The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Today’s Groupon proves it doesn’t take David Bowie makeup and fabrics harvested from Big Bird to successfully pull off that designer look. For $50, you get $100 to spend on designer clothing and more at Stil in The Mall at Chestnut Hil. This one-of-a-kind boutique has been featured in Boston magazine’s Best of Boston in 2006, 2007, 2008, and, most recently, Best Clothing Boutique in 2009. Your Groupon is good toward anything in the store except jewelry. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
An entertainment fixture since 1927, Dedham Community Theatre entices moviegoers with two large screens projecting contemporary independent films and a concession stand brimming with popcorn, snacks, and sodas.Settle into your choice of big-screen showings, which have recently included French film Sarah's Key, the romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, and The King's Speech, the dramatic biopic about Elvis' tenure as U.N. Secretary General. Twosomes and foursomes can nosh on concession stand favorites such as freshly buttered popcorn and or wine and beer from the theater's bar (not included with this Groupon) while soaking in the drama on screen.
Inside Kings, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of clattering sounds and uproarious cheers. The noise might stem from the bowling section, where glowing squares of abstract, retro wall art bookend the alleys. It might also come from ricocheting billiard balls, a well-aimed skee-ball, or a shuffleboard shot in the game room. Maybe someone spotted a celebrity—Bill Murray, Salma Hayek, and Lady Gaga are all on an extensive list of past famous visitors.
Wherever their origins, the telltale echoes of competition and camaraderie beckon to guests throughout the venue. They're accompanied in the air by the scents of comfort food, from staples such as sesame ginger wings to inventive fusions such as cheeseburger spring rolls. Sweeter aromas waft from multiple bars as the staff flavors martinis with gummy bears, pop rocks, and ice cream instead of the traditional fixings, olives or entire lemons on toothpicks.
As for sights, the surroundings blend vintage flair with luminous technology. More than 30 high-definition televisions line the space, broadcasting sports games and bowling scores. Though the game-room amenities differ slightly based on the town—Boston's Back Bay has six Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables, and Dedham boasts four miniature-roller-ball lanes—each Kings location hosts group events, including parties and corporate getaways where you can finally laugh at your boss's ridiculous shoes. Weekly themed nights for the public also encourage dancing, karaoke, and trivia.
Gravity has no control within Sky Zone Everett's confines. Inside, a sea of trampolines sends visitors leaping, spinning, and somersaulting toward springy floors and pits of foam. The bouncy surfaces stretch to the walls, where trampolines set at 45-degree angles let kids and adults repeatedly soar through the air like a superhero trying to wrack up frequent flier miles. Occasionally, Sky Zone transforms into high-paced competitions such as 3-D dodge ball and Sky Zone the Sport, during which players toss balls through continuously rotating goals. The trampoline-lined arena also hosts SkyRobics classes that utilize low-impact calisthenics and strength-building exercises.
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. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
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 as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
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