When Malcolm and Mandy Sim welcomed two children into the world, the veterans of both the animation and theme-park industries visited numerous indoor play centers in Los Angeles, hoping to find the one that best suited their kids. Nothing quite clicked, however, which inspired the parents to call upon their entertainment backgrounds and develop their own indoor facility. Since relocating to the Boston area, the Sims have opened Jam Time, where youngsters ages 3 months to 6 years can surmount climbing structures, leap about in a bounce house, or shop in a pretend grocery market before whipping up faux soufflés in the playhouse kitchen. Classroom sessions further engage tykes with art projects, science classes, and princess-etiquette lessons, where young ladies learn to detect whether evil witches have booby-trapped their science projects. Soft play toys engage visiting toddlers and infants, while adults surf free WiFi, sip gourmet coffee, or enjoy a treat from the organic snack bar.
Equipment: AWMA, Century, Everlast, Thaismai, Masterline
Students should bring: Loose fitting long pants, t-shirt, bottle of water
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60-90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Indoors only
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: You don't need to get ready to begin training. Just start.
Nestled within 164 acres of mature pine trees and hardwood forest, the secluded golf course at Quail Ridge Country Club surrounds visitors in natural splendor. Course architect Mark Mungeam of Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, Inc., designed the fairways to harmonize with the naturally rolling terrain, where occasional stone walls line the edges of what were once farmers’ fields. After teeing off, players choose carefully among their bag’s fairway woods, long irons, and golf-ball-sized blowguns as they confront a number-one handicap first hole whose fairway unfurls over nearly 600 uphill yards. The course doesn’t let up, keeping golfers on their toes right up to the end of each round.
Off the course, players gain the skills needed to meet such challenges by frequenting the chipping area or practice putting green. During lessons held in these practice spots, head teaching pro John Carco harnesses more than 15 years of experience to help students eliminate slice and perfect their swing. The country club’s family center hosts a snack bar where golfers can fuel up for a round, stash their belongings in lockers, or build ball-driving muscles at the fitness center.
Just a hop and a skip from the family center, the club’s 3,200-square-foot outdoor pool entices visitors of all stripes with its widely varied facilities. Athletes zip down 75-foot swim lanes, parents and kids splash in a baby pool with zero-grade entry, and sunbathers bask on more than 4,500 square feet of deck. On four adjacent tennis courts, serves rebound off of Har-Tru clay surfaces, and windscreens keep out distracting breezes and lost pool-goers murmuring "Marco?"
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 66 course * Length of 5,426 yards * Course rating of 67.9 * Slope rating of 122 * See the scorecard * See the course layout and hole details * Five tee options
A Mass Tour Card grants golfers one round of golf at each of ten Massachusetts courses. Golfers must pay the cart fee at each course, after which they can steer their electric steed through the forested charm of The Foxborough Country Club's course or over the rustic covered bridge at Maplegate Country Club. Quail Ridge Country Club's course takes golfers through scenic conservation land and stone relics of its previous life as a farm.
Bradford Country Club's difficult, par 70 layout tests putting strokes with smooth bentgrass greens, while The Stattuck course winds through the granite foothills of Mt. Monadnock. Norwood Country Club, meanwhiile, invites players to smash shots and stare down flagsticks across 6,009 yards of relatively flat terrain with medium-sized greens.
At Wah Lum Kung Fu of Concord, instructors Andrea Sheffield and Evan Hughes can't rest on their laurels. That's because their style of kung fu—which can trace its storied lineage some 350 years back to China's Shantung province—requires that instructors are recertified every three years. This special certification is done by none other than Grandmaster Pui Chan, the sixth-generation successor of the style, and the only Wah Lum master in the United States.
During classes for adults and children as young as 6, Sheffield and Hughes focus on teaching not only the Wah Lum system's technical curriculum, but also respect, discipline, and control. Students can learn these skills through games, drills, and exercises that keep their minds sharp and their bodies fit. Besides kung fu, clients can find a wealth of health-boosting programs, including two styles of tai chi and the Integrated Wellness class, which combines traditional qi gong movements with modern-day strength and conditioning drills individually modified for each participant's level of ability.
Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.