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At Skydive Pepperell, USPA– and state-licensed and certified instructors acquaint adventurers with the thrill of riding gravity back to the earth's crust. Skydive Pepperell's private, skydiving-only airport claims more than 60 acres for soaring steel birds at heights of 10,500–13,500 feet above ground. Neophyte fliers, harnessed to professionals for tandem jumps, leap from the belly of a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter and indulge in trendy cloud diets on their way down to the safe, grassy landing area. Daredevils who thrive on the thrum of adrenaline can enroll in accelerated free-fall training, which drills students in the skills necessary for a solo dive. Jumpers can also purchase a DVD and digital stills that show them soaring through the sky while demonstrating ways to repurpose a parachute into a giant stuffed animal. Meanwhile, spectators watch jumps from the open landing area, confident in Skydive Pepperell's impeccable safety record.
165 Nashua Rd.
The full SkyVenture indoor diving experience is equivalent to skydiving from a height of 13,000 feet six times, making it effective for training skydiving teams and providing ample time to preemptively identify future husbands or wives as life flashes before one’s eyes. The massive tunnel allows participants to float upward on a powerful, recirculating current of wind—rather than leaping from a higher point—so there is no sensation of falling or need to employ an airplane to accomplish the thrill. The recirculating current also allows technicians to keep the inside temperature at comfortable levels. Certified instructors prepare all guests with a brief training session, teaching them techniques for airborne movement, though training programs help more experienced flyers perform flips, rolls, and paper airplane impersonations. An observation deck allows family and friends to cheer on participants and in-flight photographers captures avian-style portraits. SkyVenture's staffers allow almost anyone of reasonable health and fitness to engage in the safe activity, or spin inside the Fishpipe, an inflatable water-filled barrel that sends passengers whirling the distance equivalent to a 1,600-foot waterslide.
3 Poisson Ave.
Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
317 S Broadway
Most people will never get the chance to play a round of golf at Augusta National. At Pappas Indoor Golf & Baseball, players can approximate their dream round inside the complex's trio of indoor golf simulators. The simulator screens replicate 230 courses in vivid detail, including the venerable host course of The Masters and Scotland's Saint Andrews. The simulators share space with a well-rounded practice facility that includes a 1,600-square-foot putting green, 12 hitting bays, a short game area, and a sand bunker. In areas designated for private lessons, PGA pro Bill Pappas polishes his clients' mechanics with the help of video swing analysis equipment.
Golfers aren’t the only athletes taking cuts at Pappas Indoor. The facility’s indoor batting cages let softball and baseball stars fine-tune their swing, take some extra batting practice on a rainy day, or test whether pitching machines can feel human emotions.
70 Princeton Street
Chunky's Cinema Pub has been mixing the polished glimmer of modern technology with the gauzy glow of yesteryear for almost two decades. Eight screens mingle first-run blockbusters with themed throwback classics catering to children of the ’50s or ’80s. There, in the glow of the previews, is another testament to the melding of time—a contemporary dinner-and-a-movie setup brings with it the nostalgia of old-school drive-ins. Instead of traditional cinema chairs, individual cushy Lincoln Continental surround communal dinner tables, and the seats roll and recline to let guests maximize their comfort and customize their sightlines as they catch the onscreen action and pretend to be backseat drivers. At their tables, American pub snacks and entrées from the extensive menu spread out, combining movies with burgers, quesadillas, and steak tips.
While the theater blends old with new, Chunky's Bio Truck zooms into the future with a gas tank full of the 100% trans-fat-free canola oil used for cooking in the kitchen. The bio-fuel reduces the truck's greenhouse emissions and helps to decrease its carbon footprint, spreading an eco-conscious message to the community.
151 Coliseum Ave.
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