You might say Nu Cafe is leading a double life. During the day, it's a classic neighborhood hangout, serving up simple, fresh wraps and sandwiches alongside a variety of smoothies and juices and espresso and coffee drinks. By night, it transforms into a hipper, slightly more sophisticated version of itself, a place where guests can come to mingle, not over their laptops, but around shared tapas plates, cured meat and cheese boards, and a selection of wine and craft beers. But regardless of the time of day, a few things remain the same: the vibe is always laid-back and friendly, the food is always crafted using fresh, wholesome ingredients, and the Wi-Fi is always free. And, adding to the community-oriented vibe, the cafes also host regular recurring events, including live piano players, painting parties, and chess groups.
After a lifetime of loving baking, founder Heather O'Toole's focus on the flour-based art form really flourished after meeting her husband. The two spent countless hours each holiday season in the kitchen baking for friends and perfecting her cupcake recipes, such as her chocolate chip cookie dough-stuffed chocolate cupcakes. With those friends' encouragements voiced through satisfied sweet teeth, she started My Sweet Escape Treats, making her triple sea salt caramel and strawberry basil cupcakes available to anyone within Worcester County. She puts personal touches on all made-to-order sweets, making googly-eyed spider and pumpkin cupcakes for Halloween. Then she and her team follow up those touches by hand-delivering them, instead of smushing them into thin cakepaper by shipping through the mail, to ensure freshness.
The Give Me Five pass grants access to five of any of the following activities: Kimball Farm's 300-yard driving range, nine-hole pitch-and-putt course, and batting cages will help golfers and batters adjust squeaky swings, and the Animal Adventures exhibit allows guests to interact with reptiles while discussing current events with talking birds. Give Me Fivers can also perform kinetic-energy experiments using colorful balls on the Waterfall Run or Forbidden Mine miniature-golf courses before boarding a bumper boat to faithfully recreate Star Wars on melted ice. The pass may also be used to acquire a play card (a $6 value) from the Olde Sawmill Midway Arcade.
Sweet teeth wave the sugary white flag of defeat at Richardson's Candy Kitchen, voted the Best Sweet Shop/Confectioner by the Valley Advocate in 2010. Like the tortoise, the dixie ($27.99/15 pieces) is inspired by the classic chocolate turtle, and its clandestine chocolate, nut, and caramel formula was recently lauded on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Fudge-friendly boxes can be customized with three choices from ten types of dixie, such as the dark-almond, milk-pecan, and milk-rice-crispy varieties. The sugar-free sampler ($20.99/24 pieces) offers tongues a guiltless way to enjoy chocolaty sensations, sweetened with maltitol and the powdered dreams of care bears. Any quantity of candies can be purchased within Richardson's Candy Kitchen's inviting store.
Frozen yogurt, though a sweet dessert, packs a nutritional punch with live probiotics that help regulate digestive health. Yogurt City combines this beneficial treat with a variety of tantalizing flavors, including georgia peach and pecan praline, to keep customers coming back.
Ice Cream Factory has all the markings of an old-school spot for ice-cold treats. There's the walk-up window. There's the casual picnic benches that make for the perfect summertime hangout. But most importantly, there's the food?ice-cream cones, of course, as well as hot dogs and seafood. The ice cream available varies by season, though flavors have been known to include pumpkin and strawberry. Whichever flavor you choose, you'll have the option to get it blended into a cold frappe or wrapped up in a slice of pizza.