Partnered with a ground crew predominately made up of fellow pilots, Dick Guisto, Mike Florio, and Vinnie Melling harness their commercial-pilot expertise for each Aerostat Promotions flight. After a half-hour of balloon inflation and preparation, up to four guests join their pilot at sunrise or 2.5 hours before sunset for an hour-long flight that affords aerial views of the Pioneer Valley’s breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and residential homes. Meanwhile, a chase team tracks the balloon from terra firma as it traverses approximately 10 miles of sky. Once visitors and their pilot rendezvous with the team, balloons are packed into a truck or twisted into to-scale elephant balloon animals before the group shares a champagne toast and appetizers.
When autumn arrives, Rolling Acres opens its gates to visitors young and old to enjoy adventures among its various attractions. Birthday parties, field trips, and family outings descend upon the farm throughout the fall to explore the corn maze, which, in the past, has sent groups zigzagging through labyrinths shaped like an elephant, a lion, and a castle. Outside the maize maze, putters earn holes in one or 12 on the mini-golf course, and nearby, jumpers launch skyward on a giant jumping pillow. Aside from manufacturing smiles, Rolling Acres also produces and distributes alternative-fuel products.
The two screens of Tower Theaters host an eclectic cast of characters, from the flying superheroes of summer blockbusters to elaborately costumed opera singers. And 3-D technology propels many of them toward the audience with the vivid clarity of digital projection. The dancers and singers appear as part of a monthly opera and ballet series, which showcases stage productions such as Caravaggio or Die Fledermaus in digital HD. But on the first Saturday of every month, film and live performance combine with midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, during which a shadow cast poses in front of the screen to mirror the cult classic's plot and catch Tim Curry when he falls out.
Encompassed by tall, spindly trees, players hunker down in wooden castles and slink along fence posts hoping the crunch of leaves underfoot doesn’t give them away. Tense moments like these add up at Camelot Paintball where players trek four woodsball fields and three tournament fields kept under the watchful eyes of experienced refs. Before taking the fields, visitors can stop by the pro shop or shake the rust from trigger fingers at the fully netted shooting range. The battlegrounds are also available for birthday parties and team-building events.
The full-scale Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art houses three galleries and 40,000 square feet of picture-book art, with rotating exhibitions showcasing both national and international galleries. Founded in part by Eric Carle, the famous author and illustrator of over 70 children's books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Eric Carle Museum aims to inspire an appreciation of the art of the picture book in adults, children, and lovable curmudgeons alike. The museum rouses the eyes with a large selection of exhibitions by a variety of artists, such as the currently running Tomi Ungerer, Chronicler of the Absurd, which takes audiences through the vibrant artwork of Tomi Ungerer's award-winning children's books, including The Mellops Go Flying, The Three Robbers, and Flat Stanley. Selections from private collections and archives enhance the exhibit, giving viewers an ever-deeper look into the absurdities and wonders of Ungerer's fantastic artwork.
The flexibility mavens at the Ananda Center tone muscles and tune minds, bringing bodies and souls into harmonious alignment. Bend, stretch, dance, or meditate in an array of yoga and fitness classes designed to limber up limbs while fostering overall health and well-being. Form & Flow Yoga challenges students to hold poses for long stretches, and Gentle Yoga coddles fitness seekers who have recently undergone surgery, given birth, or lost a twisting competition with a pretzel. Patrons strengthen cores in the traditional low-impact Pilates course, or invite the rest of the muscular structure to the party in Fitlates. After calming minds in Meditation, set your body in motion with high-energy, calorie-burning classes such as Zumba, Sun/Fire Cardio Sculpt, Cardio-Kickbox MMA, and Extreme Mahjong. Check the schedule for class times and details.