Whether the Bruins were hoisting the Stanley Cup or the Celtics were cutting down the nets at the Garden, people across the world knew one thing: Boston meant the big leagues. Gus Agiortis knew this too—alighting in Edmonton in 1964 after emigrating from his native Greece, he named his restaurant Boston Pizza and Spaghetti House to prove that his Italian flavors could play with the professionals. And play they did, cementing pizza’s status as a favorite in western Canada and helping the restaurant expand to dozens of locations. Current owners Jim Treliving and George Melville were among the people swept up by Gus’s recipes. After starting out as franchise owners, they purchased the chain in 1983. Whether getting their signature pies prominent placement at Vancouver’s Expo ’86 or expanding their empire to the United States, they’ve kept their sights set on big-league taste without sacrificing the quality ingredients or hypnotism training that made Gus’s food so irresistible to begin with.Served in more than 18 varieties, gourmet pizza still anchors the menu today, with pie creations ranging from the spicy Flying Buffalo to the Extreme Mushroom, which pairs flatbread with portobello, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms topped with mushroom pesto and parmesan bread crumbs. Chefs craft each crust by hand, layering it with Boston's special-recipe pizza sauce that they make in-house. On the non-pizza front, they’ve expanded past Gus’s spaghetti-topped beginnings, infusing the menu with southern-tinged favorites ranging from pulled pork and baby-back ribs to roast beef au jus and jambalaya fettuccini. They also stay health-conscious with their Healthy Hits menu, dishing out sensible portions of entrees such as the shrimp Diablo pasta that have less than 650 calories and 15 grams of fat.
Summit Climbing Gym sprawls across 10,000 square feet lined with towering structures for boundless bouldering and rope climbing along with its own onsite yoga studio. Manmade walls adorned with brightly colored handholds emerge from the ground, daring aspiring climbers to decode their paths. Fingertips dipped in rock chalk learn to cling to the hardened monoliths with firm grace, keeping on the lookout for the single book spine that triggers access to a revolving door and secret chocolate fountain. Guests can gab with experts about form and new-equipment purchases at the climb shop, or take a breather on a comfy couch to rest, reflect on a new route, or admire their brand-new Popeye forearms.
In addition to its scaling structures, Summit Climbing Gym hosts yoga classes in an on-site studio to boost climbing flexibility. Here, guests choose from a variety of formats, including CoreFusion, Slow Flow, Power Yoga, and Yin Yoga, a pose-intensive class that helps range of motion and strengthen connective tissues.
Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
Polar Ice House beckons ice-caperers aged 3 and older onto its slippery stage, where they can hone figure-skating and hockey skills or simply twiddle their blades during daily open-skate sessions. Beginners' skating courses include an all-ages Learn to Skate program and a Parent-Tot class that re-creates the gliding experience of moonwalking on an air-hockey table. The rink also hosts whirling laser-light shows that captivate the eyes of skaters on Friday and Saturday night, as well as private events such as birthday parties or broomball tournaments.
Grapevine Opry's family-friendly confines have played host to high-profile performers and up-and-comers alike, specializing in classic country tunes. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted), leaving arts aficionados plenty of time to finish work, find a babysitter, or watch a kitten mature into a cat. "Country Music Showcase" nights on June 4, June 25, July 23, August 13, and August 27 round up adroit chanteuses for a night of grassroots all-American jams. "The Redneck Chronicles" on June 11 promises to focus on tales from a farm, relaying stories that rarely appear in mainstream magazines or fortune cookies. On July 16, Grapevine Opry dedicates a night to the music of country legend Patsy Cline, and on August 20, musicians pay tribute to the similarly smashing George Strait. The Opry boasts an intimate first-come, first-served seating arrangement and a handsome stage to captivate country-loving minds.