Thanks to Zoo New England, little patches of wilderness from Africa, South America, Australia, and other parts of the world now dot Massachusetts. The non-profit organization operates both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo, each full of exotic creatures and their habitats. These microcosms represent an ideal world, one where endangered species thrive and fragile ecosystems last for generations to come.
At Franklin Park Zoo, tigers display their exotic stripes in the Tiger Tales exhibit where guests are educated on the perils these animals face in their natural habitats. Elsewhere, thousands of plants as well as mandrills, ocelots, and a pygmy hippopotamus turn the zoo into a tropical rainforest.
Stone Zoo, meanwhile, places simulations of the world's highlands next to Spot Pond. One area focuses on the Sierra Madre mountain range, which spans Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. The elevated habitat counts jaguars, coyotes, Gila monsters, and cougars among its denizens.
A portion of every admission goes to the organization's conservation efforts, which supports projects both locally and globally. For would-be zookeepers, Zoo New England hosts various adult and kids' educational programs, and lets volunteers help in the care of zoo plants and animals.
After training Marines as a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps, Dave of Better Health Pro brought his skills to the civilian sector to help clients lose weight and achieve their fitness goals. Dave, who is also a marathon runner and a trainer certified by the International Sports Sciences Association, leads a variety of fitness programs including small-group training classes, boot camps, yoga, and cardio kickboxing. Remote students can access Dave’s expertise with online virtual training as well. To truly maximize the results, each client also receives a comprehensive strength analysis, cardiovascular and VO2 max testing, body-composition measurements, and a custom nutrition plan, all of which they can track via a virtual profile.
B Yoga Center strives to build a vibrant yogic community by training new instructors and leading an eclectic schedule of classes that match students of virtually any fitness or skill level. Although every class emphasizes a level of introspection and self-awareness, they also incorporate varying amounts of physical activity to create balanced workout experiences for the mind as well as the body. Heating ducts and nearby pockets of magma can raise the practice space’s temperatures to as high as 85 degrees for warm Vinyasa sessions, which use seamlessly flowing asana sequences to build strength and flexibility. Yin sessions focus on gently loosening muscles and connective tissues with deep, sustained stretches.
The center’s commitment to yogic lifestyles extends beyond the practice room as well. Thai yoga bodywork sessions combine yoga-inspired poses, acupressure techniques, and meditative conditioning to promote health and a sense of holistic well-being, and the onsite boutique ensures that students can find accessories and apparel in between classes.
The New England String Orchestra, which has garnered accolades from The Boston Globe and The Boston Musical Intelligencer, produces stirring renditions of both classical and contemporary stringed masterpieces. Listen in as the orchestra performs its vibrant interpretations of Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Minor, op. 18, no. 4; Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Major, BWV 1054; and other pieces, all without the aid of Auto-Tune or magic flutes. The orchestra’s professional string-vibrators will work within the acoustically impeccable confines of First Parish Congregational Church as well as historic Jordan Hall, which was built in 1903 and designated a National Historic Landmark because of its role in William Howard Taft’s “Viola Folly” scandal. Ticket holders who show up 45 minutes in advance of either performance can also serenade their brains with a spoken-word symphony of knowledge from Italian-educated musical director Federico Cortese, who leads an interactive discussion prior to each NESO concert.
Led by expert equestrian Devon Garone, Fairfield South's lesson program schools first-timers and national champions alike in basic and advanced English riding techniques. Groups of two to four pupils practice steering, gaits, proper riding position, and horsemanship during 30 minutes of riding time. Subsequent 15-minute sessions sequester space for students to brush, feed, lead, and read bedtime stories to each steed. Fairfield South's year-round facility accommodates apprentices in warm or chilly temperatures every Tuesday–Sunday by appointment, and ensures each rider's well-being on its brigade of safe horses. In their decades-spanning training careers, owners Gary and Marsha Garone have captained teams to more than 30 world-championship titles and numerous competitive seahorse-riding victories.
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.