Activities in Northampton

Select Local Merchants

The proprietor and chief guide behind Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, Marla BB, invites patrons to hitch their dreams of adventure onto the backs of her alaskan huskies for mushing, skijoring, and outdoor excursions in the Berkshires. Her hallmark attraction is mushing through both snowy hills and on dryland tracks—a unique offering for the region that has earned her attention from media outlets such as Mushing magazine and Animal Planet.

The skijoring and sled-dog school teaches novices how to captain a team of dogs either in a sled or on skis, which can give them give them a way to skip long ski-resort lift lines. Marla also leads day excursions through DAR State Forest, Chesterfield Gorge and Westfield River, and the Deerfield River Watershed, keeping bikers, hikers, kayakers, and bird watchers safe as she is a certified wilderness first responder and an expert in swift-water safety and rescue.

97 Fairgrounds Road
Cummington,
MA
US

At each bowling center, balls hurtle down smooth, polished lanes as LCD screens keep track of scores and shimmering party lights illuminate the faces of determined bowlers. After lacing up some slide-enabling shoes and clearing the gutters of deciduous pins, bowlers set their sights on toppling 10-pin clusters. Carpets bedecked with psychedelic swirls lead to shelves stocked with neon-colored balls, which proffer their pin-busting talents to bowlers of various sizes. Fingers can warm up by mashing buttons in an arcade full of entrancing video games or bench-pressing french fries at the onsite grill and pub.

525 Pleasant Street
Northampton,
MA
US

For two decades, New Century Theatre has provoked thoughtful postshow discussions with a mix of new works and fresh renditions of familiar classics. "Distracted," a new play by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Lisa Loomer, follows the parents, teachers, and doctors of a rambunctious 9-year-old boy as they try to determine whether he has ADHD. By turns hilarious and poignant, the action unfolds within Smith College's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, a performance hall built in 1964 and recently renovated to add modern comforts and chase Banquo's ghost from the wings.

1 Green St
Northampton,
MA
US

Martial Arts Belts: Working Your Way Up the Rainbow

Brand-new martial arts students begin with the blank slate of white belt. Learn where they go from there with Groupon?s look at martial arts belts.

There?s an old story about the evolution of the system of colored martial-arts belts: donning fresh white belts at first, trainees would let them darken over time with sweat and dirt, until, after years of increasing mastery, they turned almost black. If it sounds like a story that's too good to believe, it almost certainly is. Although the belt system is conceivably an ancient tradition handed down from sensei to sensei, its origins can be readily traced to the early 20th century. That?s when Dr. Jigoro Kano was developing a new form of physical education for Japanese public school students: judo, a safer version of the jujitsu fighting style. Facing an influx of new students, he devised a hierarchy of colored belts to illustrate their progress at a glance rather than having to ask each one to fight him every day.

How quickly athletes move up the ladder will depend on the teacher, the dojo, and the style, in addition to their skills. They may advance by taking a formal exam with practical, oral, and written sections; they may be asked to spar with students in the next level to prove their readiness; or they may be awarded a different color belt because the old one clashes with their eyes. And in any discipline, tying on a black belt doesn?t mean you?ve made it. Instead, one might think of it as being inducted into an advanced training program. In karate, for instance, there are 10 grades of black belts, some of which require up to 10 years of study to attain.

47 Market Street
Northampton,
MA
US

Wrapping up its third season, Out! For Reel holds monthly screenings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender films from around the world. The first celluloid feature of the evening is eCupid, a romantic comedy that follows a newly single gay man as he searches for true love on the Internet and finds more than he bargained for. Or choose to view A Marine Story, an award-winning drama about a female soldier who is discharged from the military when she is discovered to be a lesbian and finds renewed purpose in training a teen for boot camp. The feature is preceded by Chained!, a short film about wallet chains and their centuries-long feud with metal detectors, by Betsy Kalin, who will be present at the screening.

274 Main Street
Northampton,
MA
US

Combining up-to-date teaching techniques with the age-old customs of martial arts, Northampton Karate offers students of all ages a focus on Okinawan Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu style karate for improving health, fitness, and confidence in a friendly atmosphere. Experienced instructors guide their apprentices on board breaking and beard-accumulating journeys to enhanced athletic performance and disciplined behavior. Tiny fighters can take their first roundhouse kicks with Northampton’s kids' classes (ages 5 to 11) and youth program (ages 12 to 15), and adults can bridge the generation gap through well-placed jabs with their respective classes. Check out the schedule to determine which class best fits the color of your karate girdle.

320 Riverside Dr
Florence,
MA
US