Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.
For more than 30 years, the pros at Northland Scuba have plunged the depths of waters both domestic and abroad seeking aquatic adventure. At their shop and water-filled practice studio, they cover all the essentials to get students SSI scuba certified with classroom, pool, and open-water training. Beyond basic certification, the subsea experts demystify adventure diving and master certification or arrange diving trips to the Cayman Islands, Thailand, and Australia. Since safe diving requires more than a bathing suit and 20 crazy straws hot glued together, Northland Scuba stocks top-shelf equipment from Aqua Lung, SeaQuest, and Apeks.
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.
Out in a Limb Dance Company & School's professional instructors introduce kids and adults to styles as various as classical ballet, modern dance, acrobatics, and hip-hop. School performances let students show off what they've learned to family, friends, and Barbies whose legs refuse to plié, while summer intensives let young bundles of energy immerse themselves in the choreography of a full-scale musical production. Ballroom classes help casual students get comfortable for wedding-mandated whirls about the dance floor and nights out at salsa clubs. Teachers come from backgrounds including the sets of musical theater productions, the Moscow Ballet, and training with Paula Abdul, and all work to create a disciplined, distraction-free environment by asking that students adhere to a formal code of etiquette.