BEST BATTING CAGE - 2000
Baseball isn't just a summer sport, thanks to this year-round, warehouse-size potpourri of arcade activity. Granted, it's a 20-minute haul from the Twin Cities proper (minimum), and it's located in a mildly depressing strip mall. But from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily (and until midnight Friday and Saturday), Grand Slam is batting bliss. With six batting cages, you can try your hand at baseball from "rookie speed" (20 mph) to "very fast" (80 mph), or, if you prefer, slow- and fast-pitch softball. Each token ($1.25 if you buy them in the machine, $1.45 at the counter) entitles you to 18 pitches. Use the bats and helmets provided outside each cage or haul in your own gear. It won't be hard to imagine the roaring crowds when you step up to the plate: The center is abuzz with basketball games, bumper cars, miniature golf, even air hockey. Perfect if you're hankering to sweeten your swing--or if you just like pounding flying stuff.