Volcano Falls Adventure Park's unlimited pass gives merriment-seekers a temporarily infinite supply of go-carting, laser tag, and miniature golf. The Lazer Zone allows young ones to grab light-shooting blasters and set out against their peers in futuristic battles or reenact the numerous laser skirmishes of Genghis Khan. A slick, bridge-laden go-cart track affords rubber-burners a six-minute spin around its lanes, and a kiddie track lets tykes join in on the zippy fun. Volcano Falls boasts two waterfall-flanked mini golf courses, including the 18-hole Palm course, which transplants putt-putt players to a tropical island setting surrounded by faux flora and fauna, as well as numerous marooned Tom Hanks wax figures.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Chestnut Mountain seems made for skiing?technically it is. The minds behind this resort transformed 220 rolling acres of snow into 19 trails, which crisscross a combined 475-foot vertical drop. Because the routes range from novice to Black Diamond, skiers of all skill levels can participate.
Another thing that makes the resort accessible to everyone: The Village Ski Center, which equips visitors with all the gear they need to conquer the mountain and all the Three's Company trivia they need to pass by its ice trolls. Here, 50 guides and instructors train students in skiing and snowboarding. During this training they often make use of the resort's Farside Terrain Park, where more than 25 rails let boarders practice tricks.
The resort even encompasses a few things that have nothing to do with snow, including three onsite restaurants and a handful of summer activities, namely mini golf and scenic cruises of the Mississippi River.
Cleaved through a dense forest of trees within Wapsipinicon State Park and situated along a bend in the river of the same name, the park?s nine-hole golf course awaits golfers of all skill levels. The course stretches to 3,187 yards, challenging players with tight fairways lined by dense foliage. The history-steeped course opened in 1923, and its clubhouse followed a year later, built entirely by prison labor with rock from the river bluffs, white-oak logs hauled by horse-drawn bobsleds, and a fireplace made with the world's only fireproof stones.
Meadowridge Golf Course's nine-hole par 3 course and expansive driving range appeal to club-wielding neophytes as well as veterans looking to improve their short game without getting blocked by an enormous clown mouth. Today's deal is valid for tee times for two at any time—though rates change after 10 a.m.—and includes a cart rental. Club swingers can also opt to visit Meadowridge's driving range and take advantage of 60 driving stations perched atop real grass and mats that gaze longingly onto the 320-yard expanse in front of them. Armed with a bucket of 100 balls, sphere-crushing patrons can bombard more than 25 targets, precisely place sand shots from the safety of a protected bunker, test putting skills on a four-degree, 24'x75' practice zone, and challenge other guests to golf-tee-juggling contests.
The stately trees and blue grass fairways that line Cedar Rapids Twin Pines Golf Course have been flourishing since 1962, when the first golfers walked the course’s emerald alleyways. Eighteen scenic holes invite greenhorns to green-jacket holders to dig up divots while aiming their dimpled orbs around a quartet of ponds. Hole five presents a sharp dogleg left with a water hazard nestled in the crook of its elbow, forcing golfers to either tee off with masterful precision or keep the fairways lush with a steady stream of tears. Before facing the course’s unforgiving, undulating fairways or the tree-framed putting green of hole eight, players can warm up at any of the driving range’s 20 hitting stations. After a successful round, golfers can drop into the clubhouse to cool off hot putting hands with a frosty beverage and tell old war stories of facing off against rifle-wielding regiments with only their 9-iron.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 5,932 yards from the farthest set of tees * Course rating of 67.8 from the farthest set of tees * Slope rating of 107 from the farthest set of tees * See the scorecard
The men’s league at Belle Plaine Country Club is no joke: its member roster boasts 112 players. As course manager Mike Coffman points out, “It’s an impressive number for a small town"—and a testament to the course’s charms. Its bluegrass fairways have become a lively gathering place for the community. The pines, elms, and oaks dotting the fairways have flourished for more than 80 years, during which time they've been nourished by a steady diet of misaimed balls and frustrated golfers’ tears. Two-time PGA champion Lonnie Nielsen, who grew up playing on the course, can still occasionally be seen teeing off here.
The course challenges players with tricky water hazards, and balls have to strap on their crampons and take out their rock picks to ascend the eighth hole’s elevated green. After a day spent on the fairways or at the driving range and practice putting green, players can unwind with a slice of pizza or a hamburger at the snack bar.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 36 course * Length of 3,008 yards * Course rating of 67.6 * Slope rating of 111