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.
Whether you’re a beginner horseback rider or an old hand, interested in English riding or Western equitation, or just looking to learn dressage, East Coast Equine can accommodate. With more than 20 years of experience, owner and instructor Valerie Passerini teaches how to ride horses in scenic Boxford, MA. Passerini is also trained in equine massage therapy, which relieves muscle tightness in horses after a several hours of galloping or a rough day at the stock market.
Housed within the antiquated Amos Blanchard House and Barn Museum, the Andover Historical Society preserves artifacts and archival records from Andover’s storied 350-year history. Within the more-than-100-year-old building, visitors can experience what it was like to live as a middle-class family in the early 19th century or peruse the vast library archives. The society also hosts events within the community, including the seasonal Tree Time display and lectures on the town’s history.
Chunky's Cinema Pub has been mixing the polished glimmer of modern technology with the gauzy glow of yesteryear for almost two decades. Eight screens mingle first-run blockbusters with themed throwback classics catering to children of the ’50s or ’80s. There, in the glow of the previews, is another testament to the melding of time—a contemporary dinner-and-a-movie setup brings with it the nostalgia of old-school drive-ins. Instead of traditional cinema chairs, individual cushy Lincoln Continental surround communal dinner tables, and the seats roll and recline to let guests maximize their comfort and customize their sightlines as they catch the onscreen action and pretend to be backseat drivers. At their tables, American pub snacks and entrées from the extensive menu spread out, combining movies with burgers, quesadillas, and steak tips.
While the theater blends old with new, Chunky's Bio Truck zooms into the future with a gas tank full of the 100% trans-fat-free canola oil used for cooking in the kitchen. The bio-fuel reduces the truck's greenhouse emissions and helps to decrease its carbon footprint, spreading an eco-conscious message to the community.
A stream of yellow and black buzzes by. It's not a swarm of bumblebees, but friends and family racing each other in yellow and black go-karts around Checkered Flag Indoor Karting's 23,000-square-foot speedway. Strapping on helmets and sliding in behind the wheel of 15HP electric karts, up to 10 drivers jockey for position while whipping around eight snaky turns and sling-shooting past opponents on the wide lanes along the 100-foot front stretch. The facility's electronic timing system lets speedsters check out their best lap times from each 20-lap race. Racers must be at least 54" tall or born with tires instead of feet to traverse that track, but during birthday parties kids aged 4–9 and at least 36" tall zip across the 100-foot Mini Cup track. With a snack bar slicing pizza and pouring soda and an arcade, the facility can play host to parties for older kids and adults, as well as corporate team-building events. And for kids and adults seeking serious competition, Checkered Flag organizes leagues lead by indoor karting champion, Tom Prioli.
Hunter’s Haven Farm sprawls across multiple acres of verdant farmland in Groveland, fostering a bucolic atmosphere dedicated to teaching equestrian riding techniques in lessons for riders 8 and older. The center’s two horse whisperers call upon three decades of training and riding experience to coach students in the center’s dual riding modalities, hunt seat and dressage. Hunt seat displays the horse’s prowess while running flat or jumping over small hurdles; dressage leads steeds through sequenced movements that showcase their natural impulses, whether running freely with a rider or stopping to vote “neigh” in a local election. The farm’s facilities encompass an indoor arena, cross-country fences, and a galloping track. Students can also guide their steeds around a lit outdoor ring or practice circuits around the onsite dressage ring during private or group sessions. A petting zoo lets children take guided pony rides or meet friendly goats and pigs.