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 system to boost brain function. Physical and cognitive exercises combine with easy-to-follow dietary changes to improve 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.
On a given afternoon, Tiny Tots Tea Room buzzes with excitement while kids swoop down slides or tame a roller coaster designed for pint-sized thrills. Inside the playground and cafe, children ages nine months to six years old gleefully frolic amid one another while indulging in open play sessions held six days a week. The space features fun for both kids and adults, who unwind in Tiny Tots cafe while sipping signature drinks, such as espresso drinks or Tiny Tots tea, and noshing on snacks including wraps, housemade desserts, and plenty of gluten-, dairy-, and peanut-free dishes. In addition to promoting open play sessions, the space hosts birthday events with all-inclusive theme parties such as Princess, Rock-star Diva, Ohh La La Spa, and Playroom Parties on the weekends.
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, they offer a preschool program for children two–six years old. The center also hosts camps and attentive instructors lead kid-friendly classes in art, music, and cooking.