Predictably, the weather finally got cold enough that you have to lace up your mukluks to go outside, or find some indoor fun. You can’t stay home all winter, and you can only clean and straighten up so much before it makes you a little stir crazy. So we went in search of some great fun that can be found out of the house and but inside where it’s warm. Turns out this is a pretty big category across 320Land, so we’re breaking up into multiple articles. Here’s a few of our favorites to get started.
Axe Throwing – Woodsman Axe – Alexandria
Axe throwing is coming on strong in the 320. It’s a popular and competitive sport. Leagues have formed, tournaments take place and open axe throwing times are available in many venues. We’ve seen permanent venues with Axe Throwing in St Cloud, and Alexandria.
We had a close up look at Woodsman Axe in Alexandria. This newer facility has six throwing areas. Four are traditional lanes with concentric circle targets. There is a projection lane with a lighted target on the wall. This allows for variations like zombie axe throws or games that are a lot like darts. The sixth lane is for Tic Tac Toe or other two person game.
Woodsman Axe has a target system that is a little different. The end grain targets are cut from local Cotton Wood Trees. The end grain allows the axe to sink in without as much bounce and with less splintering of wood. It’s a better experience.
Safe Childcare Area
While the variety at Woodsman Axe is great, there is another outstanding feature: a safe play area for the kids. When parents want to have a little fun, there is a kids play area that has games and colors and yes, Velcro throwing targets so the kids can get in on the act if they want. This area for the kids is behind wire fencing, yet within eyesight of parents.
Tournaments and League Play
Woodsman Axe offers both leagues and tournaments, including couples tournaments. More details are available here, at the events page of 320FUN. Or if you just want to get out of the house for a few minutes, ask about renting a lane during open times. You might enjoy a new sport.
Where: Woodsman Axe at 124 7th Ave W, Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: (320) 219-7716
Indoor Mini Golf – Crossroads Mall – St Cloud
Ah, a classic. It’s all the drama and adventure of outdoor mini golf, except inside where it’s warm at the Crossroads Mall in St Cloud. Admittedly it’s only 5 holes, but you get to play twice for your entry fee. Here’s your chance to work on your short game while taking challenging the kids or grand kids to a game. It’s likely worth a few laughs.
So you know, the entire rental and play system is self serve. It’s a vending machine with golf balls and clubs.
Where: Just outside Target in Crossroads Center at 4101 W Division St, St Cloud, MN 56301
Mining for Treasure – West Central RockHounds – Willmar
Inside Uptown Willmar (formerly the Kandi Mall) there’s a very clever store called West Central Rockhounds. Half of the store is devoted to a mini mining sluice. Here’s the idea. Real miners dig out ore from underground, then wash the ore to expose any precious metals, gems or other minerals worth keeping. This is a re-creation of that process. Your “miners” (or should I say “minors” because this is an awesome kids activity) buy a bag of mining rough to start the process. It’s essentially a bag of dirt/sand with treasures that have been placed inside.
Your job is to use the sluice box and the running water to wash away the dirt and reveal the gems that are left in your tray. All this while wearing a colorful mining helmet. Every bag is guaranteed to have several gems.
Yours to Keep!
So you know, there are two sized bags: Lucky Strike and Mother Lode. You’ll be able to decide in store which bag of mining rough you’d rather use to “mine for gems.” Anything you find inside your bag is yours to take home.
An average bag takes 15-20 minutes to wash out, though it could take longer if it’s your first time. Make sure to bring your phone or camera, because this makes a great photo op with the kids and grand kids. The recommended age is 3 and up.
Where: West Central RockHounds at 1605 1st St S Suite D10, Willmar, MN 56201
Phone: 320 262-3451
So there you have it. A list of things that are slightly better than sitting home all day in your pajamas. Or going to work and staying for the extra shift because you know there’s nothing on TV tonight. We know, below zero temps make finding some fun a little more difficult, but with a little extra effort and a plan, you may be able to make a few new memories.