The underwater experts at Air Down There SCUBA know that exploring the ocean’s depths can be both challenging and exhilarating. That’s why they fill their safety-focused dive shop with a dizzying array of SCUBA and snorkel equipment, arming clients with wetsuits, tanks, and dolphin-attracting flutes. Air Down There SCUBA offers a wide range of classes from beginning SCUBA all the way through technical and professional level certifications.
Cutting through the still surface, free from the churning wakes and roaring engines of speedboats and snowmobiles, a kiteboarder can lift off more than 40 feet in the air, spin over their shoulder, and land back safely on the water to finish the stunts. An offshoot of Lakawa, the region's leading advisory for kiteboarders and windsurfers, the Lakawa School of Kiteboarding teaches students to ride the water and snow themselves, powered only by the sky's giant oscillating fans. Using gear held to high standards of durability and performance, a team of PASA-certified instructors lead classes during both summer and winter, covering the basics of boarding on a lake even when it's frozen over. The Lakawa School offers a complete online store with all necessary adventure gear. Lessons are also offered in stand-up paddleboarding, a pastime that recreates the fun of being a Venetian gondolier without the stress of tying a tight red ascot.
Your Boat Rentals helps people enjoy the benefits of boat ownership without hassles such as towing, cleaning, and repairs. The club maintains a fleet of boats, including leisurely Luxury Bennington pontoons that can hold up to 11 people. Renters need only make online reservations for one of these vessels, arrive at their dock of choice, and speed away with a fully fueled and clean boat. Six different lakes set the stage for these aquatic excursions, giving families many boating options. On any given day, Your Boat Rentals' vessels carry passengers across a number of lakes including White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Waconia, Prior Lake, and Lake Minnetonka.
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.
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.