Now in its fifth year, the Natural Living Expo illuminates the body, mind, and spirit with a full schedule of events including healthful food demos, yoga, and qi gong classes, and more than 75 workshops covering subjects such as toxin-free homes and intuitive parenting. Inside the lakeside Sturbridge Host Hotel 135 exhibitors display holistic and green products that earn a hearty thumbs-up from Mother Nature. Saturday workshops delve into animal communication and tai chi, and an evening drum jam and fire circle is open to rhythm-makers bearing bongos or pairs of cookie sheets.
The staff of midwives, doulas, and educators at Nurtured Beginnings strives to empower expectant and new parents with knowledge about natural living. Classes in breastfeeding, prenatal yoga, and childbirth help build confidence for new moms regardless of their economic status or how they give birth. Babies and toddlers also get in on the fun with playgroups, yoga classes, and an early-childhood music program that help develop skills while also building a sense of community.
Music courses throughout the alley as visitors sate competitive appetites with multiple bowling lanes, an 18-hole mini golf course, six pool tables, and a variety of arcade games. Bowlers first snuggle their feet into pairs of rented bowling shoes before unleashing themselves on the lanes, punishing pins with each stroke frame by frame. Bogey's automatic scoring machines make keeping tally easy so players aren't forced to scrawl numbers on the back of receipts or birth certificates. During cosmic bowling on Friday and Saturday nights after 6 p.m., black lights douse the alley in florescent color and disco balls sparkle and spin. Bogey's mini golf course awaits diminutive domination, taking putters past well-manicured greenery, winding brick paths, and loitering lawnmowers. Although not included with today's deal, guests can refuel at the bar with a beer or glass of wine or celebrate a victorious match with ice cream from the snack bar.
When the Vitello family's golden retriever Bear was hit by a car on a New Hampshire road, they knew they had to save him. During his slow recuperation, they decided the best medicine would be the guidance, energy, and companionship of a younger dog. Though initially set on a pomeranian on their visit to a large kennel, they were instead drawn to the regal charms of an alaskan malamute—a natural sled dog. Today, the Vitellos house 25 dogs in their onsite kennel, and travels all over the U.S. and Canada to train and to compete with their sled dogs. They also share their sporting passion through a range of lessons, including one-on-one lessons for humans and furry friends alike, and clinics to serve canines and their human counterparts. During supervised, hands-on mushing lessons, instructors teach novice dog-team runners how to handle one of the kennel's furry residents or work with their own pets. In warm weather, they hold day camps and clinics to let guests explore the center's year-round sledding terrain, interact with resident sled dogs, and learn mushing fundamentals such as steering, stopping, and giving snowmen the right of way.
Pure Fitness (formerly known as Powerhouse Fitness and still owned by Scott and Nikki Holland) has a full roster of certified personal trainers and seasoned group-fitness instructors who guide exercisers to physical peaks, building strong muscles and healthy lifestyles. The workout room helps guests to slim down their silhouettes with new exercise equipment, including calorie-torching cardio machines and dumbbells perfect for toning biceps or hurling at cardboard cutouts of Charles Atlas. There's also a recently added athletic-training center.
Group classes range from Les Mills dance aerobics to CrossFit functional training, which strengthens sinews with Olympic lifting drills and gymnastics-inspired bodyweight exercises. A juice bar replenishes vitamins and minerals, and saunas banish stress with warm, dry air. To help parents squeeze exercise into busy schedules, the gym offers childcare services seven days a week.