Twenty-one runs streak across the Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center trail map, furnishing skiers and snowboarders with ample real estate to perfect swerves and test nerves in the crisp high country air. Five lifts—two doubles, a triple, and a pair of beginner rope tows—hoist snowy revelers to the top of runs such as the black diamond Oh My Goat, the blue square Angora Alley, and the green circle Capricorn Caper, as well as two terrain parks. Here, a gantlet of rails, boxes, and tables not only give daredevils the chance to show off their aerial acrobatics, but also provide a rough idea of what it would be like to wear skis into a furniture store. First-timers and skiers in need of a refresher can sign up for snow school, where expert instructors illuminate proper technique during private, semiprivate, and group lessons.
Off the mountain, Chilly Choices ski shop keeps skiers and snowboarders warm on the outside with hats, gloves, goggles, and apparel. Meanwhile the Foggy Goggle and Toggenburg Cafeteria keep them warm them on the inside with toasty eats such as braised tenderloin tips and pizza.
An old-fashioned marquee illuminates the entrance to the Palace Theater, its scarlet and gold light beaming just as brightly as when the venue first opened in 1922. Back then, it was a 1,300-seat neighborhood movie theater with a second-floor dine and dance ballroom. That was owner Alfred Dibella's vision, and when he passed away in 1959, he made sure the theater landed safely in the hands of his daughter, Frances.
Today, the Palace remains a family heirloom. Much like a dubstep remix of the Gettysburg Address, the current space is a mixture of modern technology and vintage appeal, retaining its architectural integrity despite updates over the years. Perhaps the biggest change has been Palace's transformation from a single-screen movie house into a multi-use event space, capable of hosting everything from rehearsal dinners to graduation ceremonies.
Swamp Road Walk of Terror rings in the Halloween season with its spooky trail, inhabited by ghoulish characters such as Killjoy the Clown, Ripsaw the Lumberjack, and Swamp Creature. As visitors traverse the boggy landscape, frightening apparitions spring from the darkening path, eliciting squeals, jumps, and silent vows to join a running group. Of the bevy of characters at the annual spookfest, the Dollmaker seems to quicken the most pulses; famed local toymaker Herbert Merkins, wanted for kidnapping and murder in connection with crafting his seemingly innocent dolls out of human skin, is on the loose. The fact that the tale is made up doesn’t stop swampgoers from fleeing the actor’s clammy grasp as he and his cohorts frighten visitors with backstories of terrifying experiences and trips to the DMV.
Nothing can put a cramp in your workout style quite like getting to the gym and realizing that all the machines are already taken. Luckily, Champions Fitness Center has taken a number of steps to help ensure that never happens to their members. Between the giant 26,000-square-foot facility?which has no shortage of machines and free-weights?and the exclusive membership base, getting a workout in is as simple as possible. There's also an indoor heated pool and plenty of group fitness classes, which help take the guesswork out of getting fit, losing weight, and knowing whether fitness leotards are back in style yet.
Lakeland Winery's winemaking parties bridge the gap between independent home brewers and off-the-shelf wine buyers with engaging and informative viticultural classes. Experts trained in conversational French oversee groups of up to 15 at the winery, where they can choose to sample the store’s award-winning wines for a small fee before deciding which variety to make. After the wine has fermented, groups can cork each bottle and design a label, choosing from designs that include elegant fonts or scenes depicting the messy breakup of the California Raisins.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.