One of the only golf courses of its type in the Midwest, the sprawling, lake-fronted Castle Course replicates some of the game’s best-known layouts. Golfers compete against imaginary PGA rivals on meticulous reproductions of seven legendary holes, including the 13th hole at Augusta National, and the water-surrounded, Nessie-guarded 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. You and a companion roll from dream link to dream link in an included cart, equipped with GPS to ensure foolproof navigation, and, should that fail, plenty of practice balls to act as more durable bread crumbs.
Lake Wissota Golf and Southern Hills Golf courses feature traditional well-kempt greens and challenging obstacles. Measuring more than 6,000 yards each from start to finish, these ball-battered battlegrounds envelop players in grandiose frondescence as they steer dimpled warriors past water hazards and sand traps filled with frowns. Each hole greets gurus and greenhorns with three sets of tee boxes from which to swing, marked by specific colors according to difficulty. Rather than slow roasting clubs before rounds, players can warm up naturally with a small bucket of balls on the full-sized driving ranges, or swing equipment-toting hatchbacks up to one of the full-service pro shops to procure hole-conquering provisions. Both locations recommend scheduling tee times in advance.
Taking its name from its location along the Eau Claire River and Lake Eau Claire, EC Adventures commands a fleet of kayaks and canoes for visiting explorers. The lake bisects the river into two forks, with a different adventure waiting at each end. On the South Fork, calm waters carry paddlers north from Coon Fork County Park, offering beginners and families the chance to calmly enjoy the forested surroundings. The North Fork runs from the Lake Eau Claire Dam to Lake Altoona, where the waters hit a brisk tempo, breaking into small patches of rapids. Visitors may also enjoy the lake itself, follow a map provided for lake trips to secluded islands, sunny beaches, and patches of water frequented by indigenous fish.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Adrenaline Sports Management corrals runners in an array of races to benefit several area charities, such as Back on My Feet and Fathers Helping Fathers. Each course winds its way through historic neighborhoods, lush lakefront paths, or energizing vistas, and most reward the top overall male and female finishers as well as the top-three runners in each category with medals or celebratory eye patches. Costume contests ramp up competition in the Halloween and Santa Hustles, with top prizes going to best individual costume, best group costume, or most-authentic centaur lookalike. At the many after-parties, finish-liners can revel in après-race accolades from family, friends, and shoulder-perched cherubs.
Knucklehead's Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park's 80,000-square-foot facility is bursting with a dozen family-friendly attractions. In the bowling alley, a light show illuminates pins and balls to the tune of festive music and a black light adds an eerie neon glow to cosmic bowling. You can also bowl under conventional lighting, of course, opting for automatic bumpers to prevent gutter balls and marshmallow pins to muffle noisy strikes. Elsewhere, go-karts zoom around a track, bumper cars collide, and visitors swing hand-over-hand through a weblike ropes course. A roller coaster zooms throughout the space, and the arcade whirs and flashes with video games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Madden, as well as traditional games that award prize tickets to their deftest handlers.