), and tenderfooted thespians can partake in Acting for Little Ones, a confidence-building primer designed to train the future cast of the impending Friends reboot (ages 4–6, $55).
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
The Tutoring Center’s instructors follow a proven curriculum method that goes beyond merely helping students with their homework. The Rotational Approach to Learning, developed by Tutoring Center founder Edward S. Thalheimer, PhD, is designed to help students in grades K–12 overcome scholastic issues through one-to-one instruction sessions followed by short independent study sessions where they can apply what they just learned. Not only does this system boost grades in school but it also bolsters students’ self-confidence and ability to work effectively alone or if the rest of the quiz-bowl team got suspended. The Tutoring Center's individualized programs use this teaching system and focus on specific subjects, such as reading, math, writing, and pre-SAT prep or study skills.