After loading up groups into their cabins, Sports Travel and Tours’ coaches set a course for Fenway Park for an evening of AL East baseball as the Red Sox look to trounce the formidable Tampa Bay Rays and regain their crimson footing in one of the majors' most competitive divisions. Powerhouse designated hitter David Ortiz leads the BoSox’s offensive charge with more than 20 RBIs and a batting average well above .300 so far this season. Likewise, shortstop Mike Aviles has racked up more than 20 runs, making so many trips around the diamond that he always stops to water his redwood growing on the third-base line.
Partnered with a ground crew predominately made up of fellow pilots, Dick Guisto, Mike Florio, and Vinnie Melling harness their commercial-pilot expertise for each Aerostat Promotions flight. After a half-hour of balloon inflation and preparation, up to four guests join their pilot at sunrise or 2.5 hours before sunset for an hour-long flight that affords aerial views of the Pioneer Valley’s breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and residential homes. Meanwhile, a chase team tracks the balloon from terra firma as it traverses approximately 10 miles of sky. Once visitors and their pilot rendezvous with the team, balloons are packed into a truck or twisted into to-scale elephant balloon animals before the group shares a champagne toast and appetizers.
One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
North Ridge Mountain Guides founder Jamie Leahy first fell in love with scaling peaks while tackling the heights of Mount Washington. The Professional Climbing Instructors' Association–certified guru has since defied gravity on inclines of ice and rock around the United States and in Ecuador, summiting peaks of more than 19,000 feet to touch the sky and harvest his crops of clouds by following a simple philosophy: climb hard, climb safe. This mantra guides his approach to teaching the ins and outs of belaying and rappelling and steers the expeditions he leads up the less-traveled routes of Mount Monadnock. He also shares the art of ice climbing with pupils during introductory courses that delve into subjects such as crampon placement, swinging an ice axe, and how to read the ice, which often obscures its messages in Wingdings fonts.
At Fini’s Plant Farm, children and families can enjoy a Halloween-themed daytime party and more adventuresome souls can undertake a nighttime haunted hayride. Beginning at 7 p.m., explorers embark on a 20–30 minute covered hayride through the expanses of Deadman Woods, then wander through a haunted house that some say still echoes with the mournful cries of frozen wontons forgotten in the oven.
Bella Via's licensed pilots maneuver their brightly colored craft through the sky as intimate groups of up to four passengers take in sweeping views of the countryside. The vessel swoops into natural beauty and dips close to the verdant treetops, granting aeronauts newfound views of the canopy and allowing them to eavesdrop on tree-house board meetings. Guests may skim across the mirrored surface of a lake or soar up to 2,000 feet above the earth to tamper with the clouds and embarrass rival meteorologists. Passengers can assist with the setup of balloons prior to takeoff, and a dedicated crew follows the vessel to its landing site to toast disembarking balloonists with an effervescent glass of bubbly and return them to their jealous automobiles.