A crack rings out from the jousting arena as armored knights clash in the pursuit of honor, while sword-swallowers thrill crowds with their death-defying art, jesters spin windy jokes, and townspeople in 15th-century garb roam the grounds tearing into turkey legs with their teeth. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire hosts these medieval-theme blowouts every year, including the Robin Hood Spring Festival and King Arthur’s Fall Harvest Faire. Under the themed umbrella of each gathering, actors caper about a constructed medieval village, engaging in Old English–flavored conversation and clapping games with fair-goers. In a tented marketplace, vendors sell beaded crafts, art, and tyrannical-king repellent alongside stands serving mead, beer, and other satisfying sundries. Although the shows and events vary at each fair, past spectacles have included archery displays, pub sing-alongs, and costume parades.
Bikram Yoga New Haven's 90-minute classes keep tendons lean and taut by taking participants through 26 poses of muscle-melting concentration and two breathing exercises, all performed in room set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. With the thermostat cranked to a warm, humid, and detoxifying temperature, students narrow their focus to sweat out their toxins and forge new, flexible frontiers while maintaining rhythmic, deep relaxation breathing. Aside from empowering the mind, muscles, and soul, Bikram classes provide proven benefits, such as assisting in injury recovery, speeding tissue regeneration, and granting the power of wingless flight. First timers will benefit from coming with an empty stomach, plenty of water, and two towels, but yoga-mat rentals at every session mean clients don’t have to worry about forgetting theirs at home or weaving one out of packing peanuts (free for first class; additional fee for mat rental applies for following classes). Over 25 classes on the weekly schedule allow for flexibility that goes beyond bendy thigh muscles.
The staff at Artistic Healings believe in the transformative power of art. To them, art is not about a finished product that adorns a wall or hides a secret passage: it's a process, a way to relieve stress and anxiety in order to live a more relaxed lifestyle. Their classes introduce children and adults to a variety of creative outlets, from fingerpainting to scrapbooking, as well as guided meditation and other stress-busting techniques.
At The Fairways Driving Range, players can practice all the skills they need to excel on the course. Golfers can take aim at grass target greens at a range with grass tees as well as covered mat hitting areas. A greenside sand trap lets golfers hone their scrambling skills, and a 4,000 square-foot, bent-grass practice green provides a slick surface for golfers to work on their touch with the putter. The practice facility also lets players demo a number of training aids to perfect their form.
Colorful knobs and grips jut out from City Climb's angular white walls, guiding climbers of all experience levels along routes designed by USAC-certified setters. These vertical treks are made safe by ropes, which are looped into climbers' harnesses and held below by belayers. No harness is necessary to clamber along the curves of a bouldering cave, however—or while army crawling the entire length of the floor. Students can bring their own equipment or rent climbing shoes, harnesses, and chalk bags at the gym.