Bob Curttright knew that wine tasted better when it's enjoyed in a scenic setting. That's why he set out on a search for the perfect setting before opening his winery, Whiskey Run Creek. He found the setting he dreamed of in a century-old barn owned by Julius Bergmann and moved the historic structure—which was built from oak and walnut beams without a single nail—more than 18 miles to a creekside property.
Now owned by Ron and Sherry Heskett, they fill visitors' glasses with wine made from Nebraska-grown ingredients. In addition to varietals, such as Chambourcin and Edelweiss, their winery produces seasonal fruit wines made with apples and cherries from local farms. Guests can relax with their wine on an expansive deck or explore renovated brick caves built in 1866.
A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
The new owners of The Oaks Golf Club renovated the nine-hole Oaks course by expanding greens and adding dimension, resulting in 2,573 rolling yards with elevation variations as high as 50 feet. Take to the par 35 course with a fellow divot devotee and launch dimpled orbs through the air in spirited re-creations of the Apollo 12 moon landing. Each green on the course is now an average of 5,000 square feet in size, with recently built mounding around the holes adding nuance and difficulty to each putt and slice. A recently installed irrigation system helps playing surfaces stay fresh for birdies and impromptu company picnics.
Boasting a combined resumé of 75 years of experience and more than 16,000 jumps, the members of Falcon Skydiving Team show off their aerial skills at exhibitions all over the states. They kicked off the US promotion of the latest Pokémon products with a whirling dive and perform as a highlight of the Richards-Gebaur air show. When not free-falling for audiences, they take up passengers with them and teach them the basics during tandem dives.
Links-style golf on the mainland can be hard to find, but Falcon Lakes Golf Club's 18-hole course emulates the characteristics of the game's traditional Scottish tracks. From the tips, the 7,098-yard circuit proves quite formidable, with a quartet of long par-fives?topping out at 566 yards?and a few titanic par-fours, including the 481-yard 12th hole, the course's most difficult hole. Intimidating hole length isn't the course's only links characteristic. At the end of each zoysia grass fairway, golfers must contend with slick, bent-grass greens, most of which exceed 6,000 square feet in size to make two-putts very difficult but helicopter golf-cart landings a breeze. Ankle-high native grass sways in the breeze on certain holes, and hazardous mounds deny a level stance to those who stray from the fairways or greens. Before rounds, golfers can get a feel for the putting surfaces at a multi-tiered practice green, practice their swings at a zoysia grass driving range, or dig for ancient scorecards in the bunkers that surround the chipping green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,098 yards from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Sugar Clay owners, vintners, and winemakers Frank and Amy Faust shake up palates with handcrafted pours and other treats during tastings. Visitors can choose from nearly a dozen releases for their two full pours (up to a $10 value) and discounted bottle, such as a clean, pineapple-kissed German-style edelweiss with a light caramel finish, Sugar Clay's most popular white ($16/bottle). The Faust Haus Rosa, a catawba grape nostril-wowwer, starts with a bouquet of strawberries and roses and ends with hints of spices and future honeymoons ($13/bottle). Bandana Red, the winery’s dark star, soothes mouths with a velvety mélange of deChaunac and marechal foch grapes and notes of dried cherries and blackberries ($15/bottle). A tray of gastro-intelligent bites, with ham, salami, cheeses, veggies, and french bread, complements the day’s toasts (an $11 value).