Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.
Kelley Frame and Fine Art Galleries nestles magnum opuses of all sizes inside high-quality frames assembled in-shop by skilled craftsmen. Diploma-framing packages ($59.95) protect and artfully display hard-earned clown college degrees by securing the certificate into a black frame, stabilizing it with an acid-free paper mat, and protecting its privacy with one-way glass. Posters, portraits, or photographs with sizes going up to 30"x40" ($49.95–$99.95) find comfortable homes behind glass in a 1 1/4" frame, available in a choice of finishes, including black, mocha walnut, mahogany, clear pine, and invisible oak. Spiff up blank walls with framed military medals, wedding pictures, collectibles, or team jerseys. Special conservation and preservation services, meanwhile, assist connoisseurs looking to shield precious pieces from the dangers of acid, light, or superpower-inducing gamma rays.
At more than 35 current or soon to be open Sky Zone locations across the country, bouncers of all ages revel in gravity-defying flips and twists. Mammoth floor-to-wall trampolines cover the gyms, creating endless possibilities for bounding antics. Pits piled high with foam blocks allow for soft landings after springing from trampolines into sky-high aerobatic tumbles and tricks, whereas bouncy courts equipped with basketball hoops elicit soaring slam-dunk contests. Visitors also burn up to 1,000 calories per hour during trampoline-based SkyRobics classes that focus on the calisthenics and muscle-toning aerobics created by kangaroos. Other inventive activities on the courts include games of dodge ball as well as Sky Zone the sport, during which participants fly through giant, suspended rings with game balls to score points. Each clean and safe facility provides excitement for the entire family and can also host birthdays and group celebrations.
Nutrition club Epic Energy's mix masters blend 20-ounce smoothies that brim with nutrients and flavors ranging from fruity to decadent. Customers can slurp down the protein-rich Chunky Monkey, which whirls an energy-laden protein base with chocolate, banana, and chunks of brownie bar to form a healthy treat packed with amino acids, the body's Legos. Or patrons can celebrate fruit pairings with a cooling strawberry-banana sip, a rich white-chocolate strawberry, or the mendacious taste of a healthy banana cream pie.
Named for Stillwater's iconic bridge, the Lift Bridge Brewing Company cooks up an array of solid brews for all occasions. Its brewers—all passionate beer geeks and homebrewers from Stillwater—strive to be creative while blending balanced beers such as the Chestnut Hill nut brown ale that boasts a healthy malt backbone. Their golden Farm Girl saison acquires intriguing spice from Belgian yeasts, while their Hop Prop IPA overflows with the floral and citrusy flavor of seven varieties of American hops. Lift Bridge also dallies with seasonal and specialty brews that have included a barleywine, an oyster stout, and an Oktoberfest. Visitors can go on brewery tours every Saturday afternoon to spend some quality time with huge fermenting tanks and bags of barley.