A recreational destination since Devereax Emmet and Alfred M. Tull sculpted it into the East Hartford countryside in 1930, Long Hill Country Club’s 18-hole course unfurls 6,014 yards of manicured fairways and greens. Mature trees form a path along the par 70, impeding golf balls that stray to the rough in a short-sighted search for a soft landing. The course features three tee options to appeal to golfers of all abilities.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,014 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 68.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 115 from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Scorecard
In the space of a former 1960s movie theater, Parkade Cinemas enhances the traditional film-watching experience with live entertainment. Guests munch fresh popcorn as they watch second-run action blockbusters or Oscar-hungry dramas on one of four screens, or they head to one of two live-theater auditoriums to chuckle at comedians, dance to visiting musicians, or accuse their friends of unspeakable crimes during murder-mystery dinners. Parkade does celebrations right with movie-themed birthday parties and yearly Halloween events that feature classic horror films and haunted-house antics staffed by costumed employees and volunteers.
Since 1962, the experienced and USPA-certified instructors at Connecticut Parachutists, Inc have helped new and experienced skydivers foster a love for skydiving. Two miles above the plush green landing area, the professionals harness themselves to novice divers for tandem jumps, and then leap from the bellies of prop planes as spectators and envious penguins look on from an open landing area. The instructors can also help their students obtain skydiving certification, learn to perform accelerated free falls, and make solo dives.
In addition to training new cloud kickers, Connecticut Parachutists, Inc also accommodates seasoned skydivers with facilities for members. Their turbine Twin Otter elevates members for as many jumps as possible, and a clubhouse helps jumpers wind down with a shower and video debriefing area. The skydiving haven also plays host to special events such as jump nights and Q&As with famous parachutes.
Visiting The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center is a lot like stepping into a nature documentary. On guided tours, a knowledgeable narrator takes small groups on a journey to meet more than 200 creatures from across the world. They stop by the habitats of the black and white ruffed lemur, the western bobcat, and the spotted leopard. Along the way, guests learn a lot: for instance, that the Bennett's wallaby carries its young in a pouch, and that the critically-endangered cotton-top tamarin has lost more than 75% of its native habitat.
But in at least one way, the zoo accomplishes something that David Attenborough never could. Visitors can actually reach out and touch a creature during discovery programs. They can even adopt certain animals, perhaps helping provide tasty grasses and career guidance to a red kangaroo.
These programs exemplify the nonprofit zoo's dedication to wildlife education and awareness, something they hope to instill in their visitors from an early age. In the summer, educators spin "Animal Tales" for rapt young audiences and hold a Zoo Camp, where kids start to learn about diet and animal care. As kids' love of animals grows, the zoo invites them to volunteer as Crew in Training members. Once they hit college, students can become interns working on projects such as field studies of the patas monkey.
For a decade, Anne and Matthew Falkowski have been transforming rookie stretchers into professional yogis. The lessons at Samadhi Yoga Studio usher guests, regardless of age, flexibility, or experience, into a community whose leaders emphasize the growth of bodily awareness. The 40 yoga classes per week encompass Beginners, Moderate, and Vigorous sessions, which gradually widen students' understanding of postures and breath work. Rather than spending hundreds of hours searching for inner peace in the national phone book, those yearning for further enlightenment can attend a 200- or 500-hour teacher-training program. The nationally certified curriculum has passed more than 150 graduates, steadily expanding the reach of its art to Manchester and beyond. Though yoga is the main focus, Samadhi Yoga Studio rounds out its class roster with other dynamic offerings. Festive Zumba workouts showcase heart-healthy twirls, and specialized workshops combine yoga with other disciplines, such as dance and running.
At Matt's Outback Paintball, players orchestrate tactical, technicolor strikes against rival teams in classic paintball, speedball, and x-ball games. Pigment warriors aged 10 and up stalk through 17 acres of woods, camping out in four two-story forts and unleashing an artful attack on unsuspecting enemies and the occasional disoriented bird watcher. Patrons can undertake a diversity of paintball games on both indoor and outdoor battlegrounds, including a tire field, a seven-man speedball field, and two fields for x-ball––a game in which teams vie to bring a flag from the center of the field to the opponents' starting station. Chest protectors and masks keep paintball platoon members safe from direct contact with the colorful ammunition, and extra ammo may be purchased (not covered by today's Groupon) to prevent chromatic commandos from desperately defending themselves with handfuls of crushed blueberries.