Headless Indian chiefs. Vengeful witches. Treacherous generals. Though they may seem like figures in a horror novel or modern newspaper, they are all characters featured in Colonial Lantern Tours of Plymouth's intriguing and true-life historical tours. For more than 25 years, the staff of enthusiastic history buffs has traversed the scenic pathways of Plymouth and neighboring Boston, pointing out sites of interest while regaling guests with tales of the region's diverse history—from legendary ghosts to ghoul-inhabited tunnels to educational tales of pilgrim settlers and Native Americans. Tours meander through town squares, down hidden alleyways, and past historic harbors, guided by the light of 17th-century lantern replicas. Docents also offer seasonal Halloween-, Thanksgiving-, and Christmas-themed trips that detail colonial holiday customs, such as topping every tree with a bust of Benedict Arnold. To date, Colonial Lantern's yarns—at once macabre and enlightening—have enthralled numerous reporters from a variety of publications, such as the Los Angeles Times.
Certified by the American Mountain Guides Association, the staff of climbing instructors at Boston Rock Gym teach torsos how to ascend altitudes with indoor-, outdoor-, and youth-climbing activities. The savvy instructors lead the way around the facility’s more than 40 ropes, which set the stage for both group and private indoor lessons, as well as open climbing sessions in which self-guided climbers reach for neon-colored handgrips while being supported by auto-belay devices. Outdoors, students learn to navigate nature’s authentic slabs during lessons and clinics that start with the basics and graduate up to advanced ice-climb maneuvers. Additionally, the facility’s youth programs cater to smaller grips and aim to boost self-confidence while preparing children for the physical-fitness portion of the SAT.
Schartner Farms has a history that stretches even longer than its annual corn maze. After immigrating to the United States in 1902, the Schartner family settled in Bolton and opened a farm. For the next century, multiple generations of the family milked cows and filled the soil with seeds to grow fruits, vegetables, and cheeseburgers. The farm became something of a local landmark, and in 2006, the town of Bolton and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts designated it an Agricultural Preservation Restriction Farm.
Today, the fourth generation of Schartners runs the farm. Aside from the signature corn maze, they invite visitors to pick apples, ride ponies, and relax on hayrides, which wind past the property's forests, fields, and ponds.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get in Shape for Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. Each of their small-group sessions are tailored to each exerciser. The trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating 30 minutes of strength-training drills—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each student's abilities. Then, they do 25 minutes of cardio—the trainers might start beginners with a walk on the treadmill or light elliptical training, and challenge more advanced exercisers to high-intensity interval-training sessions for increased results.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To track ladies' progress toward reaching their goals, the trainers measure their weight and body-fat percentage every two weeks.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
Divided between two locations in Manchester and Nashua, Vertical Dreams' 15,000 square feet of simulated mountainside are packed with obstacles and tough sections to challenge climbers of all skill levels. At the Manchester gym, gutted elevator shafts lined with hand grips extend four stories upward, creating 70-foot vertical surfaces. The Nashua location boasts 10,000 square feet of wall space, with textured surfaces that respond realistically to climber's hands and feet and fill their nostrils with simulated rock smells.
Vertical Dreams' staff of veteran climbers teaches students one-on-one or in groups. In beginner lesson packages, instructors show aspiring climbers the figurative and literal ropes involved in belaying, climbing, and knot tying, and the teachers in advanced top-roping and sport-climbing classes push their students' abilities to climb solo or in a lead position.
When slender tree trunks don't offer enough protection, paintballers dive behind barrels, inch along behind rough-hewn wooden barricades, or crouch behind a dense pile of sticks. These are the barriers that ALLSTARR Paintball's playing field offers paintball warriors as they battle for supremacy. As soon as they don the necessary protective gear and grab a paintball marker, competitors can get out on the field and start splatting the field—and their opponents—with color.