Strike One Sports Complex is a 40,000-square-foot indoor sports facility, housing two artificial turf fields, eight batting cages, and a 40-game video arcade on its three levels. The center's all-sports day pass ($40 per pass) gives kids ages seven to 12 the opportunity to experience a smorgasbord of sports and games in a single day. The all-sports day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.—in between, participants will experience a Bo Jackson's résumé's worth of athletics. Let your daughter play soccer to the tune of his inner vuvuzela, or allow your son to half-embrace his inner linebacker during touch football. Other sports and games include ping-pong, whiffle ball, kick ball, dodge ball, baseball, video games, Frisbee, and batting cage access. Lunch and breaks are taken in Strike One's game room, containing a snack bar and kids' movies, such as The 400 Blows and F for Fake, playing on TVs.
At Pro-Fitness Plus, a professional staff of trainers and nutritionists help clients of all ages and fitness levels achieve their desired results, whether they’re looking to tone up, stay healthy, or slim down. Members can take advantage of more than 350 pieces of equipment ranging from 110-pound dumbbells to recumbent bikes, treadmills, and cross-trainers. The 46,000-square-foot space also features a full outdoor basketball court, 50-inch plasma TVs, and locker rooms equipped with saunas for steaming healthy bowls of broccoli.
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.
Paramotor Tours sends adventurers skyward on the wings of motor-powered paragliders. Nationally certified pilots adhere strictly to FAA safety regulations as they strap in for tandem flights, lifting thrill seekers to heights of up to 8,000 feet. To help ensure smooth takeoffs and landings, each glider boasts several safety features, including reserve parachutes, GPS navigation, and a pause button. Adventurers who wish to pilot their own glider can sign up for a solo-flying course, available on select days.
Foote Brothers Canoe and Kayak outfits canoers with the paddle-driven vessels they need to power across the surface of the Ipswich River, charting a downstream course through a wildlife sanctuary and the majestic Wenham wetlands. After a shuttle bus drops them off at Salem Road in Topsfield, up to four adventurers strap on lifejackets and step into a sturdy 15- or 17-foot Grumman canoe to commence their waterborne odyssey. Paddlers adjust to the natural rhythms of the wetlands surrounding them, lifting their oars in musical unison with the warbling birds and beat-boxing brown trout that populate the river’s forested wildlife sanctuary.
Owners Brian and Teena Veth call on their skills as former gymnasts and cheerleaders as well as current parents to safely introduce kids to the world of gymnastics and circus arts. Their energetic instructors help children to learn social and listening skills while teaching them coordination, strength, and flexibility. Instructors encourage students to move at their own pace while bouncing atop trampolines, deftly crossing balance beams, and somersaulting across cushy floor mats. Parents look on from an open seating area, offering words of encouragement or quotes on spiritual balance from Confucius.
Fall, winter, and spring classes are organized by age group and often feature seasonally themed lesson plans. In addition to summer camps, where kids stay busy with creative games and activities, the center also hosts birthday parties and special events.
An FAA-approved helicopter-flight tour operator, North Andover Flight Academy employs five licensed instructors with combined flight and teaching experience that numbers in the thousands of hours. Fledgling aviators can begin their aeronautical journeys at Lawrence and Marlboro Airports, which serve as home bases for services that range from tours and photography flights to full pilot-certification courses and agricultural applications. The team commands a fleet of six Robinson helicopters, including one R44 and five R22s, and keeps Robinson factory-trained mechanics on staff to ensure their safe operation and to ice down their blades after particularly vigorous training flights.