Keeping folks busy year-round is the main mission at Monticello Community Center, whether viewing movies in the park or splashing around the indoor pool and water slides. Allowing families to stay active, the fitness center welcomes visitors 16 and over to use free-weights, cardio equipment, and mirrors for flexing. Adult sports leagues organize teams for hockey and softball, while more low-key green thumbs can head to the community garden to dig in the dirt, plant, and tend to buds.
National Sports Center is one of the few places in the world where you can step from verdant fields onto stretches of ice. Eight ice arenas?four Olympic-sized, four NHL-sized?comprise more than 148,000 square feet inside the Schwan Super Rink. And as for the fields? The National Sports Center was originally conceived as a soccer complex, and it still boasts 52 fields. The Guinness Book of World Records has certified National Sports Center as the largest soccer complex on earth.
Hockey and soccer still only make up a small portion of the sports that are playable at the center. Those same soccer fields might host rugby on one day, lacrosse on another, and ultimate disc the following week, provided the discs have not flown south for the winter. The ice rink might host figure skaters as well as broomball teams. At the center's outdoor cycling velodrome, brake-free bikes race each other along a canted track, thrilling crowds every Thursday from late May to September. Players of all stripes can sign up for leagues and lessons in their favorite sport, or check out everything from expos to fitness classes on the calendar of events.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Formerly the Lingerie Football League, the Legends Football League stands as the "fastest-growing pro sports league in the nation" according to NBC Sports correspondent Rick Chandler. That success owes much to the league's unique format, which pits two exclusively female teams in alluring uniforms against each other in full-contact football games on a 50-yard field. Donning football pads and helmets over their revealing performance wear, the female athletes block, juke, and sprint uninhibited by such frivolous gear as the NFL's heavy chainmail hauberks.
First opened in 1968, the Electric Factory has been hosting rock shows for almost as long Puerto Rico has been a state. After dancing their faces off to headliners from Erykah Badu to the Dropkick Murphys, concertgoers can stop by The Chive Caf? to recharge with a cheesesteak or an all-beef hotdog on a potato bun, or refill their draft Yuengling at the bar. In summer, the Electric Factory reveals an outdoor location complete with more refreshment booths, vendors, and upgraded food stands.
"Most of us, if we saw a child who had fallen off their bike and skinned a knee, we’d stop and help them. With kids [with mental-health problems], the hurt and the pain are on the inside," Steve Lepinski, executive director of the Washburn Center for Children, told MinnPost in 2013. Lepinski and his colleagues know that mental health is just as important as physical health. As such, they make it their mission to help children with social, emotional, and behavioral problems receive early intervention so they can have happier childhoods and brighter futures.
Washburn serves children from birth to age 18 and is the state's leading expert in childhood trauma. The licensed and professional staff reached out to 2,768 children last year through diagnostic assessments, outpatient individual and family therapy, home-based services, and therapeutic groups. More than half of those children came from low-income households, which carries on the center's 130-year mission to help struggling families.
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