Some problems confound the means and efforts of even the most gifted individuals; in 1904, tuberculosis was one such problem. Then, concerned citizens banded together to create the American Lung Association—one of the oldest voluntary health organizations still extant in America today—ultimately defeating the disease through the power of collective action. Today, the nature of the battle may have changed, but the spirit of community concern and volunteerism still thrives. Instead of actively fighting to cure certain diseases, the American Lung Association takes a big-picture approach, helping people quit smoking through education and encouragement, providing in-school programs for kids with asthma, and encouraging the community to keep the air healthy, breathable, and free from clouds of inhalable hornets.
Longtime Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood have toted their quick-witted, improvised comedy around the country for years. Not bound by scripts, the duo takes suggestions from the audience and fluidly bounces off each other's screwball bits to craft hilarious scenes on the fly. As the evening rolls on, they draft game but uncoached audience members into the onstage action. Though audiences can expect daredevil games and easy patter between the two stage vets, the form of any given show won't unfold until the night of the performance—as Mochrie reported to the Herald-Review, they've "developed an aversion to ever performing the same joke or routine twice." Built in 1920 to commemorate World War II veterans, the auditorium suffuses even the most lighthearted events with a sense of history and the patronage of local bald-eagle populations.
Summertime breezes sneak through fork prongs and rustle across napkins at the 16th annual Taste of Allston, where community foodies unite under a banner splattered with international ingredients. More than 20 restaurants introduce taste buds to some of the city's best eats, from the Far East fare of Korean Garden to the smoky brick-oven flavor of Pizzeria Regina's pies. In between bites, live music, beer samples, and raffle prizes plate up entertainment for adults, and kid-friendly attractions, such as face-painting stations, keep young'uns from trying to sneak away between oversize hoagie buns. All profits raised by the festival go straight to the Allston Village Main Streets, a nonprofit revitalization effort working to keep the community safe.
Inside Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship’s training facility, students of all ages work in groups with instructors to learn the fine techniques involved in Japanese swordsmanship and foil fencing. The Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship instructors also lead classes in stage combat, teaching techniques used by stage and film actors during fight sequences. Once students are comfortable controlling foam practice swords with their minds, they can join the Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship crew on interactive play adventures, such as the Wizards & Warriors summer camp. The live-action role-play events integrate medieval themes with lessons in historical weapons and self-confidence.
The Real School of Music bestows the gift of instrument-playing ability upon students with a variety of music lesson options. The week-long, all-day summer music program, Real Jams Academy (ages 10–19, $500 for five days), is complete with music lessons, songwriting, band-forming, and a live performance in front of families, friends, and fans (no experience necessary). Get private lessons (approximately $37 per week, with daily access to the facility) in the instrument of your choice (voice, guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, sax, drums, pork-rib-xylophone, etc.). Private students achieving intermediate proficiency are then invited to play in one of the school's RealBands. If you're not ready for private lessons, embrace education with your fellow students in a group lesson ($120 for six 45-minute lessons) to learn the basics. Baby Beethovens (five and under) can flourish under the RealKids Family Music program ($180 for nine 45-minute lessons).
Henry Houh has earned four degrees—including a Ph.D.—from MIT, patented seven inventions in the United States and Europe, founded several tech start-ups, and even played on the famous MIT blackjack team portrayed in the film “21”. Instead of spending his afternoons toasting flutes of champagne with other successful entrepreneurs and scientists, Henry works with kids. When he’s not raising his own three tykes, he’s educating other youngsters at local schools, museums, or his own venture, Einstein's Workshop.
Henry and his staff fill the 7,000-square foot Einstein’s Workshop with hands-on activities designed to teach scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical concepts in a fun, engaging way. Inside the main play space, youngsters can solve stacking puzzles, build elaborate LEGO and K'Nex structures, or assemble electronic devices using Snap Circuits. Classes delve deeper into various scientific subjects, from 2D and 3D computer-aided design workshops to classes where students create robots using LEGO WeDo and Mindstorms kits. Einstein's Workshop even caters some courses to curious adults, such as sessions that explain how to operate a laser cutter or implant a cleanliness microchip into messy roommates.