It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
Gravity holds no sway over visitors at Sky Zone Providence. Upon donning a pair of SkySocks, customers step onto a patented, wall-to-wall trampoline to bid the ground farewell. The bouncy surfaces stretch to the walls, where trampolines set at 45-degree angles let kids and adults repeatedly soar through the air like a superhero trying to wrack up frequent flier miles. Staff also mixes organized sports into the jumping equation by hosting games of dodgeball inside the trampoline arena.
Clusters of forts and bunkers stretch for 30 acres on the playing fields of WarZone Paintball & Airsoft. WarZone's massive layout gives players ample room to plot sneak attacks from behind barrels or lead epic charges from the trenches, across fields, or up hill-top fortresses. With a village, multiple forts, trenches and more, WarZone is suited for groups big or small.
Rhode Island Paintball & Airsoft owner George Zervas created WarZone with Jeff Stein, the founder of the professional paintball team the New England Hurricanes.
With a three-time Louisville Slugger Region 21 coach of the year and a scout for the Florida Marlins on its seven-man roster, the staff at Upper Deck Baseball Academy commands years of competitive diamond expertise. The team puts its 8,900-square-foot facility to work assisting budding baseball and softball stars with improvement of their physical, mechanical, and mental capabilities through creative, focused drills. Two Iron Mike pitching machines and two Jugs pitching machines hurl heat down the indoor batting cages, allowing players to work on bat speed and hitting to the opposite field without the awkward eye contact that comes with facing a real pitcher. Players can also have their chops recorded with video swing analysis, allowing for real-time feedback on swing mechanics.
Equipment: Cybex, Freemotion, Matrix
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: I am the owner, operator, and trainer. We are not a franchise.
Creative Fitness 24/7 prides itself on being a fully accessible neighborhood gym with top-notch equipment and supportive personal training. Patrons can breeze through its doors 24/7 and blast calories on a treadmill, tone muscles with weights, or swing across the facility's new monkey bars. They can also opt for one-on-one or small-group training or take a calorie-torching spin class, one of the most popular workouts in America, second only to bench-pressing bald eagles.
As an aerial photographer, it makes sense for Jeff Codman to pilot a Robinson R44 Raven. The viper-red aircraft affords him unlimited freedom of movement, nearly 360-degree visibility, and the ability to hover and swoop like a hummingbird as he dips 100 feet above the earth to snap shots of sailboats, unusual toupees, and ocean-side mansions.
Now, with Bird's Eye View Helicopters? tours, Mr. Codman grants guests the same breathtaking aerial views in the helicopter that he?s enjoyed for more than 20 years. The Fall Foliage tour transports guests over a patchwork quilt of red and orange foliage, and the Island Tour traces a route above Ocean Drive and historic lighthouses. Mr. Codman even lets amateur pilots take the reins during a 25-minute introductory flight.