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.
Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures' aqueous instructors equip riders with the building blocks for surfing success with comprehensive courses and hands-on demonstrations. During the two-hour intro-to-standup-paddleboarding class, certified instructors help small classes of students brush up on body-boating basics atop the calm, protected waterways of the Westport River. Armed with top-of-the-line equipment, including boards, paddles, and masks shaped like each rider's favorite waterfowl, students learn how to keep their balance, paddle properly, and navigate eddying currents safely and quickly. Osprey's intro lessons shove off at high tide every Saturday and are calibrated to all levels of surfing experience. In the event of days marred by inclement weather or Loch Ness Monster impersonators, lessons may be rescheduled for cleared conditions.
The Coastal Wine Trail draws together a variety of coastal producers, whose vines speckle hillsides along the southern coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut: Truro Vineyards, Travessia Winery, Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Winery, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard, Greenvale Vineyards, Newport Vineyards, Langworthy Farm Winery, and Stonington Vineyards. A passport grants visitors passage for 2 to 10 wineries, where they may learn about and perhaps purchase each producer's favored libations—mostly whites and sparkling wines but a few reds—which are characterized by their growing proximity to the coastline and the dual-climatic influences of Gulf Stream waters and the screams of passing water-skiers.
An idyllic farm nestled along the Westport River 5 miles from Horseneck Beach, Driftway Meadows carefully sows and harvests show horses and riders. The facility, which has racked up a great reputation in the Morgan horse-show scene, staffs experienced, state-licensed instructors who are fluent in hunt seat, saddle seat, and dressage. During a pair of private lessons, riders yearning to become one with their mounts can climb aboard a merry school horse and enjoy some pretend jousting while appreciating the stable's abundant greenery and bucolic atmosphere.
The art lessons hosted by uPaint Events are more like parties than classes. The mobile studio sets up shop in local cafes and bars, supplying easels, paints, aprons, brushes, and blank canvases for attendees. Friendly teachers provide step-by-step instructions to help participants paint their own colorful works of art. Of-age artists are welcome to purchase and sip adult beverages, provided they avoid dipping their brushes into their wine glasses.
Rhode Island Bartending School prepares its students for real-world employment by giving them the practical skills they will need on both sides of the bar. During the 28-hour training courses, the instructors combine short lectures with plenty of hands-on practice during classes with no more than 20 students. Attendees learn to create 50 popular cocktails using the fully stocked practice bar's assortment of simulated spirits and imaginary ice cubes. Additionally, these courses cover day-to-day skills, such as bar management, inventory control, customer-service techniques, and a thorough understanding of different types of beer, liquors, and wines.