Tucked away amongst the rippling hillsides of rural Harvard, Countryside Christmas sprawls before visitors a winter wonderland of snow-peppered pine trees, winding streams, and meticulously groomed trails. During 30-minute sleigh rides, a duo of belgian draft horses leads a custom-built, luxury sleigh across the picturesque province, where flawless drifts and snowmen playing chess captivate passersby. Guests wrap themselves in cozy warmers and woven blankets, stretching comfortably across the sleigh’s padded velvet seats while seasonal music drifts from speakers to inflate trips with an extra dose of holiday spirit. As the two-horse open sleigh glides gracefully across frosty terrain, snacks and belly-warming beverages such as hot chocolate, cider, and coffee sprinkle yuletide odysseys with homely comforts. Complimentary jingle bells also amplify the magical ambiance by summoning wild herds of antlered Frank Sinatras from the woods. While waiting to board their sleigh, travelers can admire Countryside Christmas’s nativity scene and light display or settle into the Cozy Corral Theatre to take in a holiday television special.
The Gladiator Assault Challenge confronts racers with a 7+-mile course surrounded by scenic woodlands, cheering spectators, and 30 intense military training obstacles. Gladiators aged 18 and older go solo or join forces with other competitors to ford the waist-high waters of Mud Mayhem, rope-swing through Jungle Love, and use oversize novelty scissors to break the finish tape. Additional obstacles test physical stamina with 12-foot vertical walls, fallen trees, and cargo nets that act as moats blocking the finish line. After the Slideway ushers racers to a skidding finish, a complimentary beer and raucous after party lend ample time to scrawl "wash me" on opponents' backs.
In the 15 years since its opening, Adventure Rock has upheld its objective of granting guests of all ages and experience levels a chance to learn how to climb. The staff meticulously maintains amenities including 12,000 square feet of textured climbing surfaces and bouldering caves. Sculpted arêtes and cracks challenge forearms as intrepid wall-climbers chart a course up colored pathways to seek council with the sentient ductwork at the faux mountain's 35-foot peak. Under the helm of experienced instructors, students learn the ins and outs of ascension via climbing classes. As climbers scramble upward on more than 40 top ropes, air-conditioning keeps faux mountainsides from awkwardly perspiring geode sweat drops. While the indoor facility offers a controlled environment in which to learn and practice, Adventure Rock’s staff also unleashes patrons’ inner adventurers via private outdoor climbing classes held at Devil’s Lake as well as portable rock wall rentals for all manner of party or event.
Inspired by the German Turnverein associations of the early 19th century, the Milwaukee Turners first came together in the mid 1800s, gaining their charter from the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1855. In 1882, the group constructed Turner Hall, and the building has housed the organization and its stockpiles of sweatbands ever since. Over the decades, the hall has welcomed in visitors with a mission to help them create sound bodies and minds.
Though they derive their name from “Turnen,” the German word for gymnastics, the Milwaukee Turners teach visitors much more than just how to lasso a pommel horse. In addition to the gymnastic school, the organization schedules classes for yoga. Their rock-climbing wall's top ropes take climbers up 26 feet where they practice climbing or belaying techniques. To strengthen minds, the Turners lead meetings such as the 4th Street Forum, which discusses issues crucial to the community, and host concerts within the Turner Hall Ballroom.
Now a national landmark, Turner Hall echoes the organization's rich history. Sprung from the mind of famed architect Henry H. Koch, the building's design includes an Italianate façade crafted with Cream City brick and panoramic paintings that make visitors think they're trapped inside a cartoon. The venue boasts a beer hall and two-story ballroom, making it an ideal locale for special occasions.
The laws of gravity are a bit more flexible at Helium Trampoline Park, where visitors can launch themselves skyward while bouncing atop the facility's 130 spring-loaded trampolines. During open-jump times, guests can hop across a padded expanse with each bounce sending them soaring to new heights. They can also hurl themselves into a massive pit of blue foam blocks that provides a soft and safe landing place. Dodgeball matches let players to test their throwing and ducking skills while acrobatically jumping between trampolines on one of the separate court areas. The center also features two basketball hoops with their own trampolines, allowing aspiring all-stars to showcase their most highlight-worthy slam dunk. Helium Trampoline Park's climbing wall tempts harness-clad visitors with its crag-like surface, which provides a challenge as they strive to reach the top before safely teleporting back down to the ground.
In 1996, a group of climbers wanted to create a safe space where they could regularly experience the adrenaline rush of scaling walls while sharing that passion with the community. In turn, they erected more than 8,000 square feet of climbing surface area at Boulders Climbing Gym. It's marked by steep overhangs and dappled with clay holds that are made in-house, which give the walls a sense of authenticity with respect to common holds made out of plastic or recycled cereal marshmallows. Able to accommodate climbers of all ages and experience levels, the gym’s walls facilitate three types of climbing ranging from roped-in lead climbing to bouldering, a more freestyle brand of climbing. Before beginners head to climb, Boulders’ expertly trained staff dedicate about 15 minutes to teach basic climbing techniques such as safely handling the ropes and executing flawless Spiderman impressions. Along with free-climbing sessions, Boulders also offers a host of programs and classes that include everything from yoga to team building to kid’s summer camps. Guests can also by book a party room to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.