Wirth Winter Recreation Area capitalizes on winter chill with an expansive snowboarding park, easy-to-access snow-tubing hills, and 15 miles of cross-country-ski trails. A resident snowmaking machine ensures shred sessions all season long, allowing boarders to grind down rails and achieve big air off ramps whether the sky drops snow or origami snowflakes. Scenic views of downtown Minneapolis abound on the cross-country-skiing trails, creating a labyrinth of wooded trails overlooking Twin Lake, Golden Valley, and Uptown. At the downhill tubing area, a tow winch slides riders back up the park's hills after speedy descents atop inflated tubes. The recreation area also proffers skis, snowboards, tubes, and snowman boogey boards to all unequipped guests.
At more than 35 current or soon to be open Sky Zone locations across the country, bouncers of all ages revel in gravity-defying flips and twists. Mammoth floor-to-wall trampolines cover the gyms, creating endless possibilities for bounding antics. Pits piled high with foam blocks allow for soft landings after springing from trampolines into sky-high aerobatic tumbles and tricks, whereas bouncy courts equipped with basketball hoops elicit soaring slam-dunk contests. Visitors also burn up to 1,000 calories per hour during trampoline-based SkyFitness classes that focus on the calisthenics and muscle-toning aerobics created by kangaroos. Other inventive activities on the courts include games of dodge ball. Each clean and safe facility provides excitement for the entire family and can also host birthdays and group celebrations.
To put it plainly, Splat Tag is massive. Twenty-two paintball fields sprawl across its 600 acres. Woods, brush, and felled trees make for strategic cover, and through every patch of forest could be something unexpected. A helicopter, a bunker, or perhaps an enemy base, right there for the taking—provided players have enough paint.
The high number of play areas encourages players to linger, as does Splat Tag's policies. Open admission grants unlimited access for the day, with referees setting up 15- to 20-minute games. The fields admit up to 200 players per day, ensuring everyone can find those of similar skill levels. Splat Tag also hosts private and special events, including an annual gathering with enough paintballs to blot out murals of of the sun.
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.
Tucked away in a grove of towering red and white pine trees, the Character Challenge Course pits teams of patrons against a series of obstacles, fostering confidence, teamwork, and communication skills. A collection of low-ropes activities challenges teams with trust falls, games, and role-playing exercises while remaining a short distance from the ground. High-ropes challenges, meanwhile, soar to heights of up to 35 feet, and include cloud-scraping ladders, wobbly bridges, and the Leap of Faith, in which patrons must scale a 25-foot pole and then leap to a trapeze bar five feet away before lowering themselves earthward. To further facilitate team unity, groups gather after completing each obstacle to discuss how the course's mental and physical trials can be applied to daily struggles in cooperating with others at work or while opening a pickle jar.
ProKart Indoor Racing lets riders tear through concrete turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Seated in low-slung black or red go-karts, drivers are just inches above the ground as they careen around the course. Computers track them during the race, recording finishing times. The track at ProKart's Maple Grove facility runs inside and outside, weather permitting.
Approximately 6,000 years ago, when Sumerian scholars were devising some of mankind's first mathematic systems, a mile-thick sheet of ice began to melt half a world away in the region known today as Minnesota. Slowly, the glacier shrank and poured gallons of water into the land around it, leaving behind gorgeous rock formations dotted with artistic ridges and eye-catching striations. Perhaps most notable of these formations is a structure that resembles a cross, which inspired settlers to name its surrounding river St. Croix, or "holy cross."
Today, modern humans can catch a glimpse of these awesome sights thanks to Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours. The company's two paddlewheel boats—the 250-seater Princess and the 149-seater The Queen —feature enclosed lower levels and open-air upper decks, allowing for an unobstructed view of not only the stone cross, but also the formations known as Lion's Head, Turk's Head, and The Old Man of the Dalles, so named for its resemblance to a man's weathered face and its likelihood to repeat old stories about the Cretaceous Period. A licensed boat pilot acts as tour guide, directing guests' attention to each instance of natural beauty on a variety of tours, which range from 80-minute daytime excursions to two-hour dinner cruises replete with a gourmet meal and live entertainment.
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