Fun Time Lanes sends patrons back in time for candlestick bowling sessions that predate traditional tenpin rounds. After fitting feet into rental shoes, participants launch 3- to 6-pound balls down one of 20 polished lanes toward huddled masses of slim pins. Automatic scoring, ball returns, and cash prizes to pins that fall the fastest keep frames moving swiftly along. Glow bowl sessions awash vintage orbs and lanes in radiant neon hues every Saturday night during atomic bowl. During breaks, customers can stop fantasizing about marinating a duckpin and instead recharge at Fun Time Lanes' snack bar with bites of burgers, hot dogs, or chicken tenders.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame remembers and honors exceptional players, coaches, and leading members of the volleyball community through a collection of memorabilia and displays. Within walls insulated entirely with discarded volleyball nets, the hall inducts honorees from all over the globe, championing individuals who have significantly impacted the game of volleyball throughout its worldwide, more than 100-year history. The hall appropriately makes its home in Holyoke, where William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical-education director, invented the game in 1895. Morgan was the sole individual honored at the first induction ceremony in 1985, and the hall has been recognizing important volleyballers and self-aware volleyballs at its annual induction ceremony ever since.
Under the direction of Rose and Charles Flachs, who have choreographed more than 50 ballets and danced the lead parts in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and more, the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet sends dancing students twirling toward a mastery of graceful pirouettes and elegant grand jetés. Expert instructors lead students through classes founded on the world-class techniques of the Russian syllabus, encouraging artistry and creativity while students hone essential techniques. With a spacious, contemporary studio, the academy brandishes sprung floors for soft landings and for comfortably performing the post-modern "napping" position. Go online to check out the class schedule.
Many a 19th-century summer day, William Skinner would wipe his brow with a silk handkerchief and breathe in the sweet scent of wisteria vines. His wife, Sarah, had trained the vines to grow alongside their sprawling home, which he had built in 1874 with the profits from his silk-manufacturing business. He named it Wistariahurst in honor of his wife’s prized vines, which continued to grow even after the stately home passed down to the next generation of the Skinner family and, in 1959, to the city of Holyoke.
The wisteria vines have not stood the test of time alone. The home's elaborate woodwork, original leather wall coverings, and elegant columns have also remained intact. Every week, the docents at Wistariahurst Museum lead tours across the historical estate, elaborating on the Skinner family's history and showcasing collections of architectural prints and silk textiles from the family's manufacturing business. In addition to tours, staff members regularly offer workshops that teach Girl Scouts about such Victorian-era pastimes as knitting and playing parlor games with the ghosts in the attic.
In the warmer months, Wistariahurst’s immaculately manicured gardens play host to a wide variety of events. Concerts and lectures remain open to the public, and private rentals allow guests to hold weddings or play ill-advised games of hide-and-seek in the minotaur labyrinth.
As host to league battles between both the American Poolplayers Association (APA) and the North American Poolshooters Association (NAPA), Ivory Billiards Lounge takes its playing conditions very seriously, and has since 1945. Professional standard Simonis cloth covers keep balls rolling to their intended trajectory, and meticulous leveling ensures fair gameplay. Casual players learning the ropes or a reincarnated Minnesota Fats can rack 'em up on their expansive selection of pool pulpits, including 10 7-foot tables, nine 9-footers, and a rare 5'x10' table that was smuggled down a beanstalk. Gambling fans can get their kicks on Keno and Mass Lottery games, while of-age adults savor more than 30 flavors of vodka and a quintet of draft beers. Ivory Billiards Lounge is open seven days a week, and keeps night owls entertained until 2 a.m. every evening.