Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
The whimsical rhymes and quirky cartoons coloring most greeting cards are occasionally amusing, but their stock sentiments and broad jokes engender little intimacy. Pear Tree Greetings curates a deeper connection by stocking an online store with hundreds of customizable greeting-card designs, nearly all of which are constructed from 100% post-consumer materials. Uploaded photos personalize traditional cards or unconventional booklets shaped like strings of holiday lights, which landed Pear Tree in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Cards come printed on a 100-pound matte card stock that can be coupled with magnets, napkins, and address labels celebrating birthdays, graduations, and weddings. Since there’s no charge for double-side printing, graduation announcements can easily detail party logistics and wedding invitations can list the funniest things to shout when the officiant asks if anyone has objections.
Action Packed Paintball Games takes pigment pumping seriously, hosting eight diverse playing fields packed with obstacles ranging from naturally occurring woods to manmade urban bunkers. Because this Groupon comes with all-day air, you'll be able to give them all a fighting chance, stopping only to stock up on additional paintballs after the Groupon-included 200 run out ($5 for 100 balls, $20 for 500 balls) or to carbo load in the on-site picnic and grilling areas.
It's easy to get lost in the moment on Nelson's Apple Farm. Guests can wander through the golden-tinged foliage and breath in the autumnal air while exploring the various fall festivities. Children traipse through the five acres of wildlife preserve, or peer at many different animals in the farm yard, feeding goats from their palms or watching ducks play inspired hockey on the pond. They can pick their own pumpkins and choose from more than 20 different apple varieties from a 20-acre plot of apple trees, and, come winter, guests can track down their perfect Christmas tree from the 12 acres of growing evergreens. On the weekends, customers can also opt for wagon rides around the acreage.
Minnesota Valley Garden Center's hundreds of verdant acres stretch across the Shakopee countryside blossoming with trees, shrubs, and perennials. Purple dome asters, multicolored pansies, and a variety of ornamental grasses bloom in the garden center, while the outdoor nursery houses homegrown trees, including maples and evergreens, planted each spring and fall. The facility's garden gurus—who have helped area gardeners for more than 50 years—can also help customers with landscape projects and irrigation setup for commercial and residential projects.