Perhaps as a tribute to the timeless nature of the sword, the Worcester Fencing Club began as a small class held at the Higgins Armory Museum, a collection of arms and armor from medieval Europe and beyond. There, Doug Jacobs—a United States Fencing Association–certified instructor—began imparting his knowledge to a handful of students, giving them a small taste of the age-old sport that, over the years, had become unfairly associated with bullies popping balloons in the streets. Still, many of his students wished to extend their training, and—upon a suggestion of the mother of some of his students—Doug expanded his academy in 1998, forming the Worcester Fencing Club. Today, the school continues to draw fresh blood, introducing students of all ages and experience levels to modern- and Olympic-style fencing in classes still often taught by Doug himself.
Time travel might not be possible yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn back the clocks at Harvard Bowling Lanes, an old-fashioned alley offering 14 candlepin lanes, vintage decor, and the tactile joys of paper-and-pencil scoring. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the old-school facility does a complete 180, transforming itself into a futuristic cosmic bowling alley saturated in colorful lights and music. After any cosmic or traditional bowling session, the alley invites guests to continue the competition in a vibrant onsite arcade that, unfortunately, does not feature old-timey games such as hoop-and-stick and stick-without-hoop.
Founded in 1924 as a vaudeville palace and movie house, The Strand Theatre harks back to the cinematic havens of yore with its homey auditorium space and vintage marquee. Groups enjoy recent releases and classic films while seated at tables, which grant unimpeded legroom and preclude fistfights over whose cup holder is whose. The tables are placed in a staggered and tiered arrangement that ensures every audience member has a clear sightline. The in-house restaurant shares a full-service menu of appetizers and entrees from the grill, as well as craft beer and wine, all of which can be enjoyed inside the theater.
The connection between Beth Ferruccio's and Meg Francis's work is as intuitive as the connection between body and mind. Beth, a yoga teacher of six years certified in Yogafit, teaches body-strengthening poses for students at different stages of their lives, whether they're silver foxes or moms-to-be. Meg, on the other hand, uses her sonorous voice to coax minds into relaxed meditation. Her lilting mantras help with feelings as mundane as everyday stress or as devastating as grief. Within the stone-walled haven of Breathe Wellness studio, the pair work together from opposite ends of the wellness spectrum to bring balance to lives of clients.
At the center of The Water Hazard Mini Golf's three-acre course, a 35-foot geyser erupts, knocking away incoming golf balls and sprinkling sun-baked putters with a refreshing mist. The expansive course owes many of its obstacles to the natural layout of the Holliston landscape. Flourishing bushes sit between holes and three large ponds break up the terrain while giving golfers glimpses of the sunbathing turtles and soft-shoeing frogs dotting its banks. A waterfall system nearly 500 feet in length also meanders throughout the property. Rolling hills, ridges, and a grand 120-foot slope also challenge golfers. The Water Hazard Mini Golf also features a full-service concession stand, which serves hot dogs, hamburgers, and homemade ice cream from Bliss Dairy.
A haven for exotic animals rescued from neglect or abandonment, Animal Adventures lets visitors interact with its furry and scaly refugees, teaching them firsthand to appreciate and respect the earth's diverse wildlife. Working with a rotating cast of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and marsupials, animal experts regale audiences with facts and the backstories of each animal, such as how they were rescued and which cartoon representative of their species best captures their regional accent. Though its denizens regularly find new homes, Animal Adventures's altruistic menagerie has included a massive alligator snapping turtle, a canadian lynx, and an asian water monitor. The sanctuary also offers day camps for youngsters looking to get closer with the animals, and an animal-adoption program for adults looking to support the cause by taking a critter home and putting it through college.