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.
Well-lit and painstakingly organized, Used Book Superstores upend images of the precariously balanced stacks and dusty hardcovers most people associate with used book stores. More than 100,000 new and gently used books—from current bestsellers to staples of the literary world—sprawl across each of the five mammoth locations, which, like so many shattered crates of tea, dot the landscape of the greater Boston and south New Hampshire region. As bookworms hunker down with hardcovers, paperbacks, and children's books, neglected friends can peruse the store's voluminous selection of music, DVDs, and toys, all of which sell for a fraction of their original cost.
Before sending presents to their ultimate destination, RedEnvelope encases them in its free signature gift box—a bright-white ribbon wrapped around a crimson container, the red color inspired by Asian cultures that saw it as a symbol of happiness, good fortune, and love. Owing to this philosophy, RedEnvelope acts as a one-stop shop for gift-givers for any occasion, whether they’re celebrating a child’s graduation, thanking a friend, or sending themselves presents to pretend they have a secret admirer. Gifts range from cuff links and charm bracelets to home-brewing kits, leather cigar cases, and customized pillow covers. Many of these products are exclusive to RedEnvelope and can be monogrammed or personalized with the recipient’s name or ATM pin number.
A Karma mani-pedi combination gives harried hands 30 minutes of soaking, rubbing, polishing, and painting attention, and the other 60-minute half of the treatment defouls frazzled feet with a bath, a callus checkup, and an exfoliating massage that works its way up the legs, finishing finally with a slather of nourishing butter and a polish. If your hands and feet are already detachable and dishwasher safe, opt instead for the glowing mini-facial and makeup, during which face flesh is steamed, deep-cleansed, and exfoliated. Necks and shoulders are then blessed with a mini-massage, followed by a 30-minute makeover using products customized to each individual’s skin type.
East Coast Alpine keeps bikers cycling to the summit of their skill-mountain by tuning two-wheelers to peak condition. Technicians calibrate bikes for safety and a smooth ride by adjusting the brakes, front and rear derailleurs, and cables; physically checking the derailleur hanger, bottom bracket, crankset, hubs, rims, and tires; and testing the bike's gear-jerk reflex using a tiny hammer. Bikologists will also degrease and lubricate all moving, nonbiting parts before cleaning the nonmotorized carriage and truing the rims if needed. After performing the full inspection, the team can recommend further repairs to the owner or prescribe a treatment for handlebar acne.