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.
Vintage Paintball Park’s speckled outdoor arena unfurls seven different fields, including the Thunderdome, where players aged 10 and older engage in colorful combat under the watchful eye of trained referees ensuring safety. Amid the paintball crossfire, sharpshooters weave in and out of a variety of obstacles situated around urban landscapes, hilly terrain, and moms yelling to come inside for supper. The park hosts myriad battle scenarios that keep guests entertained throughout the day or for the duration of season passes. Private paintball lessons help players improve shooting accuracy before releasing them into the line of fire during Saturday and Sunday afternoon open play. An onsite concession stand replenishes body fuel with snacks and drinks so that players can jump back into games with the energy of a superhero bit by Ben Franklin.
For more than 30 years, the pros at Northland Scuba have plunged the depths of waters both domestic and abroad seeking aquatic adventure. At their shop and water-filled practice studio, they cover all the essentials to get students SSI scuba certified with classroom, pool, and open-water training. Beyond basic certification, the subsea experts demystify adventure diving and master certification or arrange diving trips to the Cayman Islands, Thailand, and Australia. Since safe diving requires more than a bathing suit and 20 crazy straws hot glued together, Northland Scuba stocks top-shelf equipment from Aqua Lung, SeaQuest, and Apeks.
A modern mixed-media collaboration, Bridgman/Packer Dance is the brainchild of Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, two collaborating choreographers, performers, and Guggenheim Fellows who have spent more than 30 years turning the dance duet on its head with trippy video effects. On this particular evening, the duo will showcase two of their latest works: Double Expose, a raucously sensual journey into the psyche's surreal mindscapes, and Under the Skin, an aesthetic adventure that viscerally challenges ideas of identity as images of the dancers multiply to fill the stage. To deepen the multi-sensory immediacy of each work, the dancers will be integrated with video projections, including animation, live camerawork, and prerecorded footage.
Taste of Stillwater's annual festival, established in 2011, directs the spotlight toward the palate-popular offerings of local wineries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks. Throughout the daylong celebration, empty tummies shuffle from station to station filling up on samples of refreshing beverages and foods, fueling bodies to explore the festival grounds' shopping opportunities and to tour Saint Croix Vineyards. Families stake their claim on the lawn area with blankets, foldable chairs, and giant bronze statues of their great-grandfathers before they feast their ears on live music. Taste of Stillwater dedicates a portion of its proceeds to charities including Valley Outreach, a community-based nonprofit organization that supports low-income people with donations of food, clothing, and other necessities.
The underwater experts at Air Down There SCUBA know that exploring the ocean’s depths can be both challenging and exhilarating. That’s why they fill their safety-focused dive shop with a dizzying array of SCUBA and snorkel equipment, arming clients with wetsuits, tanks, and dolphin-attracting flutes. Air Down There SCUBA offers a wide range of classes from beginning SCUBA all the way through technical and professional level certifications.
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