Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo's troupe of snake-taming animal lovers tend to dozens of species of reptiles and amphibians, creating a nurturing environment that cares for the creatures and educates the public. From lizards and snakes to crocodilians and tortoises, the zoo's menagerie contains specimen both docile and hostile, and visitors often pose for pictures with animals to commemorate their visit to the zoo. After being successfully raised by sage clans of snapping turtles, each keeper draws on their years of experience and love of animals to conduct presentations and seminars during visits to the zoo.
Last year, Jenny's Light launched the Circle of Moms support group, a welcoming space for women to meet twice a month to discuss the challenging aspects of motherhood. Due to the pilot program’s success, Jenny's Light plans to create a resource guide to help certified support groups launch Circle of Moms programs in other cities. In order to replicate the program elsewhere, the organization needs to raise funds to develop a curriculum guide. Each guide will include at least eight session outlines and a DVD that will be used during group sessions.
The door of the limousine opens and flash bulbs burst in a thunderstorm of press and paparazzi. The crowd shoulders each other behind velvet ropes, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the diamond-studded star at the head of the red carpet. When the sea of people parts, a self-assured third-grader is revealed as she greets her fawning public.
Popcorn Media gives kids the chance to experience strutting down the red carpet during their Movie Star workshops and weeklong camps. Attendees soak up the secrets of screen acting from a director who works with Disney and Nickelodeon studios while producing their own unique work. They oversee each production element that goes into a film's creation, from lighting and filming to rehearsing and giving their parents an autograph. At the end of each session, kids attend a red-carpet premier of their work amid the applause of friends and family.
At Arlington Raceway, mud-caked vehicles roar around banked curves and fly down straightaways with the same vigor that has attracted spectators for more than 30 years. Seven different classes of wheeled racers compete every Saturday from May to September, from stock cars and sprint cars to motorized rollerbladers. After packing arms with salty popcorn (a $1 value) and frosty brews (a $2.50 value each) during a quick snack-bar run, spectators stake out general-admission seating (a $10 value each) before cheering on International Motor Contest Association–sanctioned drivers as they skid around the half-mile track. Set back speedway clocks on July 23, as vintage racers descend on the track for a symposium on antique derring-do and the impracticality of in-car Victrolas. On August 20, artful auto tamers create lifelike burnt-rubber sketches while speeding through intricate turns on Arlington Raceway's autocross course. Though not included in today’s Groupon, pit passes ($25) unlock access to the inner workings of the speedway, allowing spectators to take up-close ganders at precision autos or feed sugar cubes to their favorite drivers.
Mario and Nina Pelagalli use recipes passed down from family members from Rome and Naples as the blueprints for Casa Nostra Pizzeria & Ristorante's Italian cuisine. As the owners revealed to Sun Thisweek, Nina's mother creates the restaurant's sauces from scratch to ensure they carry on the family tradition of culinary excellence. Her concoctions blanket the 25 pastas on Casa Nostra's dinner menu, which also includes pizzas, paninis, and veal and chicken entrees. Having recently taken over a neighboring bar, the Pelagallis' restaurant now accommodates even more guests with roomier dining quarters and an expanded liquor stock. Evening entertainment includes Frank Sinatra tributes that pay homage to the crooner's singing ability and talent for intermittently firing blue lasers from his eyes.
There’s nothing more exhilarating, albeit unnatural, than hurtling towards earth unimpeded. The instructors at Southern Minnesota Skydiving agree, and by adhering to the United States Parachute Association’s safety standards, they facilitate tandem and solo skydives. For tandems, the pros regulate the entire jump, from 45 seconds of free-fall to about four minutes of floating beneath a large ram-air parachute, which enables soft landings. For the thrill seeker who’d rather fly alone, experienced instructors offer the Static Line course to teach students how to skydive solo or explore options for prosthetic wing surgery.