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 and 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.
With a passion for boating the waters of Lake Minnetoka to take in views of the region's natural beauty and lush green landscapes, Wayzata Bay Charters' owners charter their 60-foot lake cruiser to make the experience accessible to all. The owners decked out their two-level cruiser—which can host up to 60 people—with a full bar, two satellite TVs, satellite radio, a 2,000-watt sound system, and enough helium balloons to keep both the boat and the party afloat. Believing a jaunt on the lake makes for an ideal event whatever the occasion, they've designed packages specifically for weddings and bachelorette parties, and they still offer public cruises to assure everyone has a chance to take to the water.
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.
Despite spinning's reputation for being an intense workout designed for the super fit, CycleQuest Studio's classes welcome students of all shapes and sizes as long as they bring the willpower to pedal. Unlike full-service gyms or the Addams Family mansion, the practice space is refreshingly minimalist with just a few rows of bikes with magnetic mechanisms that churn out a quiet hum, a couple of TVs that play motivating clips of the Tour de France, and locker-room facilities. During calorie-burning rides, Mad Dogg Spinning–certified instructors play their favorite upbeat tunes to give hearts something to pump to, and some classes incorporate strength-training exercises to balance calorie burning with muscle building.
Calhoun Bike Rental lends riders two-wheelers for long and short treks around town on comfortable city cycles ($50). Rental also grants use of two skull-protecting helmets, a location-providing map, two hydration-producing bottles of water, two loss-preventing locks, a drop-prohibitive bag, and a handy remote starter. Calhoun Bike Rentals lives comfortably close to scenic Lake Calhoun and the Midtown Greenway trail, both perfect riding routes to refresh romances or settle sizzling Sudoku debates.