Made up of wooden footbridges, ziplines, and demanding rope courses, each of the 5 aerial trails at The Adventure Park at Storrs winds higher and higher above the forest floor. The color-coded pathways were built with climbers of all skill levels in mind, ranging from low-to-the-ground beginners' courses to the more advanced skyward trajectories. Safety orientations precede every climb, upon which participants embark while strapped into a climbing system that always remains securely connected to a safety line. The park strives to keep its surrounding forest and trees healthy by making sure light, air, and moisture flow freely along each trail.
On a ranch in the country, Epona Farms' trainers share the equestrian spirit with newcomers, youth, and champions-to-be in their indoor arenas and outdoor sand area. Triona Watson, an advanced coach since 1975, draws from her international experience to head up the facility's instructional programs. Her riding curriculum centers on three components: dressage, stadium jumps, and cross-country riding. Along with these focuses, her students learn English and Western styles of riding in an indoor arena and outdoor sand area. As spring turns to summer, Epona's horse whisperers expand their lessons into immersive day camps that teach horsemanship and leadership skills to adolescents, and let the children interact with other animals, such as rabbits and sheep. Younger children may be enchanted by PeeWee Pony School, a program that pairs pintsize novices with appropriate-size steeds to help instill a love for horses and riding at a young age. Additionally, the instructors focus on community outreach and work with special-needs children and young adults.
At Alternative Approach Acupuncture and Therapeutic Massage, Mark treats patients with ancient Chinese medicine while Elizabeth finds and finesses painful muscular knots. The husband-and-wife team collaborate to blend acupuncture and massage therapy to ease stress levels, ease muscle aches, and help rehabilitate from specific injuries. Mark also offers specific acupuncture programs for smoking cessation and weight loss while Elizabeth treats children with special needs through specialized pediatric massage techniques.
Invisalign straightens crooked chompers with a combination of highly advanced, 3-D computer graphics and the spells of old-fashioned orthodontia. The Invisalign process eschews cumbersome braces for clear, removable aligners that are virtually invisible to the unclothed eye. An initial 30-minute exam, including x-rays, photos, and impressions of your mouth terrain, paves the way for a flurry of calibrated teeth sheaths that are designed to slowly shift walnut crackers into perfect alignment. The total cost of an Invisalign treatment varies for each customer (it can run anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000); this Groupon gets you $1,000 toward that final cost plus a teeth-whitening treatment.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.