Deep within a secluded, 200-year-old forest, more than 100 actors terrify visitors at Scream Town's more than five haunted attractions. Scares begin as the fabled and deranged Blood family puts chills into hearts while roaming the facility’s Oak Blood Forest, which patrons wander without tour guides, protective wagons, or flashlights. Over in the 10-foot-plus cornfield, guests navigate a 15-minute maze that passes through a meat freezer with frozen cow parts, a botanical center with living vines, and an alien-occupied zone. Further foreboding hangs over the more than 7,000-square-foot Circus Asylum, a wooden maze where circus freaks petrify visitors by creating balloon animals of three-headed poodles. A guide leads small groups along the Scream Town path where sasquatches are rumored to prowl, and the 500-foot, pitch-black Rabid Alley startles guests with creepy sounds and in-your-face sensations. Once patrons have returned to safety, they can decompress from the cache of frights with snacks such as mini donuts or hot cider.
Since 1985, the experienced captains and crews at Paradise Charter Cruises & Minneapolis Queen have been shepherding guests along the azure surfaces of Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River. Their fleet of five vessels steers customers around the area while accommodating them with full-height glass windows, enclosed outer decks, bar and restaurant options, and karaoke performances by prize-winning big-mouth bass. Boats glide along the coastline of Lake Minnetonka, catching sights of small lakeside towns, and down the Mississippi River to the backdrop of the Minneapolis skyline, Saint Anthony Falls, and the setting sun.
Perched atop the highest point of Woodland Township, the Woodland Hill Winery spans six and a half of Minnesota's most verdant acres. The intimate winery produces unique, small-batch wines under the direction of owners Mike and Katie Dickerman. This couple does everything, from picking the grapes and fermenting them to running the tasting room and organizing events. They host daily wine tastings with pairings of chocolate and cheese. They even stock an olive oil and bread bar, since a regular bar probably seemed a little redundant.
A mural occupies the corner of the tasting room, fooling the eye with a painted passageway that heads back to an old world-style wine cellar. But the physical surroundings prove much more cozy and modern, with cafe-style tables and a sleek, wood-accented bar. This is the setting for frequent special events, such as September's Fondue Fridays or October's Ladies Night Out, which features wine tastings, karaoke, and an extensive list of craft vendors.
Armed with a few hybrid wine grapes procured from the University of Minnesota, Nicole Dietman set about planting a vineyard on her property in 2007. Today those grapes, along with a few new additions, grow up to become the whites, reds, and blushes bottled and sold at Buffalo Rock Winery. The port-like Papa Steve's Contraband, named for Nicole's father-in-law, smuggles the fermented juices of organic Frontenac and Marquette grapes onto the palate, where they unleash semi-dry flavor and ginger notes. The Sweet Addilyn rosé earned a bronze medal at the 2011 International Cold Climate Wine Competition for its artful balance of crisp and sweet. All Buffalo Rock Winery wines are produced in limited quantities and are only available for purchase in the tasting room, which opened in 2010.
Game Day Experiences whisks sports fans from their living rooms and into the stands of some of the most legendary football stadiums. They also arm fans with packages that include round-trip transportation, hotel rooms, and tickets to games, all led by a tour guide who is on hand to answer questions or draw up secret plays on an Etch A Sketch.
Several years ago, Ken Smith and Chase Williams were typical door-to-door salesmen. In need of a gimmick to boost sales and a quicker mode of transport, the duo tried riding Segways and immediately fell in love. Eventually, they turned their love for the two-wheeled transporter into their current venture, All American Segway Tours. Their company provides all manner of Segway engagement, including guided Segway tours that offer rolling educations in local history and wildlife. Customers can also discover the revolutionary devices on their own by renting out Segways for recreational use, private parties, or as a friend for a lonely office chair or shopping cart.