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 Wild Mountain. Seasonal activities include skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, where snow-goers explore 100 acres of hills encompassing 26 runs, bunny slopes for newcomers, and four terrain parks for the seasoned veterans. Wild Mountain also holds daily lessons, youth and adult programs, as well as racing competitions and camps run by knowledgable and trained northerners.
Crisp, fresh country breezes rustle through the trees surrounding Eko Backen as guests revel in its many outdoor seasonal activities. During warm-weather months, its spacious, gazebo-dotted grass fields host weddings and vintage-car shows, and families putt away on a 10-hole miniature-golf course with seasonally themed decorations. Visitors pile into inflatable tubes during the summer to race down water slides, and in the winter, they navigate sloping hills covered in artificial snow. The staffers capably host events such as corporate getaways, birthday parties, and jury-duty reunions, providing pizza and snacks from their onsite eatery.
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.
Pump It Up's Inflatable Party Zone balloons kids’ excitement with an enormous playspace that welcomes open-play sessions and private parties. Tots 34" and taller run and leap in huge bounce houses, soar down an inflatable slide, and practice for future zero-gravity triathlon events in a bouncy jousting arena and basketball court. Various open-play sessions give kids of all ages free rein to the fun zone while accompanying parents stand by to officiate bounce-house property-line disputes. Pump It Up also boasts myriad celebratory and special-event shindigs, with friendly staffers supervising jumpers, and serving pizza and favors in a vibrant party room.
Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
Stomping Ground's two coaches cultivate an environment encouraging creative exploration and experimentation in physical performance arts. Despite the studio's name, however, very little of this exploration happens on the hardwood floor. Instead, aerial fitness gear such as lyras, hoops, and slings hang from four rig points affixed to 13-foot ceilings. The equipment is used for beginner-through-advanced sessions in aerial dance fitness that introduce participants to the spectrum of foot knots and poses necessary to create aesthetically pleasing performances while keeping away from the floor in case someone claims it's just turned into lava. The studio is also outfitted with two poles for pole-fitness classes and has ample space for dynamic ashatanga yoga classes. A wall of mirrors allows students to watch their own progress during class, while a stereo system keeps them moving with upbeat music.