Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.
Under the tutelage of Energy Dance Center's skilled instructors, groovers and twirlers ages 1–18 can actively engage in the art of dance. Tots and toddlers in the Rising Stars Summer Sessions I and II can work on coordination and basic motor skills during the Creative Movement class ($50) or try ballet and tap ($55). Young gents ages 4 and up can perfect moves at the Boys-Only Hip-Hop class ($55). Session I's Ballet, Jazz, and Tap classes for ages 5–7, 7–9, and 9–11 (all $68) use positive reinforcement to build graceful boogying skills, while Session II's Recreational Hip-Hop classes for 5- to 8-year-olds ($55), 9- to 12-year-olds ($55), and kids 13 and up ($55) inspire students to break out into spontaneous pop-and-lock routines during family road trips.
Jam Hops Gymnastics, Dance and Cheer was formed when The Gymnastics Factory of Ham Lake joined forces with Jam Hops of Mound View in 1997. At first, they focused only on recreational and competitive gymnastics. As the talent, energy, and location expanded, however, so too did the program—they began to include dance. The inertia then became harder to contain, leading to Jam Hops' cheer program, the "leap-n-learn" academic preschool program, and even birthday parties and day camps that have further integrated Jam Hops into the community. In 2013 alone, Jam Hops scored the "Reader's Choice Award" from the Anoka County Shopper and the "Family Choice Award" from Macaroni Kid
Despite expansions in locations and classes, Jam Hops maintains its original mission: to turn children into champions of life. Nurturing young talent, the enthusiastic staff—many of whom are CPR and First Aid Certified—boost the confidence of students in recreational and competitive gymnastics programs. They work with boys and girls ranging from preschool age to 12th grade, and have even shepherded teams to the Junior Olympics nationals. Instructors in the dance programs, meanwhile, teach adults, teens, and tykes as young as two the ins-and-outs of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet styles. It's not all about gymnastics or dance, though—the staffers in charge of academic preschool classes instill physical fitness and learning excellence in kids ages 3–5.
On May 28, 1958, Bob Kinnan welcomed patrons to his new bar, Bob's Lookout, with 30-cent beers. Two years later, Bob's mother contributed a concise menu complete with hamburgers, fries, and a porterhouse steak dinner. These days, Bob's joint?now known as The Lookout Bar and Grill ??offers a much wider array of drinks and comfort food. To create their from-scratch meals, the grill's chefs draw on Bob's family recipes as well as their own, which range from jumbo mushrooms stuffed with sausage and cream cheese to burgers infused with Cajun spices.
Not everybody shows up to The Lookout for food, which is now as renowned for its cuisine as its entertainment. The award-winning eatery's outdoor patio stands amid palm trees and a flower garden, not to mention a children's play area, cozy hammocks, and a horseshoe pit. The Lookout's backyard even hosts its very own volleyball court, where visitors can play pickup games or devastate newly-built sand-kingdoms. More festivities await inside, including weekly rounds of bingo, karaoke, and eclectic live music every Thursday?Saturday night.
At Malone's Bar & Grill, a number of the booths, tables, and bar seats have an optimal view of at least one of many televisions decorating the eatery. That means nary a second is lost watching sports and TV shows while patrons down beers, burgers, and cheese curds, or opt for heartier steaks. Doubling as a bar and a memorable dining experience, Malone's pays homage to the neighboring movie theater with deals for guests that take in a movie on the same day as their visit to the restaurant. The owners of the bar and grill routinely give back to the community by hosting fundraisers and sponsoring events such as golf tournaments, motorcycle runs, and 50-yard dashes.
Cinema Grill captures all angles of entertainment in its three show rooms, from newer movie releases and live sporting events blasting on giant screens to a rotating cast of comedians lobbing laugh bombs as crowds feast on fare from the full-service restaurant and bar. While actors work their best angles on the screen, patrons can translate their dialogue into Esperanto or order from the menu, which is laden with entrees and suds from the local brewmasters at Surly. The theater converts into a satellite stadium when it broadcasts live sporting events, which gain lifelike clarity on its giant 30-foot high-definition screen.