Named Best Family Destination (Indoor) by Northshore magazine in 2010, Imajine That diverts the minds of children with a 12,000-square-foot interactive, educational playspace. Pint-size imaginations roam free in 12 Imajination stations, where miniature post offices, grocery stores, and mortgage brokers let little ones mirror their grown-up wranglers. Kids can leap and bound through the dragon bouncy house and giant Jurassic climbing structure, or color canvases at the arts and crafts station. Membership includes monthly passes for one child and two adults (a $20 value) or two children and two adults (a $30 value), which allow unlimited play throughout the month, and kids can be brought in by babysitters, family members, and other childproof adults.
SpinCity Training Studio’s team of spin instructors and personal trainers joins forces with a registered dietitian and licensed massage therapist to provide clients with a comprehensive road map to wellness. Rather than offering run-of-the-mill spin classes, trainers customize programs to address each client’s specific goals, which may include injury rehabilitation, sports training, weight loss, or muscle improvement. Prior to the workout, instructors manually adjust each cycle to the rider’s unique posture to facilitate the best possible speed, comfort, and spinal rigidity during routines that take individual fitness levels into account. They then run students through a gamut of low-impact body conditioning performed to a motivating score of music and car horns. After classes, the studio’s onsite dietitian can balance workouts with a three-day food analysis and a four-week nutrition program. The facility also lays claim to Cybex Arc Trainers, treadmills, and strength machines to round out exercise routines. An onsite locker room and shower facility sluice away post-workout perspiration, though patrons must dry off with towels brought from home.
Owners Brian and Teena Veth call on their skills as former gymnasts and cheerleaders as well as current parents to safely introduce kids to the world of gymnastics and circus arts. Their energetic instructors help children to learn social and listening skills while teaching them coordination, strength, and flexibility. Instructors encourage students to move at their own pace while bouncing atop trampolines, deftly crossing balance beams, and somersaulting across cushy floor mats. Parents look on from an open seating area, offering words of encouragement or quotes on spiritual balance from Confucius.
Fall, winter, and spring classes are organized by age group and often feature seasonally themed lesson plans. In addition to summer camps, where kids stay busy with creative games and activities, the center also hosts birthday parties and special events.
Bikram Choudhury requires a lot out of his teachers before he's willing to let them borrow his moniker. Each of Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley's instructors has completed the nine-week course required for certification with Choudhury himself, including more than 600 hours of training. Every three years, they return for another bout of training to keep their skills sharp and instruction fresh.
Instructors pack all this knowledge into Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley's 1,500-square-foot workout space, heated by a custom system designed to reach high temperatures with ease. The studio owners respect the environment with low-eco-impact carpeting, green cleaning supplies, and by frequently thanking the potted plants that guard the front door.
An FAA-approved helicopter-flight tour operator, North Andover Flight Academy employs five licensed instructors with combined flight and teaching experience that numbers in the thousands of hours. Fledgling aviators can begin their aeronautical journeys at Lawrence and Marlboro Airports, which serve as home bases for services that range from tours and photography flights to full pilot-certification courses and agricultural applications. The team commands a fleet of six Robinson helicopters, including one R44 and five R22s, and keeps Robinson factory-trained mechanics on staff to ensure their safe operation and to ice down their blades after particularly vigorous training flights.
The practiced chefs at Buono Bistro have spent the last 30 years creating a mouthwatering menu of classic Italian comfort food jazzed up with a gourmet twist. In addition to their daily specials, they craft gnocchi gorgonzola, lobster ravioli, and wild-mushroom risotto from scratch. The expansive menu also includes such nonpasta specialties as braised-lamb osso buco and veal stuffed with provolone and prosciutto.
Basking in the glow of an ornate, glittering chandelier, guests can sip a handcrafted martini or a glass of bold wine. Though the food and decor are decidedly upscale, Buono Bistro keeps it low-key, offering diners a relaxed atmosphere akin to a billionaire's treehouse.