In 1973, Mike Farny had a vision: to bring affordable outdoor recreation to the residents of metropolitan Boston. Opening the Charles River Canoe Service that year, Farny became an instrumental voice in efforts to clean up the river, encouraging people to canoe, kayak, and sweep up the dirt on the riverbanks. The next year, he persuaded the Leo J. Martin Golf Course to transform its greens and fairways into a sprawling landscape for cross-country skiing alongside the Charles, allowing the public to enjoy recreation on the river even when its waters had frozen. A 15-kilometer system of trails makes use of natural snowfall and offers skiers a chance to change up their routes. Even when flakes refuse to fall, a state-of-the-art artificial-snow system shoots powder over a 2.5-kilometer loop, which rests beneath lights to allow night skiing before guests return to the cozy snack shop for hot cocoa and a bite to eat.
Established in 1858, the Boston Fencing Club stands today as one of the nation's oldest fencing clubs. The club perpetuates a winning tradition that attracts national fencing champions, NCAA collegiate fencers, and a horde of happy sword hobbyists. With five-time fencing Olympian Michael Marx directing, the club's time-tested fencing program services swordsmen of all skill levels, from 6-year-old beginners to professional marshmallow hunters. In class, adult and youth students learn the basics of the sport while wrapping their mitt around all three fencing weapons: the foil, the sabre, and the épée.
Overhead lights are illuminated as the sun dips lower on the horizon, casting a glow across duos engaged in baseline rallies that echo across Weston Racquet Club’s eight outdoor courts. Every day, the club’s staffers set up meetings like this between players of similar abilities—staff unconditionally guarantees a suitable partner for individuals any time they are looking for a match. Carefully selected pairs then take to indoor or outdoor courts, which feature cushiony surfaces ideal for players with tender knees or cowardly socks. Members can continue to hone their skills during one of the 30 complimentary tennis clinics offered per week.
Housed inside a restored country mansion originally built in 1858, the clubhouse winds back the clock with an art-deco-inspired interior reminiscent of a 1930s tennis club. After a day on the courts, guests can unwind in the 45,000-gallon heated pool or soothe their aching tennis ear in the hot tub. Weston Racquet Clubs’ 40-Love Café aids in refueling by serving a menu of sandwiches, salads, and tapas.
Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts began as a high school. Built in 1929, the town's first steel-beamed building was filled with bright young minds for more than half a century. But when the school outgrew its building, it moved, and set the stage for for the structure's second life. Emerson Umbrella's group of founding volunteers created a community-arts center that saved the building from demolition while also sticking to its original spirit, ensuring it be used for education. Today, owned by the town and managed by Emerson Umbrella, the center hosts studio space for more than 50 artists, workshops and classes for kids and grown-ups, a performance space for arts events of all disciplines, and just as many standardized biology tests.
Boston Pilates Plus's high-intensity fitness classes, designed by fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, combine the traditional principles of Pilates with strength and cardio training to help students of all abilities sculpt toned physiques. On the brightly lit studio's gleaming wood floors, students buff up their bods on Megaformer machines, which target the upper and lower body using a system of springs, pulleys, and a strategically out-of-reach donut dangling on a fishing line. Students tone their muscles as joints and connective tissue breathe easy in the fat-burning, low-impact classes. For a more cardio-centric routine, try the barre blast class, which guides students through a low-impact workout that blends cardio, barre stretches, and strength training. Boot camps similarly focus on cardio, meeting twice a week for four weeks to romp through 30 minutes of intense exercise.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
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