Out in a Limb Dance Company & School's professional instructors introduce kids and adults to styles as various as classical ballet, modern dance, acrobatics, and hip-hop. School performances let students show off what they've learned to family, friends, and Barbies whose legs refuse to plié, while summer intensives let young bundles of energy immerse themselves in the choreography of a full-scale musical production. Ballroom classes help casual students get comfortable for wedding-mandated whirls about the dance floor and nights out at salsa clubs. Teachers come from backgrounds including the sets of musical theater productions, the Moscow Ballet, and training with Paula Abdul, and all work to create a disciplined, distraction-free environment by asking that students adhere to a formal code of etiquette.
Grumpy's Bar & Grill sates patrons with a menu of hearty burgers and sandwiches and quenches quaffers with 34 beers on tap. Friends, couples, or bitter, bitter rivals put bitter, bitter rivalries aside over two Fatty Melts—culinary colossi weighed down with a half-pound, black Angus burger peppered with sautéed onions and wedged between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Both melts come with fries and a Surly Furious ale, a hoppy explosion with hints of citrus, pine, and caramel toffee.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
When struck with a cheese craving, Whitney McChane used to turn her sights toward Wisconsin. It wasn’t until the budding cheese connoisseur began to explore co-ops and cheese shops across Minnesota that she came to appreciate the skill and diversity of cheese artisans in her own backyard. In Faribault, she sampled cheeses aged in sandstone caves and in Mankato, she shook hands with the Alemar Cheese Company’s organic, creamy camembert. “People love artisan cheeses but are shocked to learn we have a cheese-making community here producing world-class cheeses,” she says.
Now, Ms. McChane unites those artisanal cheese aficionados—makers and mongers alike—for one day of gustatory exploration. In addition to sampling a clattering of cheeses, visitors can glean inspiration from recipe demos, cheese-pairing workshops, and roundtable discussions with cartoon mice. Additionally, local food trucks will dole out cheese-inspired dishes. The festival even includes a cheese-wrapping competition, wherein competitors skillfully enfold morsels with flavor-preserving Formaticum cheese paper. Ultimately, Ms. McChane hopes the festival will raise awareness of local cheese culture. “We have so many thriving dairy farms here,” says Ms. McChane. "And where there’s great milk, there’s great cheese."
In the open autumn air at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Twin Cities Oktoberfest celebrates all that is German during its two days of festivities. Throughout the weekend, live bands such as The Squires Band, a four-piece band with 30 years of experience, entertain guests with traditional German harmonies and live renditions of the ER theme song. Between shows, audience members peruse vendors' booths, noshing on brats and German snacks. Beer from Summit and wine from Pedroncelli flow into glasses, keeping guests lingering into the evening hours as they discuss the latest in lederhosen fashion.