Little Amerricka takes young thrill-seekers on a journey into the past with its 1950s wooden roller coaster, The Meteor, as well as several restored rides from amusement parks of a bygone era. More than two-dozen rides and attractions cater to all sizes and shriek tendencies of visitors, from adrenaline-pumping go-kart races (for riders 56 inches and taller) to relaxing rotations on the kiddie ferris wheel. The conductor of the Whiskey River Railway chugs the train along 2-mile treks through the rustic Wisconsin countryside, where runaway bumper boats graze native grasses before being lassoed and brought back to the amusement park.
A long-term, community-based housing program, Home for Good helps participants become and remain self-sufficient. In addition to housing assistance, supportive services aim to increase residents' abilities to live independently and maintain employment. Nearly all Home for Good participants are receiving mental-health treatment, which can place an incredible strain on their limited monthly budgets due to the cost of copays for doctor’s visits and prescription medication.
A former private detective and bodyguard, Tim draws upon his firsthand experience to teach self-defense skills and safety procedures at Wisconsin Concealed Carry Training Academy. In courses with or without a shooting component, the NRA-certified instructor creates an interactive, comfortable environment for students to learn about safe weapon handling and storage, the parts of a firearm, and state gun laws. Though he trains pupils in shooting fundamentals at a local outdoor range, Tim also stresses self-protection alternatives such as pepper spray. Once classes wrap up, he happily answers any lingering questions.
In addition to helping support the Union, a completely self-supporting, non-profit organization, a community membership to the Wisconsin Union grants card-carriers access to grand opening events, hotel discounts, specialty classes, and more. During summer, the Terrace on the shores of Lake Mendota hosts live music five nights a week, and the Lakeside Cinema screens films on Monday nights. Throughout the year, members can take advantage of renting rooms for events, purchasing food from the Union’s 21 eateries, campus-wide WiFi access, and a connection to the heart, soul, and sweaty date-night palms of the University of Wisconsin student body.
Brittingham Boats conquers the water in many ways. Their rental fleet boasts all manner of paddlecraft, from tandem kayaks and canoes to standup paddleboards and paddle boats. The boating gurus can also supply all the gear for fishing trips out on Monona Bay and Monona Lake. They even host yoga classes on SUP boards, leading students through a tapestry of poses while perched atop standup paddleboards. Following paddle excursions, guest may drop by the Brittingham coffee shop to nosh on gourmet grilled cheese or indulge in creamy scoops of Babcock Ice Cream.
Dolphins Cove thumbs its nose at the furious summer sun with more than 46,000 square feet of watery attractions. Revelers steel their courage before careening down 800 feet of waterslides, or challenge each other to games of water basketball, wall-climbing, and zip-line drops. More relaxing diversions include the outdoor bar and party deck, as well as the lazy river—which will never live up to the example set by the Colorado River in terms of canyon carving and doesn't really care. Kids can safely splash in their own activity pool.