Outdoors

In the middle of a long Minnesota winter, while most of us are pulling on our parkas and grumbling about the latest snowfall, a few lake-area residents are in their element. Can you guess who? With wet noses, shaggy coats and an Arctic appetite, we’re talking about reindeer, of course!

One winter’s day, a group of moms started downhill skiing together. Forty-three years later, Ski-Away alpine school offers weekly lessons to more than 100 students, with more than 25 certified instructors.

Cycling suffered a public relations blow when champion cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being charged with doping. Luckily, the sport is resilient.

It’s time to bust out that yellow polka dot bikini and hit the beach. Whether you’re looking for sand and sun or entertainment and activities for the kiddos, this guide has you covered.

Excelsior

The Commons Beach

The sun-speckled days of spring draw near, and many Minnesotans are giddy with delight. However, this infectious cheer can easily turn to fear of springtime woes. What if your toes get run over by a rogue rollerblader on one of Plymouth’s many walking paths?

As seasons change here in the heartland, so do the outdoor activities of active Minnesotans. Frozen-water sports like skating, skiing and ice fishing give way to running-water sports like canoeing.

As retired master gardener and long-time Mound resident Julie Weisenhorn recalls how she got her start in gardening, she laughs at the irony of her childhood—one spent indoors, watching her mother pulling weeds in the sweltering heat, wondering, “Why would anyone ever volunteer for that?”

For the fifth consecutive year, Tonkadale is partnering with ICA Food Shelf for the Grow and Give fundraiser.

If you remember back to your nursery school days, Mary’s garden grows with silver bells, cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row. Certainly children’s imaginations grow with this Mother Goose rhyme, but it seems unlikely that any plants do.

Imagine perfectly appointed railway cars scooting swiftly on stainless steel tracks, traversing trestle bridges, meandering through tunnels and over rivers, and chugging by picturesque landscapes. Now imagine it all takes place in your backyard.

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