In a day spent at Sun 'N Air Golf Center, golfers can hit nearly every shot they would encounter in the course of a normal round?all under the pressure-free auspices of a practice session. At the driving range, laser-measured targets reward precise iron play, and a target field that extends nearly 300 yards into the distance provides ample space for ripping drives. A short game practice area lets golfers hone their finesse on the green and in approach shots up to 50 yards from the pin.
The center also lets golfers test their mettle at their 3-hole practice course. The trio of par 3s range from 100 to 200 yards in length, and each features four tee options to cater to golfers of all abilities. With its ample practice resources, Sun 'N Air Golf Center provides fertile training ground for golf lessons, too. Their staff of experienced instructors?including PGA pro Tim Kilcoyne, who has coached at the high-collegiate level?can assist on all aspects of the game, from hitting the ball straighter to fitting multiple golf bags into the trunk of a compact vehicle.
When the Connors established their farm in 1904, they did so on land that already had 300 years worth of farming invested in its soil. At the time, the Connors ran a truck farm?meaning, rather than stuffing parsnips and carrots into mailing envelopes, they trucked all their crops to Boston to be sold. In the mid-1950s, the family adjusted to the changing times, and began selling sweet corn from a roadside stand right on the property. The new plan proved successful: visitors have flocked to the farm en masse ever since.
Today, with the help of its 140 acres of fertile land, Connors Farm continues to fill bellies with the freshest vegetables and fruits available. No, really: the family only sells corn on the day it is picked. In addition to cultivating a long list of crops?the farm produces tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and pumpkins, among others?the family maintains an equally lengthy index of family attractions. That includes an annual cornfield in fall, as well as a peach festival with music, hayrides, and face painting.
The working cornfield at Marini Farm embraces the festive spirit of autumn by wearing a different mask each Halloween season. The corn maze has featured farm-themed shapes, a giant bald eagle, and a pirate design that was featured in the Wicked Local Ipswich in 2010. The maize maze is designed to be both educational and interactive, with about 20 clue stations strategically placed throughout the labyrinth to help adventurers conquer the nearly 10 miles of paths. The maze is open during the day and remains open Friday and Saturday night for flashlight-lead escapades.
The smaller, less complex Finger Fortune maze delights younger adventurers, as do the apple cannon, jumping pillow, pumpkin patch, hayride wagon, and separate play area. For parents or guests staging a corn coup, the third-generation farm serves up a cornucopia of fresh veggies, bakery treats, and plants for purchase or for hurling at scarecrows creepily staring at them in the distance.
“It’s the challenging fits—either spectacles or contact lenses—that drive me," writes optician John Parrelli on his website. Since opening his first shop in 1978, these challenges have included cataract sufferers who were left without binocular vision following surgery. Parrelli and his team of lens specialists experimented with different materials, designs, and indices of refraction until they could fabricate a lens thin and strong enough to restore these patients’ sight.
Today, Parrelli Optical has grown to six locations, where optometrists inspect patients' vision with a comprehensive, 15-point eye-health assessment and complete visual analysis. Through digital corneal photography, they're able to diagnose corneal disease and increase the precision and comfort of prescriptions. The locations also host a wide selection of designer frames, ideal for experimenting with different styles, such as wearing 20 frames at once.
At the outset, Cakes for Occasions owner Kelly Delaney was a one-woman baking wonder, churning out specialty cakes from a single oven in her mother?s kitchen. Today, just more than a decade later, nearly 30 employees join Kelly to sift, whip, and frost more than 700 wedding cakes each year. The still-expanding business has drawn the attention of many press outlets, including The Today Show, and has earned a multitude of accolades that include the Wedding Wire Bride?s Choice Award in 2012, a spot on the Boston Globe 2011 and 2013 A-Lists for its birthday and wedding cakes, and an appearance on TV Diner. The legendary lineup of baked goods ranges from four-tiered fondant wedding cakes to tuxedo cake pops, ideal for black-tie food-on-a-stick galas.
Executive chef Ilias Kakouris, a former apprentice of celebrity chef Nicholas Peter Valhouli, pushes up the sleeves of his white uniform as he leads his crew of chefs who roast baby eggplant, grill pizzas in the brick oven, and pan-sear scallops. Kakouris not only oversees the kitchen, but also co-owns Brutole Restaurant with Nick Kakouris, with whom he works to curate a menu of Mediterranean and American flavors. Near the warm glow of the brick oven, cooks pile pizza dough with caramelized onions, figs, and julienned pear while others top grilled beef tenderloin with a red-wine reduction.
The dark-wood-trimmed interior creates a romantic setting in which votive candles flicker atop white tablecloths and the silverware hums Tom Jones's greatest hits. A full bar draws in swarms of entranced patrons with its backlit glass shelves, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, and signature martinis.