Most venues consist of a big room, a stage, some restrooms (or porta-johns), and, if you're lucky, a bar. Hence why Brooklyn Bowl is such a terrific place to catch a show. In addition to functioning as a venue for performances, this Williamsburg spot takes its "Bowl" designnation seriously, with 16 lanes available, all within earshot of the stage. The LEED-certified space — the first bowling alley in the world to earn the honor — is also home to multiple bars serving up local craft brews and a restaurant serving up food by Blue Ribbon.
The Middle East might not be the first place you think of when it comes to board sports, but the combination of winds and plenty of coastline makes it a pretty ideal spot. Kiteboarding Oman takes advantage of the conditions to teach people about kiteboarding. The first VDWS-certified school in the region, they operate kite camps on Sawadi Beach and Masirah Island, and are able to have you up, fully licensed, and ready to board pretty much anywhere on your own in just 3-5 days. [Scouted by Eric]
Times Square might be more famous, but Rio puts on one helluva New Years show too. Enjoy it from the best vantage possible with tickets to Réveillon Do Morro on Sugarloaf Mountain. This insane party begins around 9:30 — with cocktails, of course — and ends when the sun's coming up, with breakfast served until 4:30 am. But beyond the terrific food, drinks, samba, and soul music, the party also offers the best possible view of a fireworks display that heralds the New Year. In other words, it's like watching the Times Square party from the top of the Empire State.
You might have had more than your fair share of Hormel's legendary canned pork product over the years, but you won't know the whole story behind it without a visit to The Spam Museum. Located on Hormel's main campus, this 16,500 square foot ode to Spam features trivia, vintage Spam advertising, displays depicting its use during war time, a tribute to Monty Python, whose "Spam" sketch actually led to the term being used in referral to unwanted electronic communication, and, of course, a Spam store full of Spam collectibles. And while Spam might not be free, admission is.
Even though it's not considered one of the world's more difficult ascents, climbing Mont Blanc isn't for everyone. Fortunately, nearly every can enjoy views that are almost as impressive — and in some cases more so — by heading to Aiguille du Midi. Situated atop of a peak 3842 meters in the air — that's over 12,600 feet — this attraction offers fantastic views of Europe's highest peak and the surrounding mountains, a restaurant, a cafeteria, and two terraces. For the truly brave, the spot just opened a five-sided glass box that hangs over the side, giving you perhaps the best views in the Alps. The best part? Instead of a grueling two-day climb in the snow, you can get there in just 20 minutes from the warmth of a cable car.
If you could build a playground for you and your buddies, what would you include? A bunch of construction equipment to screw around with? Go-Karts? How about an ATV obstacle course? Well, Männerspielplatz Erlebnis Park offers all of that and more. Located on a former factory site not far from other guy-friendly attractions like the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums, this "Playground Adventure Park" lets you and your friends spend all day doing manly stuff like shooting bow and arrows, digging with excavators, driving Jeeps or Unimogs off-road, and even moving stuff using cranes. To cap off your day of testosterone, book a night at the nearby auto-themed V8 Hotel.
Okay, so there wasn't ever really anything sexy about the Oregon Trail, but the Gorilla Tango Burlesque troop is aiming to fix that with The Oregon Trail Burlesque: You Have Died of Sexy. Scheduled to run every Friday night in Bucktown from January 10 to April 11, 2014, this show mixes elements of the original computer game with a film noir-style murder mystery, all performed by lovely, scantily-clad ladies. It's obviously 18 and up, but at least you don't have to worry about contracting dysentery.
It not often, but every once in a while you come across a museum that's as notable for what's outside as the collection inside. The Riverside Museum is a perfect example. Opened in 2011 on the north bank of the River Clyde, this award-winning museum was designed by Zaha Hadid, and features a a unique, mountain-like facade of steel and glass. Inside you'll find a wide array of cars, buses, bicycles, and other means of transportation from the collection of the Glasgow Museum of Transport, with many of them displayed on the wall of cars, with each full-sized automobile set on its own "shelf".
Amusement parks can be fun, but amusement parks deep underground? Even better. Located in a salt mine that dates back centuries and was abandoned in 1932, Salina Turda is one of the more interesting attractions around. Inside this cavernous space, you'll find a ferris wheel-style attraction with gondolas — made possible by the 160-feet ceilings — a putt-putt course, mini bowling lanes, an area dedicated to sports, billiard tables, 4 table tennis courts, a 180-seat amphitheater, a children's play area, and an underground lake with boat rentals. Looking for something more than just a good time? The mine's microclimate also provides natural therapy for those suffering from respiratory issues. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, it's also located in a rather notorious region known as Transylvania — so if you happen to see any bats, be careful.
The holiday season just isn't the same without music, and this holiday you can join in and be a part of the festive atmosphere by experiencing The Gaits - a High Line Soundwalk. Put on by Make Music New York, this unique event is scheduled for 5pm on December 21, and will see you and a group of like-minded folks gathering at the Southern end of the High Line, before trekking north on a unique musical walk. Using your smartphone, an event-specific, and a small portable speaker, you'll become an instrument yourself, creating a symphony of twinkling sounds, guitar chords, dulcimer strikes, splashes, horns, and applause, simply by walking — and so will everyone else walking with you, creating a one-of-a-kind communal holiday musical experience.
Abandoned mines are cool all by themselves, typically boasting rusted metal, aging buildings, and a very real element of danger — after all, falling down a mine shaft would be a pretty rough way to go. You can feel safe at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Housed in a former 19th century iron mine, the park is now home to one of the deepest physics experiments in North America, playing host to a neutrino detector that looks for variances in subatomic particles emitted from the Fermilab particle accelerator some 450 miles away. There's also a dark matter experiment, making the three minute ride down — it is half a mile under the earth, after all — well worth it for any science geek.
Most people prefer skiing or snowboarding when it comes to winter sports, but tubing and sledding still hold a special place in our snow day, big hill Midwestern hearts. Gorgoza Park lets you recapture this feeling no matter the season. Located just off I-80, this tubing-focused park offers seven lighted tubing lanes, including one for smaller tubers, three for beginners, and four advanced lanes. In addition, the park features a mini-snowmobiling track for kids, a dedicated kids area, and a cafe. And best of all, the park features lifts to the top of the hill — so you get all the nostalgia of tubing without the drudgery of dragging your tube back up.