Retrace and retread tractor history at this Dyersville museum, located 90 minutes from downtown Cedar Rapids. With thousands of toys and exhibits scattered throughout its two-floored exhibition space, the National Farm Toy Museum pays tribute to historic and contemporary crop contraptions. Fun-loving farm enthusiasts may peruse the museum's frenzy of farm implements, including trucks, pedal tractors, and life-size John Deer soil-sifters. Original artwork, dioramas, and two Doug Schlesier sculptures artfully express anecdotes of American agriculture, while miniature farm replicas and Ertl Company toys convey while miniature-sized farm replicas and Ertl Company toys convey to visitors the life-sized growth of American farming. The National Farm Toy Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Marlene La Fleur’s equine epiphany struck in 1963, when an American Saddlebred steed named Mr. Sandman motivated her to open a stable and breed her own army of championship horses. Since then, Marlene and her husband’s stable has grown by leaps and bounds, with the rein-tuggers moving into an ultramodern barn and training facility in 2001 that allowed them to expand their English-style riding lessons. Placing an emphasis on horsemanship and equitation, Marlene’s daughter Neva leads hands-on lessons that cycle through proper grooming, tacking, and riding techniques catered to each student’s individual skill set. Pintsized riders may also celebrate birthdays or visits from John Wayne’s ghost during group parties replete with barn tours, breezy trots, and a party room that boasts a full kitchen. The stable’s stylish and well-mannered steeds kick up their hooves in spacious 144-square-foot stalls, which are built from southern yellow pine and equipped with individual windows overlooking the grounds’ picturesque rolling hills.
Since Freeport Art Museum opened in 1975, its collection has ballooned to include nearly 4,000 pieces. The number is apt, since the artifacts – from Hellenistic gold jewelry to 19th-century Italian marble statues – encompass 4,000 years of work from all continents and time periods. The nonprofit museum reserves its remaining gallery space for work by contemporary regional artists, as well as travelling exhibitions.
Said space once belonged to a historic elementary school, a lineage that befits the museum's mission to inform visitors about art's global history and future. Through its educational programs, Freeport continues fulfilling that mission with events such as artists talks and classes on subjects such as graffiti art.
One of the reasons why Ultrazone Laser Tag's owners are so enthusiastic about the activity is for the team building it fosters among its participants—and for the chance to win. At the 4,500-square-foot facility, laser taggers track each other down through dark, narrow tunnels with glowing violet, red, and neon orange black-lit murals that change the feel from room to room.
The movie-set-like scenery places players amid such backdrops as a surreal forest or a spaceship motif that prepares gamers for inevitable teatime with aliens. As firing begins, strategy and teamwork guide players through the adrenaline-fueled game, which can help to build strong bonds during a birthday party, a corporate event, or a fun day out with family and friends.
King Pin Management LLC nurtures and guides three restaurants and a dozen bowling centers all across Wisconsin. Their staff consultants and accountants track all these operations, tallying every penny while auditing employee performance. In addition, training instructors travel around to give employees refresher courses on proper workplace conduct, while menu developers help make restaurant offerings more taste bud-friendly. Not even pinsetters and floors escape the staff's attention—technicians comb every bowling lane and machine to root out faulty wiring and make sure new pin system computers know how to form a perfect triangle.
The Wisconsin Historical Society preserves the knowledge, artifacts, and historic sites that have popped up over the course of Wisconsin's tenure as a territory and state. Peruse the hallowed halls of history in the historical museum, the First Capitol, or the Wade House, an 1844 settlement home. Click here to see a full listing of the sites maintained by the society.