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.
After his security team escaped unscathed from an attack during a refueling mission, AJ Reyer received an ARCOM medal with valor from the US Army. He served eight years, during which he flexed his teaching muscles by training 140 soldiers in convoy security. When AJ returned home in 2005, he became a law-enforcement officer, patrolling Minnesotan streets and eventually joining the department's SWAT team.
He channels these experiences into classes at Protection and Security Services. While his beginning students learn gun safety and shooting techniques, his advanced pupils participate in real-life SWAT training scenarios that incorporate room clearing, hands-on self-defense, and firing airsoft replica handguns while moving. When he's not teaching his students, AJ and his team dole out subpoenas, run private investigations, and supply security services for corporations, weddings, and large red buttons.
Inside the family-owned Jumps & Downs, youngsters aged 1–10 tumble into a capacious ball pit, 5,000 balls strong—one of the many attractions that pepper the 3,600-square-foot facility. The indoor play center’s inflatables encourage airborne activities, building kids' motor skills every time they leap in one of the bounce houses, dive down the giant plush slide, or climb up the obstacle course. Groups of kids unleash cake-fueled manias on the playscape during birthday parties that come complete with all manner of festive accoutrements, including a private room, paper goods, invitations, and a copyright lawyer to make sure no scofflaw children sing "Happy Birthday" for free.
Jersey's Bar & Grill serves up plates of hearty pot roast, thick burgers, and crispy chicken tenders as live country and rock bands serenade crowds. Like Garrison Keillor's alternate glam-rock stage persona "Gary Sonorous," the selection of Juicy Lucys combines a treasured Minnesota touchstone with a touch of decadence. Beef patties are stuffed with provolone, applewood bacon, or American cheese before getting topped with caramelized onions, Cajun mayo, or grilled peppers. Burger aficionados pore over the customizable burger menu, building their own creations from multiple topping, bun, and meat choices. For breakfast (9 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday), chow down on omelets, hash browns, steaks, and pancakes.
With a front nine that dates back to 1910 and a second nine first designed in 1956, Faribault Golf Club has established a historical legacy that includes hosting the Minnesota State Open and Minnesota PGA Pro-Am. The fairway chain stretches across 6,447 yards of gently undulating terrain, where fairway-side timbers, glassy ponds, and hypnotic tee boxes supply the bulk of the course's difficulty. Water hazards come into play on five holes, including the par 3 eighth, where players must send tee shots somersaulting over a pond stationed directly between the green and the divot-pocked launch pad. The par 5 18th offers a grandiose finish to the round, where a sound approach shot can set up a birdie putt that, if made, grants golfers the right to carve the club's decorative hedges into their favorite acronym. After their round, guests can retire to the Top View Grill, a full-service bar and restaurant with a fireplace, outdoor seating, and splendid views of the 9th and 18th holes.
Course at a Glance: