Ask the coed instructors of Streetwise Cycle School to name their favorite roads to ride, and they'll describe places that would rival the pictures in Condé Nast—New England's meandering back roads, South Dakota's arid Badlands, and Oregon's lush Cascade Mountains. Certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and upholding the training standards of the state's Motorcycle Rider Education Program, these instructors ready riders from beginner to advanced for their own open-road odysseys. Courses and private lessons in both motorcycle and scooter riding prepare riders to apply for their licenses. When they're not busy aiding current riders, Streetwise's team members also encourage new enthusiasts to explore motorcycling, arranging incentives through local dealers that include gift cards and discounts on diamond-encrusted helmets.
South Boston is the newest location opening in 2013 of Rock Spot Climbing?s multiple locations, where colorful footholds and route markers sprawl along artificial rocks create diverse climbing surfaces for every major discipline. Dozens of top-rope stations challenge climbers to scale the wall in safety, whether belayed by a human companion or hooked up to an auto-belay unit that reduces the risk of conversation. Meanwhile, others eschew ropes in order to tackle bouldering routes?low-altitude obstacles littered with arches, steep faces, and caves?and lead climbers set their own anchors as they scale the wall. The climbing courses vary for all skill levels, ranging from sheer faces with ample handholds to cliffs for expert climbers and lemmings. Cardio machines let athletes warm up or cool down between climbs, and instructors lead afterschool classes to teach kids the art of competitive climbing.
The Dancing Deer Baking Co. story begins nearly two decades ago, when three Bostonians opened up a small bakery on a busy corner. The trio christened their company after an antique shop run by one of their grandmothers supplied them with a recipe for a dark-gingerbread cake. One afternoon, a food writer from Hollywood stumbled into the shop, hoping to find directions. After tasting one of their cakes, the captivated writer brought the bakery to the attention of the media, and soon their cookies, brownies, and cakes were being lauded by magazines, newspapers, and television programs throughout the country.
Today, Dancing Deer’s boldly colorful packages ship to households across the US and line the shelves of numerous gourmet and specialty retailers. Back at the bakery, chefs continue to whip all-natural, kosher ingredients into decadent cookies, brownies, and cakes. Committed to giving back to their local communities, Dancing Deer owns and operates The Sweet Home Project, which funds direct-action programs to help underprivileged families and the occasional one-legged gingerbread man.
Gravity has no control within Sky Zone Everett's confines. Inside, a sea of trampolines sends visitors leaping, spinning, and somersaulting toward springy floors and pits of foam. The bouncy surfaces stretch to the walls, where trampolines set at 45-degree angles let kids and adults repeatedly soar through the air like a superhero trying to wrack up frequent flier miles. Occasionally, Sky Zone transforms into high-paced competitions such as 3-D dodge ball and Sky Zone the Sport, during which players toss balls through continuously rotating goals. The trampoline-lined arena also hosts SkyRobics classes that utilize low-impact calisthenics and strength-building exercises.
The instructors at EMS Schools traverse rocky, paved, and watery terrain from New England down to Virginia, imparting people with their love of the outdoors along the way. Dating back more than 40 years, the EMS Climbing School teaches pupils of all ages the tenets of climbing through introductory classes and more advanced maneuvering in self-rescue, alpine climbing, and glacier-skills classes. The watery wing of EMS's operation includes kayaking and standup-paddleboard lessons, which can help students earn certification in these water-bound endeavors, and group tours. EMS-led bike tours trace a path through the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport, as well as the powdered-sugar-topped White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Handicap Accessible: No
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Three state view from rooftop.
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: [There is an] approximately one-mile hike up Great Blue Hill to reach the observatory. Park in the lot on Route 138.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
The observatory is the oldest continuously operating weather observatory in the United States. Many observers are dedicated amateurs. This is a chance for non-scientists to participate in the development of meterology.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
We continue to use historical weather instruments, some dating to the 19th century, to observe the weather. Our record of observations is the longest in the United States.
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
All that is needed to participate in the observatory's activities is an interest in the weather. We train our staff in the methodology needed to observe weather data and record it accurately. As far as the weather is concerned, we try to eliminate the unexpected.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We try to serve the public. We are open every day of the year. The observatory is fairly small inside. You do not need a reservation to visit, but if you have a large group or want to visit outside of normal visiting hours, please call ahead. To reach the observatory park on Route 138 (by the Trailside Museum) and hike to the top of Great Blue Hill. The Red Dot trail is often used. If you are unable to hike, call ahead for permission to drive up the service road. The service road is generally not available to the public.