New England Dive Center At the family-owned New England Dive Center, certified instructors pursue a mission of expanding scuba-diving know-how to the whole world, training underwater explorers with a curriculum of beginning to advanced diving classes. Several open-water courses survey safety, equipment, and diving etiquette to put students on the path toward PADI, TDI, or SDI certification, and an underwater photography seminar illustrates how to capture lucid footage of marine life and document mermaids' dance recitals. Group vacations shepherd divers to the lush corals of the Florida Keys, Cozumel, and the Grand Bahamas, and local events explore the quarries and shipwrecks hidden within New England's own waters. The full-service repair shop also stocks rental and retail equipment, supplying divers with high-end fins, masks, and tanks from brands such as Atomic Aquatics and XS Scuba.
Star Hill is expansive, but its staff strives to keep the environment unintimidating. Beneath the white dome lies 105,000 square feet of fields, courts, and tracks, which host sporting clinics and league games throughout the year. Alongside, the main facility's 30,000 square feet house a 25-yard swimming and diving pool, a fitness center with top-of-the-line cardio and weight machines and free weights, and group fitness rooms. Personal training for kids and adults can focus on anything from getting in shape to targeted sports fitness or even triathlon training. After a run around the quarter-mile track, a skip on the treadmill, or taking in a field-hockey game, members can take advantage of the arcade or enjoy dinner at the caf? on the outdoor patio.
Westfield Water Sports and Wilderness Experiences?a kayak, SUP, camping, and scuba gear shop as well as a camping store and adventure emporium?dispatches a staff of certifiable adventure-seekers to lead sojourners into the great outdoors with scuba classes, kayak classes, dive and non-dive world travel, and rock-climbing excursions. An all-around outdoorsman, camp director T. Scott Cook leans on his doctorate of Leadership Development in Adventure Education to develop nature excursions, including far-flung trips where groups snorkel in the Cayman Islands or evolve gills in the Galapagos. Back home, the summer camp?s elaborate ropes course builds teamwork between coworkers, and caving adventures allow guests to delve into mysterious depths or apartment swap with a black bear.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Alongside its carefully curated 35,000-piece collection spanning more than 5,000 years, the Worcester Art Museum leads frequent tours and hosts live jazz performances, exhibit openings, and other events. Friends of the museum flex color-sensing muscles with unlimited free admission (up to a $14 value per visit), free gallery and audio tours, and two transferable one-year guest passes, good for bringing along friends and idle house painters. In addition to rotating special exhibits, the museum boasts an array of European works, such as the colorful canvases of Gauguin and Cézanne, as well as paintings by Whistler, Sargent, and Cassatt and pieces by other renowned American artists.
Worcester Fitness's two locations give exercisers everything they need to vary their workouts and cultivate a wholly healthy lifestyle. Group sessions offer support and expert guidance?cycling, Hi-Def Sculpt, boot camp, and yoga all counted among the available classes. Clients looking to supplement their group fitness, or simply to tone on their own, can take advantage of the certified personal trainers on staff or create a self-guided exercise session in the weight room. The indoor pool allows gym-goers to strengthen their flippers without straining their joints and on massage tables, therapists pamper hard-working muscles to encourage healing. To help parents concentrate on their form and the forms they need to mail in before getting their six pack, children enjoy supervised play in the Kids Korner.