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Approximately 6,000 years ago, when Sumerian scholars were devising some of mankind's first mathematic systems, a mile-thick sheet of ice began to melt half a world away in the region known today as Minnesota. Slowly, the glacier shrank and poured gallons of water into the land around it, leaving behind gorgeous rock formations dotted with artistic ridges and eye-catching striations. Perhaps most notable of these formations is a structure that resembles a cross, which inspired settlers to name its surrounding river St. Croix, or "holy cross."

Today, modern humans can catch a glimpse of these awesome sights thanks to Wild Mountain. Seasonal activities include skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, where snow-goers explore 100 acres of hills encompassing 26 runs, bunny slopes for newcomers, and four terrain parks for the seasoned veterans. Wild Mountain also holds daily lessons, youth and adult programs, as well as racing competitions and camps run by knowledgable and trained northerners.

220 South St.
Taylors Falls,
MN
US

Vintage Paintball Park?s speckled outdoor arena unfurls 10 different fields, including the Thunderdome, where players aged 10 and older engage in colorful combat under the watchful eye of trained referees ensuring safety. Amid the paintball crossfire, sharpshooters weave in and out of a variety of obstacles situated around urban landscapes, wooded courses with pillboxes and trenches, hilly terrain, and moms yelling to come inside for supper. The park hosts myriad battle scenarios that keep guests entertained throughout the day or for the duration of season passes. Private paintball lessons help players improve shooting accuracy before releasing them into the line of fire during Saturday and Sunday afternoon open play. An onsite concession stand replenishes body fuel with snacks and drinks so that players can jump back into games with the energy of a superhero bit by Ben Franklin.

N8645 1160th St
River Falls,
WI
US

Phantom Fireworks first burst onto the scene more than three decades ago. Today, the company lights up backyards of America from coast-to-coast with more than 1,200 permanent and temporary locations.

Much like its products, Phantom?s employees frequently take to the skies. They travel around the globe in search of the industry's latest ground and aerial displays before returning home with rockets, missiles, fountains, and aerial repeaters. From there, an extensive in-house testing program takes over, checking each item's safety before it?s sold to the public.

That testing program is just one of Phantom?s pillars of safety. The company also holds memberships with multiple pyrotechnics organizations, and it offers customers additional information about fireworks laws and history through its Fireworks University.

551 Cherry Ln.
Roberts,
WI
US

The trainers behind Look Good Naked aim to get people comfortable in their skin. They have a slew of shared resources, such as nutritional guides, progressive measurements, and a weekly newsletter filled with exercising facts, meal ideas, ongoing coaching and support, and testimonials from clients. All these augment the core of the operation—the 12-week boot camps where both trainers and fellow students repurpose the benches, jungle gyms, and stairways of parks and public spaces during four, hour-long sessions each week. The sessions teach guests a slew of functional training maneuvers that require little or no equipment, helping them not only to slim down, but build up a skill set they can carry with them as they leave the camps.

Glen Park Road & W Park Street
River Falls,
WI
US

Tandem means you jump tethered to an instructor; since you're in front and have your own altimeter and ripcord, it feels like you're diving on your own. The ride starts with a 10-minute instruction on safety and procedures, and then you board the new PAC 750 XL aircraft and ascend 10,000 to 13,000 feet for a brief plane ride. You and your trained tandem partner leap into the open sky to confirm that a gypsy didn't invent gravity at last year's state fair. For about 60 seconds, you're free falling, then the ripcord is pulled, the safety canopy opens, and you float, with bird-worthy views, securely to the soft landing zone.

2026 County Rd N
Baldwin,
WI
US

At Seventh Farm, fledgling equestrians will be guided through a four-week introductory course that meets for two hours each week. Owners Tom and Liz teach all the classes themselves and limit class size to three or four students at a time so that all participants are given extra care and attention. This eliminates confusion, dangerously steep learning curves, and amateur dressage errors such as accidentally dressing a male horse in a sundress. Seventh Farm's horses likewise receive excellent care and nutrition and have been specially trained as teaching horses, so they're not easily spooked by nervous students, hyperactive children, or malingering jockey ghosts.

340 Glenmont Road
River Falls,
WI
US