The ping of sharp line drives and towering drives echo over the grounds at Legends Golf, where athletes of all ages compete in rounds of miniature golf and hone swings in the batting cages or at the driving range.
Golf balls trickle down topsy-turvy tracks at the 18-hole miniature-golf course, which weaves through rock faces and tiny geysers that erupt with glee any time a player misses an easy putt. Eight target greens populate the 300-yard driving range, where new Wilson Staff Range Balls touch down after taking flight from 45 synthetic mats or 35 grass tees.
Under the vaulted roof of the batting cages, nine pitching machines send baseballs and softballs speeding toward hitters as they get the most out of every at bat and discreetly argue balls and strikes with imaginary umpires. To pass the time in between mini-golf rounds or during kids' golf lessons, guests can use Legends' wireless Internet connection free of charge.
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.
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.
With three basic ingredients—honey, water, and yeast—the making of mead is misleadingly simple. Michael Fairbrother has spent the last 17 years perfecting his recipes for the ancient drink, first tinkering in his own garage as an amateur mead maker for many years before opening Moonlight Meadery. Here, Michael fine-tunes the fermentation process to craft batches of mead from ethically sourced, unpasteurized honey, which imparts each sip with rich color, volatile aromatics, and a faint buzzing sound. Michael’s traditional mead rests side by side with fruit-tinged cups and spiced varieties that rejoin flavors such as tart rhubarb and Madagascar-bourbon vanilla beans with New Hampshire wildflower honey.
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Undulation training with heavy ropes challenges strength and endurance, and kettlebells work the body as a whole and torch calories. Instructors also employ vintage progression weight-training exercises, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.
Escaping the hustle and bustle of city life usually means hopping on a plane or driving until skyscrapers shrink into the horizon. Sandlot Sports & Entertainment strives to change all that. Their staff maintains recreational facilities where families can enjoy much-deserved getaways, just without all the traveling. During summer months, members spend time on Sandlot’s private, four-acre pond and beach area where they can avoid crowded city beaches and soak up alien messages coded into the sun's rays. Nearby, full-size football and soccer fields, baseball fields, and a performance stage play host to parties and special events. Sandlot uses those same venues during various children's camps throughout the summer, including musical theater camps and the popular Camp Sandlot—weeklong sessions of creative, educational, and athletic activities.
As the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats come off their 2011 Eastern League championship with a series of bouts against three Eastern Division rivals, including the Red Sox's minor-league affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. Offensive threat John Tolisano’s .446 on-base percentage through 17 games demonstrates his sterling discipline at the plate, where not even the umpire's fanciful riddles can upset his focus. Starting pitcher Yohan Pino has already chalked up a 2–0 record this season, backed by reliever Ronald Uveido's five saves and 1.59 ERA in his first 10 appearances.