Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
Former college athletes Melissa Grandon and Ryan Arguello founded Max Life Fitness & Nutrition to shape up bodies with vigorous workouts and practical nutritional advice. Each boot camp fuses moves from strength training, yoga, kickboxing, kettlebells, and plyometrics in a union as healthy as a marriage between a ThighMaster and a rice cake. Pairing inner health with outer brawn, Max Life consults clients on sound dietary choices through supermarket tours that lead shoppers to the most succulent fruits and the carrots with the least sour expressions on their faces, as well as nutrition workshops, healthy-dish potlucks, and unlimited one-on-one counseling. Classes take place Monday through Friday at 5:15 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 7:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.
When golfers step onto River Valley Golf Course’s elevated first tee, the sun glances off the clubhouse windows to their backs and an emerald sweep of the Raccoon River Valley unfurls before them. Taking cues from that tranquility, they gracefully arc their balls over the gently doglegging fairway, avoiding the creek hugging the hole to the left. Careful second shots pop up into the sky before landing on the wide green and setting up eagle putts. With the shots sunk, golfers continue on across the remaining 17 fairways, dodging ponds on 3 holes and skirting 25 bunkers speckled throughout.
This incorporation of the landscape takes center stage on the par 3 12th. There, a partial-island green formed by a pond that almost envelops a peninsula tests accuracy. Players can take the risk overshooting the drive, play it safe by chipping on in two, or let the strategic decision overwhelm them until they’re curled up on the ground. But to help prepare for all situations, the River Valley practice facility presents golfers with a greenside practice bunker and a 300-yard range.
Course at a Glance:
From above, the 4-acre corn maze at Patch’s Pumpkins & Honey Farm looks like a challenge. It weaves through swaying stalks and around cleared expanses that spell out words to literate blue jays flying overhead. The maze’s mile-long pathways are dotted with checkpoints, making the labyrinth easy for families to conquer in about an hour. One of the many autumnal attractions at the farm, the corn maze and its kid-size sister entertain groups as fall sets in.
Elsewhere on the farm, the sound of a soaring pumpkin cuts through the air every hour, on the hour, as it’s fired from a novelty cannon. Trace its path and you’ll encounter striped circus tents housing all manner of diversion: a straw bale maze, a jumping pit filled with corn kernels, and a lineup of furry creatures beckoning hands at the petting zoo. To navigate all these attractions, folks can meander the grounds on foot, in the bed of an antique tractor, or atop a pony that circles its course and refuses to accept tips.
Started as a nonprofit club back in 1974, Des Moines Skydivers originally provided a way for its skydiving-enthusiast members to enjoy an expensive passion as cheaply as possible. After upgrading its Cessna 195 to two newer models, the group expanded its focus, welcoming members of the public to Winterset Airport for first-time jumps, tandem jumps, accelerated training courses, and varied jumps for seasoned skydivers. The group also holds an annual get-together every Labor Day weekend called Dollar Daze, during which partygoers can pay a dollar to either jump from an airplane or give a quick smooch to the pilot.
Countryside Golf Course's 18-hole layout rolls across 6,366 yards of the Iowa countryside, but it's the first 574 yards that immediately catch golfers' attention. The course challenges players from the moment they stake their tree slivers into the soil of the first tee box, where they look out onto the course's hardest-rated hole: a 574-yard par 5 that doglegs to the right towards a green guarded by sand and water on either side. The difficult opener sets the tone for the rest of the course, where water comes into play on seven holes—six on the front nine—and all but one hole features at least one greenside bunker.
After their round, players who have not spoiled their appetite by grazing on the course's lush bent grass can head toward the clubhouse for a post-round meal or drink. At the wooden u-shaped bar, guests can crack open a beer and refuel with hot dogs and sandwiches.
Course at a Glance: