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.
Club swingers thrive on the tree-lined fairways of Chomonix's 6,596-yard course, where the flora and fauna of Minnesota's wilderness bespeak the course's location on the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes park reserve. Water hazards pepper seven holes, and sand traps camouflaged as golf-ball resorts add excitement to each shot. With a full bucket of balls, orb whackers can improve their form and distance on the driving range, and players can practice distinguishing between real holes and invisible wormholes on the putting green nearby. Golfers quash hunger with the clubhouse's grilled brats or burgers. The course experiences little or no winter-kill, so the local flora stays healthy all year long.
Boasting over 7,000 certified used clubs, 2nd Swing is a one-stop shop for budding golfers and long-driving enthusiasts. Customers can finally replace the walking canes and dinosaur fossils that occupy their golf bags by perusing a head-spinning selection of drivers, irons, and putters preserved in top-notch condition. Each club is thoroughly inspected for dents, fractures, and chicken pox, ensuring that golfers will be satisfied with their purchases. Check out a Titleist 775.CB steel 6-iron ($29.99), a Callaway Tuttle putter ($49.99), or a Titleist Vokey chrome 200 wedge steel ($39.99) that’s handy for keeping territorial birds at bay. Additionally, visitors will be able to test out clubs such as the Callaway Great Big Bertha II 415 driver ($69.99) at a local course or driving range, instead of ricocheting balls off cars in the parking lot. 2nd Swing also accepts trade-ins on clubs.
While other athletic clubs hibernate, Majestic Oaks welcomes Old Man Winter's frigid embrace with snow-savvy cheer. Played using golf clubs and a fuzzy tennis ball, snow golf provides nine holes of family-spanning fun and takes less than an hour to complete. Traversing the course, most of whose holes are under 100 yards, provides a reason to enjoy a brisk winter afternoon with friends while getting some light exercise. Hot chocolate and coffee (a value of $1.50 each) can keep your foursome of snow-golfers warm or can be used to punish snowmen who overindulge in mulligans.
In Life Time Fitness's LifePower Yoga programs, yogis certified in an array of yoga styles impart students of all levels with strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. Prospective posers can drop in on any class on the schedule, where a varied menu of methods helps students balance the yoga's strengthening and slimming physical benefits along with its meditative, relaxing, and mat-appreciation qualities. An introductory class acquaints incoming limbs with basic poses and the proper way to align them with a suite of breathing techniques. Instructors will help you find pose modifications to accommodate injuries, muscle stiffness or other special needs.
A shimmering sheet of bluegrass spreads underfoot on each of the 27 holes at Viking Meadows Golf Club. Eighteen of these manicured fairways make up the club's championship-length course, The Meadows, a 6,428-yard undertaking that pits players against water hazards on six holes, tricky dogleg turns, and the constant threat of mole people bursting from the ground. The Woods course, its nine-hole sibling, invites golfers to practice their game or tune up before playing through the championship links.
The Meadows Course at a Glance:
The Woods Course at a Glance: