Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that compose America can unite in the common cause of toppling a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4 value).
When it comes to grilling meat, The Prairie Tap House's executive chef, Phil Dvorak, draws upon the traditions of Baltimore to craft pit meats, which he marinates for three days with a secret housemade spice recipe. Afterward, he slow-cooks each cut over an oak-fired grill, thinly slices it, and serves it on a locally baked Kaiser roll.
With this meticulous method, Dvorak sears 10 meats, including pork served with buttermilk slaw and beef served with crisp white onions and house made creamy horseradish sauce. The rest of The Prairie Tap House's menu sticks to more traditional pub food, albeit with an upscale twist, from Korean beef lettuce wraps to handmade pastas tossed with lobster, bacon, and creamy toasted-fennel sauce. Along with 30 wines, bartenders complement feasts with 35 draft beers and more than 50 brews doled out in bottles, cans, or a server's gloved hands cupped together.
Inside the family-owned Jumps & Downs, youngsters aged 1–8 tumble into a capacious ball pit, 5,000 balls strong—one of the many attractions that pepper the 3,600-square-foot facility. The indoor play center’s inflatables encourage airborne activities, building kids' motor skills every time they leap in one of the bounce houses, dive down the giant plush slide, or climb up the obstacle course. Groups of kids unleash cake-fueled manias on the playscape during birthday parties that come complete with all manner of festive accoutrements, including a private room, paper goods, invitations, and a copyright lawyer to make sure no scofflaw children sing "Happy Birthday" for free.
Located roughly 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Canterbury Park is a popular destination for horseracing, poker, and casino games. The venue will transform into a stadium to host the AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship, a flat-track motorcycle race as fierce as an unloved naked mole rat in stiletto-heel boots. The all-day event begins with a vendor trade show and exhibition. Practice runs and an autograph session fill the afternoon, but the true action comes at 6 p.m., when the races begin. Riders will mount their custom-built bikes to race in mile, half-mile, and short-track heats on the sandy one-mile oval track. In all there are five heats, four qualifiers, and two championship races, which total 99 laps of racing. The victors will claim the ultimate title in flat-track racing but will not be granted pardon from outstanding library fees. Check out the day's full schedule here.
Hopkins Tavern gives customers plenty of reasons to stop in, offering 32 local, regional, and craft beers on tap and pub fare ranging from wings to cheese curds. But the staff knows how to keep patrons entertained as well as satiated. Along with daily happy hours, the tavern hosts birthday beer bash Fridays and bar bingo nights. Twins fans can look forward to watching each game live on the bar’s TVs alongside the affordable drink specials that flow during each live game.
Conversation at Mainstreet Bar & Grill moves in buzzing orbits around pool tables, live musicians, and big-screen and projection TVs broadcasting Minnesota Viking games. Banter slows to a halt as half-pound burgers and chicken sandwiches arrive with occasional adventurous twists, such as sliced pineapple or Cajun spices. Button-tufted red leather booths line one wall, where patrons chow down under railroad crossing signs and vintage soda signs. Thursday nights acoustic open mic shows let songwriters try out new songs when cover bands aren’t performing past hits or reading aloud from Elvis’s partially completed crossword puzzles.