Ever since its inception in 1935, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club has challenged its visitors? aim and timing in the rugged backwoods surrounding the Mississippi River. At year-round shooting ranges, guests raise their shotguns on four trap-shooting fields and three skeet-shooting fields. They can also travel to eight raised, wooden stands on a 50-target sporting-clay course or switch up positions on a five-stand field, blasting at targets that simulate the flight patterns of various game birds. To challenge technique and speed, the staff fires a range of specialty targets such as vertical-launching springing teals and arcing chandelles.
When not training beginners, instructors host leagues and seasonal tournaments where competitors test their shooting prowess. All visitors can refuel at an onsite restaurant and bar, or stock up on shells, earplugs, and apparel at the pro shop.
Central Square Community Center aims to provide the whole South St. Paul community with workout options, which means the facility boasts a little something for everyone.
The accommodating staff at Mattie's Lanes, Sports Bar & Grille eggs on competitive appetites in an alley boasting polished wood lanes, tap brews, and a full restaurant menu of classic grill fare. Automatic scoring systems let players relax between rolls, giving them time to nibble house-made pizza with italian sausage. An onsite pro-shop keeps pin-seeking projectiles on target, and an arcade with skee-ball and video games occupies idle hands before they knit ugly sweaters. Ball hurlers can bask in the black-lit glow of Ultra Bowling nights on Fridays and Saturdays or bring along their closest pin-pummeling buddies to celebrate a birthday party.
The consortium of professional and certified instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic, certified teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Bowling balls have been barreling down the lanes of Drkula’s 32 Bowl for nearly half a century. Perhaps by osmosis—or maybe unintentional design—the brick and wood building roughly resembles a bowling pin turned on its side, with the roof veering outward above the bowling alley and veering inward above the adjoining Drac’s Pub. There, the kitchen staff refuels bowlers with a surfeit of 1/3-pound burgers, pub sandwiches, and beer. Outside the pub, Drac’s Sand Bar hums with chatter from the patio and cheers from its four sand volleyball courts.