Chris Congdon always wanted to own his own driving range. But before he could do that, had to take care of a few things on the course, first. After turning pro in 1993, Congdon went on to win numerous tournaments, including the 2002 Boston Open. A short while later, after a detour into the world of sales, Chris returned to his passion by purchasing the former Airport Golf in North Attleboro in 2012. Almost immediately, Chris began to make the facility all his own, beginning first by renaming it Stix Fun Center. Soon after, he completely renovated the driving range, upgraded the facility’s batting cages, and even re-carpeted the mini golf course so that families could play and trashtalk one another on an even playing field. As ambitious as he is accomodating, Chris also decided to add an ice cream and candy store, plus an on-site pro shop so that players can score the latest gear.
It started in 1981 as "The Newport Film Society," and by 1983, it had become the area's very first international film festival. Today, the tradition continues under the moniker of Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival. Despite the change in name and audiences' evolving tastes in popcorn, the event's mission remains constant: to showcase features, documentaries, and shorts by independent filmmakers from across the globe. Ranked as one of the top 10 short film festivals and top 10 international film festivals in Chris Gore's The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, RIIFF is also among the few such events recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to qualify short films for Oscar gold.
As the sun begins to dip below the skyline, the Providence River’s surface flares up, tinged with its flickering glow. In the hazy sunset light, a gondola emerges cutting through the still water’s surface, though it’s just as easy to hear as it is to see; as it glides down the river, the boat wafts strains of song from its live accordion accompanist. Led by owner Marcello, La Gondola’s group of gondoliers row with the mission to only furnish passengers with romantic sojourns and to celebrate the riverfront and the city’s Italian ties. Each of his Venice-built gondolas gleams with intricately wrought ornaments and solid brass trim, and at 36 feet, they comfortably hold a gondolier, guests, an accompanying musician, and the occasional hitchhiking tugboat captain.Each gondola trip his company takes gets Marcello’s custom touch, as he tailors every trip to passengers’ desires. “No matter who you are,” he says, “we strive to make you feel like the queen and king of the river.” In agreement with many other residents, Marcello considers Waterplace Park a city hub: “If the park is the heart of the city, the river is the lifeblood,” he says. He hopes the rebirth of the local riverfront parallels a local renaissance for gondoliering as well, which inspired him to plan the inaugural Gondolympics in May.
Guests exercise their bodies and minds at Fore Court Racquet & Fitness Club , where tennis, volleyball, weight-lifting, and other recreational pursuits fight both boredom and inactivity. The blue carpeting of eight indoor courts lies under the tennis arena's vaulted ceiling that echoes the wallops and whacks of each serve, volley, and backhand. During clinics and lessons, beginners learn basic mechanics, court placement, and racket grips, and more advanced players compete in leagues that demand the skill and strategy of playing Risk on trampolines.Fore Court’s 10,000-square foot fitness center invigorates mind and matter ready for a break from prowling the baseline. Each week, 50 group fitness classes whip bodies into shape with Zumba's dance cardio programs, yoga's relaxing postures and poses, and spinning's stationary treks through a music-filled studio. An onsite babysitter frees parents to pursue these activities without having to hire a teenager or a guard baboon to babysit their children.
Since 1954, Meadowbrook Lanes has encouraged visitors to don appropriate footwear and participate in duckpin-style bowling, which employs smaller balls to decimate pintsize pins. The leisure-sport emporium maintains a vintage aesthetic with wood paneling and purple and teal gutters. After pummeling 10 pins, bowlers can unwind in a lounge replete with cold beer and flat-screen TVs or explore the edible possibilities of the alley's snack bar, Bishop's Grill, which fills stomach vacancies with pizza, calzones, and grinders. Meadowbrook Lanes also hosts parties, providing revelers with tables, chairs, and streamers made of low-hanging cirrus clouds.
Fitness trainer Paul Dexter knows that actions speak louder than words. That’s why the former Bally’s Total Fitness director became nationally ranked as a natural bodybuilder, proving he had the goods to transform his body and the bodies of others. To give his clients a more personal experience, Paul left Bally’s and teamed up with his wife Laura to open Dexter Training Concepts.
Along with a team of certified trainers, Paul and Laura lead personal-training sessions that approach fitness using a three-pronged philosophy: strength training, cardio exercise, and nutrition. They put these fitness pillars into practice inside a 5,000-square-foot gym, which holds training sessions as well as yoga, Pilates, cardio-kickboxing, boot-camp, and aerobics classes. Free weights and machines occupy most of the gym floor, a juice bar fuels athletes in between sessions, and an onsite licensed massage therapist soothes aching muscles with practiced strokes and whispered sweet nothings.
As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garbs race through the Glowbash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow ten clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
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