Humans love to creatively flaunt their strength, whether by hurling kegs into orbit, crunching fridges against their foreheads, or being strong enough to cry and dent steel with their teardrops. Playfully present your own pulchritude with today's Groupon to the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth. Choose between the following options:
- For $10, you get one entry into the Bavarian Strongman Stein-Lifting Contest, held each Saturday from May 28 through August 6 (a $20 value). Contestants must be 21 or older.
- For $4, you get $8 worth of toys, candy, and gifts from the Castle Shops, excluding the Castle Bakery.
Since 1888, the Bavarian Inn has transported visitors to an Old World village whose whimsical fairy-tale spires and cascading waterfalls sprawl across 13 acres of riverfront. Amid the restaurant's polished oak confines, strong-armed contenders in the Bavarian Strongman contest will hoist a 1-liter glass stein of Hofbräu into the air, then keep it there until either their brawny bicep gives out or their arm snaps off at the shoulder. The current claimed world record for holding time is 19 minutes. Those who outlast all foes in their round progress to the state finals on August 14, where they'll face off against an entire gaggle of brew-bearing Michiganders in order to win a trip to New York City, ultimately vying for a chance to win a trip to Germany during Oktoberfest. Win or lose, contestants will get to add their souvenir stein to their collection of less impressive teacup- and Coke-lifting trophies—and drink the beer it contains as a reward for their feat of strength.
Downstairs, a winding cobblestone warren houses the Castle Shops, which charm even the crankiest of ogres with a plethora of sweets, nutcrackers, toys, and umlauted memorabilia. Crunch into bags of gourmet caramel corn ($5.99), which pairs well with sweet Fennville-made Covered Bridge red-currant wine ($12.49) for a well-rounded dessert. Kids can tug home silky elephants or alligators ($6.98–$19.98) stuffed to their desired degree of cuddliness after taking them on a tour of the candy-colored grounds, where they may glimpse a horse-drawn carriage or the Pied Piper peeking from a 50-foot glockenspiel.