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.
A quarter-century after its 1987 rebirth, the Grapevine Opry brings the honky-tonk atmosphere to North Texas with weekly performances by touring performers. On Saturday nights, Rocky Gribble, the venue’s master of ceremonies, introduces country performers, big bands, bluegrass musicians, and ‘50’s-style rockers, and on the fourth Friday of the month, gospel singers descend upon the art deco theater to praise from the stage. Past performers have included the likes of Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, and Miranda Lambert, but one of the biggest thrills at the Opry is seeing the country stars of tomorrow before they hit it big and start hiring robots to perform for them.
Rebecca Winters operates the BYOB painting studio Art in the Vine. In easy-to-follow classes aimed at artists young and old, Becca and her staff provide step-by-step instructions to create wall-ready paintings. Classes on Sunday - Thursday are open to children 14 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult painter during evening sessions. Children under the age of 18 cannot attend Friday or Saturday evening classes. Kidz classes are available for children ages 5 - 13 on Saturday mornings.