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.
In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Boasting a Gold Standard certification from the American Sailing Association, Northern Breezes Sailing School welcomes tender-footed sailors aboard a fleet of U.S. Coast Guard–inspected boats for safe, exciting lessons. With a host of courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced dread pirates, Northern Breezes acclimates students of all levels with both the practical and nuanced aspects of the art of wind harnessing.
Helmed by ASA instructor-evaluator Captain Thom Burns, the school has awarded more than 5,000 ASA certifications since its inception. Northern Breezes also offers camps for adventurous whippersnappers as well as boat charters and onshore courses on how to read the wind rippling across the water.
Named one of 2012's top 100 five-star bicycle retailers in the United States by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Penn Cycle and Fitness has helped its customers enjoy smooth cycling for more than 50 years. From spare parts to automobile racks, the shop carries a large assortment of bike-riding gear for casual and serious excursions, while also offering repairs. During repair classes, the staff imparts its knowledge of bicycle mechanics onto pupils, who walk away from the 90-minute sessions with the ability to adjust brakes, fix faulty chains, and recite owners’ manuals backwards.
During this two-hour event, you get an all-access pass to try samples from OM’s menu paired with various wines. Samples are spread among a buffet table, wine stations, and roaming servers. As you tipple out-of-this-world wines originating in worldly locations from India to America, friendly butlers will be making their way through the mingling crowds to offer up various bites and describe the edible pieces on their platters to any eager ears. There will be ample opportunity for mixing and mingling along the way, so expect a night of friendly consumption, social networking, and a glorious smattering of edibles.
International instructor and dance champion Peter Strom created Uptown Swing to impart his swing-dancing know-how to rookie and pro rug cutters. Students can choose one four-week course, with classes meeting once a week for one hour. In Beginner A lessons, hip-shaking novices learn the basic steps, spins, and fire-breathing techniques of the Charleston and six-count lindy hop, an upbeat style of swing from the 1930s and '40s. During the Beginner B classes, aspiring Fred Astaires focus on the eight-count lindy hop, with its trademark swing-out and open and closed positions. Because students work together throughout, classes don't require partners, much like solo thumb-wrestling tournaments. Weekly recap videos make it easy for students to rehearse swing steps between sessions at home.