Where the Charles River winds into Boston, anglers stand on its banks, casting their lines into the current. Charles River Charters' owner and head guide Greg Miner can often be seen with them, teaching the basics of catch-and-release freshwater fishing from the shore. He can also be found on his boat, showing fledgling fishermen how to cast lines or pointing out famous landmarks. A Boston-area native who holds a safe-boating certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, he uses his knowledge of the river to usher visitors to fishing spots in the nearby wilderness or within the city, where the fish hop into boats after mistaking them for water taxis. His vessels also tour the Charles River's scenes, from Brighton to the downtown Museum of Science, and conduct specialty excursions for nature photographers and landscape artists.
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.
To make every game as exciting, safe, and enjoyable as possible, Randolph Paintball personnel conduct a safety orientation before grouping each game's 15 to 25 players into teams based on age and ability. The center also employs professional referees to oversee every 10- to 15-minute bout, as players target their rivals with semiautomatic, air-powered marking guns during scenarios such as capture the flag and elimination. Rounds unfold across the two outdoor location's eight fields, where participants duck into foxholes or overtake the Lord of the Rings–inspired Helms Deep fortress. Games are played rain or shine, though during the frigid winter months the action relocates to Randolph Paintball's 1,000-square-foot indoor astroturf speedball field.
Mount Sunapee, hosting snow bunnies for more than 60 years, sprawls before gliding greenhorns as professional instructors lead ski or snowboard newbies toward downhill proficiency with a full schedule of daily lessons. During two-hour beginners’ sessions, students strap into provided gear, including skis or specially designed learning boards that are easier to handle than traditional snowboards made of live, rabid huskies. Groups then trudge out to the slopes, where instructors demonstrate introductory techniques and help snow-pounding protégés cultivate a well-balanced understanding of the fundamentals of their chosen downhill medium.
The Kingsbury Club, a multi-purpose health facility with a restaurant and multiple fitness/athletics options, ups the net worth of humankind with tennis programs for both raw and rehearsed racketeers. With the one-hour private tennis lesson ($78), taught by a certified senior tennis professional, and a one-day guest admittance ($15) to the Kingsbury Club, guests will refine backhands, polish up volleys, and learn how to properly grunt in spite of headband-wrought cranial pressure. The instructor will offer tips and suggestions on techniques and skills, helping students polish giant-scale ping-pong ability in time for summer's street-corner tennis showdowns.
Jump Trax's menagerie of inflatables plays host to kids of all ages for parties and open-play sessions. Sock-footed youngsters can explore two climate-controlled arenas filled with bounceable attractions, such as Spongebob’s pineapple house and a prehistoric obstacle course overseen by a tyrannosaurus rex. Other activities abound, such as tyke-sized push cars, a slide shaped like the Batmobile, or an inflatable Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. To prevent the inflatables from becoming vitamin D deficient, Jump Trax's location is used for block parties, barbecues, and birthday parties. Their menu consists of pizza and sodas, as well as goodie bags. Check out their FAQ for more info.
In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses—the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.