Fred Thompson and Phil Hamric, the owners of Viking Recreation Center, are driven by a passion for two things: bowling and raising money for worthy causes. Their family entertainment center regularly hosts fundraising events to support the local school system and a multitude of charity programs. And it's not like they have a hard time getting people to come out; their all-ages league and open candlepin bowling virtually assure a steady stream of bowlers coming out to rack up strikes and spares. Throughout the day and into the night, bowling balls rocket down the alley's 16 lanes. Meanwhile, two pool tables and a video arcade offer even more ways to engage in friendly competition or settle decades-old clan disputes.
With its lofty ceilings, slate floors, natural wood beams, and floor-to-ceiling windows that give sunlight some rare exposure to high culture, the building that houses the Fuller Craft Museum is itself a work of art. The 21,000-square-foot structure is surrounded by a 22-acre campus, which is itself surrounded by some 700 acres of woodland. It's a place to easily lose an afternoon in exploration and contemplation.
Across this wide-open space, creativity flows naturally. Exhibitions, galleries, and workshops showcase the mesmerizing craftsmanship of woodworking, sculpture, bookmaking, and many other forms, exploring the materials, techniques, and expression poured into each piece. Interactive attractions draw visitors deeper into the creative process. Letterboxing, for instance, challenges them to search the property for hidden treasures by following clues instead of just lazily asking a neighborhood pirate.
Though Westgate Lanes has been open for more than half a century, you'd never know it from just looking at the Brockton institution, which benefited from a pre-Millennium face-lift in 1999. Today, all 62 lanes feature automatic scoring, new furniture, and modern lighting, which casts a celestial aura during prize-packed cosmic bowling on Saturday nights. Open 365 days a year, the facility swings open its doors to challenge sphere-flinging friends, leagues, and parties with frames of tenpin or candlepin, a variation of bowling that uses smaller balls and requires more concentration than teaching a mechanical bull long division. High-definition TVs orbit the center's 13 billiards tables, and, between competitive rounds, players can refuel fatigued fingers at Harry's Pub and Grill.
While lanes are available seven days a week at Timber Lanes, on Sunday mornings as well Friday evenings, 24 candlepin lanes glow under the colorful hues of cosmic lights. Subwoofers pulsate with popular music, and video screens display music videos that play in sync with the rhythm, causing pins to burst out into spontaneous break dancing. And when the alley's not hopping with cosmic excitement, it hosts leagues for children and adults and enchants bowlers of all ages with the classic melodies that swim through the air during moonlight oldies sessions on Saturday nights.
In 1958, Ryan Family Amusements founder James A. Ryan opened a simple, eight-lane bowling alley, planting the foundation for a slew of entertainment centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At 10 locations, visitors enjoy a variety of arcade and skill games in addition to traditional candlepin, tenpin, or duckpin bowling. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 9 p.m. until midnight, bowling lanes take on an incandescent glow, allowing bowlers to experience futuristic entertainment without the inconvenience of rising jetpack-fuel prices. Bumper bowling is available for younger players, and an onsite concession stand refreshes responsible adults with glasses of beer and wine.
The trainers at Hidden Hollow Farm and Stables help students of all ages and backgrounds build horsemanship skills and confidence on a safe 18-acre farm. Denise and Amy each bring more than 15 years of experience to the equine education of guests, and Amy has helped riders to national competitions. In addition to personal instruction in private lessons, the farm also offers progressive learning in an eight-week introductory program, summer enrichment during a riding camp, and elevated cake fights during a horseback birthday party. The stables house 20 horses and ponies, all of which are ridable year-round.