Sever’s Corn Maze isn’t just a cornfield with some paths cut into it. It’s a full-scale celebration of the autumn season, combining traditional harvest activities and treats with bounce pillows, petting zoos, and magic shows. The farm welcomes in guests from mid-September through the end of October, inviting them to share in the fun of picking their own pumpkin, biting into a crisp caramel apple, or finding all of the checkpoints in a themed maze without running into the centaur scarecrow. The Severs offer enough activities to keep families busy all day, including seeing which little piglet will win the derby race. Knowing that guests can work up an appetite between all their activities, the Severs offer a range of autumn goodies including brats, kettle corn, cheese curds, and steaming mugs of hot cocoa and cider.
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.
With towering pillars and sweeping arches, the lobby at Paragon Chateau 14 resembles an official monument to the pleasures of moviegoing. Sony 4K HD digital projection systems flash current-run films onto each screen. In addition to a fully-stocked concession stand, the theater hosts The Lot, a lounge where moviegoers can order beer, wine, and soda served in hollowed-out Golden Globes and listen to live music.
Founded in 2002 by Erik Sanborn, a Minnesota native whose art has taken him to stages across 25 countries, the Metropolitan Ballet curates a company of skilled dancers, some with ties to such prestigious companies as the Bolshoi Ballet. The curriculum is grounded in the Vaganova method of ballet, which emphasizes a strong core and full-body perfection of movement. The company also stays busy with a full season of performances, with lavishly costumed dancers moving through dramatic stories that have ranged from Dracula to The Nutcracker.
Although it’s known for comedies such as the two-man, 24-character A Tuna Christmas, Actors Theater of Minnesota also places a significant emphasis on education and corporate training. At The Creative Institute, the ensemble trains students how to work theatrical media such as improv and writing into their everyday problem-solving skills.
In 1969, the founder of Padelford Packet Boat Co. Inc., Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., launched the Jonathan Padelford steamwheeler into the Mississippi River, hoping to bring visitors to the riverfront for leisurely jaunts that harkened back to simpler times. After more than 30 years of growing his fleet and ferrying passengers down the historic waterways, he handed the reigns over to his daughters and nephew. Today, the family operates five boats with amenities such as dance areas, bars, sun decks, and the nostalgia that William hoped to keep alive. With the Twin Cities' skyline and the rugged, green banks of the river as the backdrop, US Coast Guard–licensed vessels float passengers past sights such as Pig's Eye Cave, Fort Snelling, and Pike Island. Some cruises also include dinner or fireworks, and special holiday cruises are also available. The company also offers private charters for unique party opportunities, including weddings set before the city's waterfront sites.