An arm of the Minnesota Women of Today, the civic-minded ladies at Eagan Women of Today help fund local schools and charities while fostering lifelong friendships and a deep sense of community. The network of friendly volunteers and community leaders contribute to worthy causes and local non-profits while promoting a sense of fun and friendship with regular social events and outings.
For the third year in a row, Eagan Women of Today welcome their friends and neighbors to get fit while raising money for a good cause during their Sweatin to the 80s Charity 5k event. The race's retro theme allows participants to dust off their old wardrobe and hit the track in bold apparel such as Aviator sunglasses, neon-colored workout gear, or "John Anderson for President" campaign t-shirts. Lone runners, whole families, strollers, and pets join together to enjoy the fresh air of Trapp Farm Park, and pledge money to organizations such as the Dakota Woodlands, a scholarship from Eagan High School, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and Eagan Ambassadors.
Wood Lake housed the antics of swimmers and boaters until the 1950s, when most of its water drained away. In the years since, it has transformed into the 150-acre year-round Wood Lake Nature Center, where 3 miles of trails and wooden boardwalks meander through three defined natural habitats. Visitors can immerse themselves in wildlife at a cattail freshwater marsh, mixed lowland forest, and restored prairie; view creatures from a wildlife observation shelter and docks; and witness performances and lectures in a 100-seat outdoor amphitheater. In a more than 4,000-square-foot interpretive center, on-staff naturalists guide guests through educational programs focused on plants, animals, and ecosystems while fielding questions such as why bears hibernate and how to beat an owl in a staring contest. Staff members showcase natural splendor through a range of indoor and outdoor seasonal events, such as Earth Day craft projects, family-friendly Halloween festivities, and winter festivities around New Year's. In the summer, counselors lead day camps during which children can explore the marsh with bug nets, learn how to use binoculars, and build forts in the forest. While Wood Lake Nature Center welcomes exploration, pets, bikes, rollerblades, and giant hamster balls are prohibited to ensure the preservation of local habitats.
As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.
Fall is in the air at Minnetonka Orchards, where a corn maze is just the beginning of the autumnal adventures that await kids and families. After navigating the twists and turns of the maze, guests can wander through the apple orchard to pick a fresh juicy globe or marvel at how weird bugs look. Visitors can also shop for jams, apples, and other farm fare at the barn, or go on a leisurely stroll on one of the walking trails. Kids' entertainment comes by way of the climbable hay mountain, the corn crib slide, and barnyard friends including goats, sheep, and bunnies.
Keeping folks busy year-round is the main mission at Monticello Community Center, whether viewing movies in the park or splashing around the indoor pool and water slides. Allowing families to stay active, the fitness center welcomes visitors 16 and over to use free-weights, cardio equipment, and mirrors for flexing. Adult sports leagues organize teams for hockey and softball, while more low-key green thumbs can head to the community garden to dig in the dirt, plant, and tend to buds.