For more than 25 years, families have flocked to Goony Golf for family entertainment ranging from curvy putting greens to a video arcade. When fully operational, three 18-hole courses star a cast of colorful creatures, such as a pink kangaroo, Humpty Dumpty, and a bird in a mortarboard and graduation robe. Beyond the 36 holes, guests can rack up points on pinball machines or head to the air-hockey table to re-create Team USA’s miraculous 1980 victory over the Soviet Union’s giant plastic mallet.
Crisp, fresh country breezes rustle through the trees surrounding Eko Backen as guests revel in its many outdoor seasonal activities. During warm-weather months, its spacious, gazebo-dotted grass fields host weddings and vintage-car shows, and families putt away on a 10-hole miniature-golf course with seasonally themed decorations. Visitors pile into inflatable tubes during the summer to race down water slides, and in the winter, they navigate sloping hills covered in artificial snow. The staffers capably host events such as corporate getaways, birthday parties, and jury-duty reunions, providing pizza and snacks from their onsite eatery.
Since 1986, the fairways at Whispering Pines Golf Course have cut a wide path through densely packed woods of evergreen, weeping willow, and deciduous arbor. Over the 18-hole course, golfers smuggle their golf balls past reedy ponds and across rolling, heaving terrain. If golfers can make it to the final green without getting snared in forest undergrowth, they can head into the 19th Hole Bar, which procured a liquor license in 2013.
Course at a Glance:
At Fitness 1st, certified personal trainers inspire clients to make exercise a priority during fun, confidence-building workouts. Though the studio spans 6,500 square feet, personalized attention from the staff makes it feel as cozy as a fireplace clad in long underwear. Here, exercisers chase down their goals during one-on-one training sessions and tackle them with a group during boot-camp-style workouts and core-sculpting Pilates-yoga routines. To promote mind-body wellness and ease muscle soreness, clients can sample up to four types of massage therapy in a secluded kneading area. Swedish massages target stress with long, flowing strokes, and sports massages can enhance performance during athletic events and the breakdancing portion of Shakespearean plays.
A pool table has six pockets, but the pool sharks at Two Stooges Sports Bar & Grill can sink 8-balls into 258 of them. That's because 43 tables inhabit the bar's pool hall, open until 2 a.m. nightly. But the fun at Two Stooges spills out of the pool hall and on to the karaoke stage on Tuesdays and extends to the dance floor on weekends, when live DJs spin groove-worthy tunes.
After taking in all the live entertainment at Two Stooges—not to mention games and fights shown on flat-screens throughout the bar—guests can dig into snacks of boneless wings and juicy burgers. More substantial entrees include pasta dishes and a 10-ounce ribeye topped with butter compound, not to be confused with a secret building in which to hoard butter.
Everyone has different ways to gear up for their meal on Thanksgiving Day: some eat a huge breakfast to rev up their stomachs, others abstain from food all day to preserve their appetite. But at Lake Calhoun Park on Thanksgiving morning, some people won't be thinking about food at all; instead, they'll be running. Racers of all ages will congregate around the Beast 2 Feast start line on Lake Calhoun Parkway, where they'll depart on a timed run/walk around a scenic 3.1-mile course that encircles the lake.
The race isn't just for the sake of holiday celebration, though. It was inspired for more charitable reasons: the majority of the proceeds go to the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, with additional funding given to the Minnesota Heat youth basketball association. Those interested in registering can do so as individuals or get a team together, and friends and family are encouraged to come out as spectators and cheer the racers on.