One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
Believing that learning and behavioral disorders stem from improper communication between brain hemispheres, Brain Balance Centers offers a drug-free, multi-faceted program to boost brain function. Physical and cognitive exercises combine with easy-to-follow dietary changes to address social, academic and behavioral issues associated with ADHD, Asperger's, and other social and learning disorders without the use of medication. Now more than 50 Brain Balance Centers practice this Hemispheric Integration Therapy, with professional teams tailoring programs to help kids improve focus and behavior, academic performance, communication, and social skills.
Open seven days a week, the Springfield JCC Health and Fitness Center revs up bodies with a plethora of popular classes on land and in its Olympic-sized pool. Upgrade your physique with a BodyPump class, which teaches the original barbell-based full-body weightlifting regimen created by the Olympian Les Mills. Or sway your way toward lean muscle tone with a Zumba class, which fuses Latin and international rhythms to create a fat-exhausting South American fitness-and-dance party. The aquatically inclined may perform water aerobics in the pool to receive the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise without stressing tender joints. Opt for enrollment in the masters swim program, and gain access to classes for beginners, advanced swimmers, aspiring triathletes, and those who are tired of swimming in seas of ambiguity.
With three floors of interactive exhibits, Imagine Nation keeps tykes aged 2–10 and their parents engaged for hours of synapse-firing fun. Tunnels filled with natural decor await youngsters in the museum's indoor jungle-themed playscape, where they can shake excess energy out of their bounding legs in preparation for naptime or hibernation season. In the ESPN center, kids can pretend to be sportscasters as they sit behind the desk of a model TV set, replete with real equipment from the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
The museum also boasts a health exhibit in which children can don hospital attire and explore a model newborn nursery and an operation table, ideal for parents trying to nudge their child toward a career as a hypochondriac. After whippersnapper's minds have been blown learning about the cosmos at the space exhibit, they can unwind with drinks and snacks at the old-fashioned soda fountain, which winds the clock back to the 1940s with the help of a player piano.
Created by an early-childhood educator and mother, The Bright Spot entertains ankle biters with fun activities, slides, and games designed with the development, education, and interests of small children in mind. Children and parents can learn together in filial harmony during The Bright Spot's classes, which pique the interest of young minds with offerings such as Curiosity Quest for preschool- and kindergarten-age ranges, in which kids create craft projects and experiment with science concepts such as weather, gravity, and the human body's four basic humors. Puzzles, games, pintsize trampolines, and play-doh stations abound throughout The Bright Spot’s play areas, entertaining tots during 10 open-play sessions. Environmentally friendly cleaners and VOC-free wall paint help protect little ones from harm, and the spacious play area is compact enough to keep careful watch, but large enough to comfortably house kids’ swiftly expanding horizons.
With an undergraduate degree in exercise science and a master’s in nutrition, Danielle of Eagle Vision Nutrition takes healthy eating to the streets by arriving at homes and grocery stores to suggest changes that promote healthy lifestyles. In addition to focusing on the fuel that goes in, she also emphasizes the energy that goes out with personal training and individual exercise planning.
Tumbling Tykes began as a dream of owner and mother Denise Pardo, who always wanted to create a safe environment for kids to play and learn. Today, her facility buzzes with the voices of sock-clad children who clamber across its indoor and outdoor playgrounds stocked with colorful posters, interactive toys, and stimulating play structures. All of these are designed to foster creativity and self-confidence, as well as promoting physical fitness and improving motor skills. Besides birthday parties and parent-supervised open-play sessions, the center also hosts camps and attentive instructors lead kid-friendly classes in art, music, and cooking.