Since greasing its first lane in 1958, Lariat Lanes has spent the past half century serving its community with family-friendly bowling and entertainment. Located just a short distance from downtown Minneapolis, the pin-punishing emporium touts a lineup of 12 ultrasleek lanes that lend their surfaces to leagues, parties, and daily sessions of open bowling. Memorabilia adorns the alley's walls to create a timeline of storied collectibles, including keepsakes signed by the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and the Beastie Boys. In between evading gutters and matchbox cars using the lanes as a drag strip, guests can refuel with hot dogs, wings, and nachos at the restaurant or sip sodas and beers in the bar, where local sports games illuminate TV screens.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.
McCoy's extensive menu pairs updated comfort fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with more than 55 barley pops, including Fat Tire, Boulevard Wheat, and Belgian-style Ommegang Hennepin Saison on tap. Complement a flagon of Rogue Dead Guy Ale with a starter of three soft, Bavarian beer pretzels ($6.49) sprinkled with rock salt and served with a “blue ribbon” cheese dip, or snorkel through a plate of crispy lobster spring rolls ($10.59) with Thai peanut sauce and plum chili. Herbivores and herbivoyeurs, meanwhile, will take heart in McCoy’s large selection of supper-sized salads ($4.99+), while inventive brick-oven pizzas such as the roasted vegetable ratatouille pie ($10.99) reimagine the classic disced dinner in a more rustic light. Entrees at the eatery are as decadent and diverse as the UN General Assembly's annual rave, and include the excelsior grand ($12.99), a smoked chicken-, bacon-, and green pea-loaded mac 'n' cheese. Hearty handhelds such as the 12-hour Reuben ($10.29)—corned beef brisket-, Swiss cheese-, and sauerkraut-filled beauty toasted between slices of marble rye bread—vie for your attention with the bleu cheese-encrusted beef tenderloin filet ($19.99).
You won't find the stylists at Blast Blow Dry Bar wielding scissors. Instead, they take manes from frazzled to polished using only blow-dryers and hot tools. Inside one of the Bar's three locations, blow-dry recipients choose from a list of seven style options ranging from sleek and super straight (The Skinny) to full, flowing, voluminous curls (The Glam). Each blowout includes a shampoo and conditioning treatment so that finished locks look and feel healthy and strong, and the staff can even add-on a hair treatment shot to help repair scalps suffering from dryness or seasonal allergies.
Beyond blowouts, Blast Blow Dry Bar also offers services such as up-dos, facial waxing, and professional makeup applications. And, for those looking for a makeover that lasts longer, the staff can administer a Brazilian blowout, which smooths frizz and conditions hair, leaving it shinier and straighter for up to 12 weeks.
Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.
When the amusement value of people-watching starts to wear off, shoppers at the Mall of America can ascend to the fourth floor to Rick Bronson's House of Comedy for professionally dispensed laughs. In front of walls painted with off-kilter murals of the city skyline, nationally renowned comedians riff and banter on a thrust stage that makes it easy for audience members to offer hearty handshakes after each good joke. Meanwhile, guests munch pizza, burgers, and northern treats such as poutine and cheese curds. Past standup superstars include Norm MacDonald, Steve-O, Tom Green, and a who's-who of comics seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.