Open for just one month every autumn, The Pumpkin Ranch in Winterset, Iowa seems more like a scene from a child?s dream than a family-run business. But that?s the way the Handsaker family planned it, hoping to create a family-friendly hub that celebrated their love of all things autumn. Now hey began by cultivating their 9-acre cornfield into a complex maze, incorporating 12 checkpoints that make sure guests are on the right path and offer clues to the ranch?s Farm Scene Investigation mystery. Alongside the maze, the Handsakers have built up a 10-acre patch of pumpkins and gourds, where squashy specimens wait to be carved into jack-o?-lanterns or stomped into wine.
Now celebrating five years, the Handsakers have added even more activities to the The Pumpkin Ranch, including a 30?x40? jump pillow and 30-foot slides. The hayrack ride transports guests to and fro on the ranch, speeding up walks so guests can spend more time reveling in the play zone?s bounce houses, climbable straw bales, and tire towers. There's even a special area for toddlers. For more exhilarating pastimes, the ranch offers exhilarating zipline courses and fire pits to warm up chilly fall afternoons. Inside the concession stand, staffers sell steamy cups of specialty ciders and hot chocolate alongside homemade baked goods, giving guests a taste of fall, and outside, a concession stand serves up larger bites such as grilled and smoked meat to fuel the outdoor fun.
The Pumpkin Ranch is open Fridays?Sundays from September 26?October 26, 2014 and keeps an up-to-date list of the times they'll be offering activities, including horseback riding, face painting, and free professional photography.
Two Saints Winery holds fast to the belief that wine should be representative of its region. That's why to create its award-winning Iowa wines, Two Saints uses only grapes from its own property or grapes grown by local farmers. Embedded within the rippling countryside of rural Warren County, the facility produces up to 30,000 bottles per year. And instead of using juices retrieved from faraway sources, such as California or the mini refrigerators inside seashells, Two Saints spurns flavor enhancements and lets the natural flavors of Iowa's land emerge by aging bottles for at least a year. Customers, meanwhile, can enjoy those products right at the winery, especially during free tastings and live events held frequently on the property. During wine tastings, customers taste and compare eight featured wines that demonstrate the varying levels of body, tannin, sweetness or dryness, and fruity or earthiness possible in a wine.
Two decades ago, Jeff Holmes founded the original CanoeSport Outfitters in a space so tiny he could only display five or six boats. Today, CanoeSport Outfitters? Indianola location sprawls out across more than 20,000 square feet of retail space dedicated to stocking shimmering hulls and essential accessories.
Five miles south, on the sandy shores of Lake Ahquabi, lies CanoeSport Outfitters' satellite concessions outpost, which rents canoes, kayaks, and standup paddleboards to those who forgot to bring their pet dolphins. The outpost also teaches basic and advanced paddling classes?including water-based yoga?and sends groups on guided tours of the surrounding waters. No matter the task, the team members from CanoeSport Outfitters hold true to their philosophy of supporting sustainable recreation that minimizes environmental impact.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
Pleasantville Golf & Country Club's nine-hole course blankets the Marion County countryside with a circuit of tree-lined fairways. Originally opened in 1965, the course boasts the trademarks of a mature layout, with well-defined greens, tall timbers, and fairways that are starting to show flecks of gray. The semiprivate club also encompasses an outdoor swimming pool and Bogey's, a grill with a full-service bar and a menu of sandwiches, burgers, and other casual eats.: