Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
Jump Trax's menagerie of inflatables plays host to kids of all ages for parties and open-play sessions. Sock-footed youngsters can explore two climate-controlled arenas filled with bounceable attractions, such as Spongebob’s pineapple house and a prehistoric obstacle course overseen by a tyrannosaurus rex. Other activities abound, such as tyke-sized push cars, a slide shaped like the Batmobile, or an inflatable Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. To prevent the inflatables from becoming vitamin D deficient, Jump Trax's location is used for block parties, barbecues, and birthday parties. Their menu consists of pizza and sodas, as well as goodie bags. Check out their FAQ for more info.
Bar 101's amiable atmosphere plays host to an expansive menu of burgers, pizzas, and bar delicacies that set the stage for weekly events. Rich layers of crumbled bleu cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing smother the pepper-encrusted black and bleu burger ($8), while the thai crunch salad chauffeurs bites of grilled chicken, mixed greens, chow mein, wasabi peas, and rice wine peanut vinaigrette ($8) safely to hungering mouths. As the night stretches on toward a 1 a.m. closing time, grilled pizzas ($7–$8) such as the loaded potato, topped with bacon, potatoes, monterey jack, and garlic oil, accompany a hearty list of martinis and wines set to grease tall tales of champion fish and game-show-winning sharks.
Drawing creative inspiration from hobbies that include crafting and cooking, photographer Jennifer Owens specializes in capturing spur-of-the-moment images of engaged couples, families, and newborns. She also shares her expertise in classes that introduce beginners to concepts such as adjusting ISO settings on a digital camera or using the right shutter speed for moving subjects. Owens is equally comfortable in outdoor settings, and can demonstrate how to take advantage of the magical "golden hour," the time around dawn or dusk when the sun adds warmth to portraits and turns photographers’ photos of raw pizza dough into fully baked pizzas.
The instructors at EMS Schools traverse rocky, paved, and watery terrain from New England down to Virginia, imparting people with their love of the outdoors along the way. Dating back more than 40 years, the EMS Climbing School teaches pupils of all ages the tenets of climbing through introductory classes and more advanced maneuvering in self-rescue, alpine climbing, and glacier-skills classes. The watery wing of EMS's operation includes kayaking and standup-paddleboard lessons, which can help students earn certification in these water-bound endeavors, and group tours. EMS-led bike tours trace a path through the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport, as well as the powdered-sugar-topped White Mountains of New Hampshire.
After putting their heads together back in 2005, sisters Lynn Grissom and Susan Bucci came to open the first Little Gym in Rhode Island. The concept was simple: positively impact kids by helping build confidence and self-esteem through noncompetitive, fun classes. The result was a curriculum-based program that got kids aged 4 months to 12 years active during karate classes, jazz dancing, and karate chopping stacks of boring homework in half. At the Smithfield location, instructors focus on "movement, music, learning, and laughter," during courses held six days a week.
Rhode Island Billiard Bar & Bistro has kept the polished pool balls clicking seven days a week for more than 100 years, recently returning the tin ceilings and mahogany bars of its billiards room to their full luster. Hone your skills at felt croquet on any of 15 9-foot tables and one 7-foot table ($3.50/hour for members, $5.50 for nonmembers). In between rounds of foosball, pinball, or watching the bocce bomb tournament on 15 TVs, mad gourmands can commingle menu items such as the calamari fritti ($7.99) and chicken fingers ($6.99) into clawed, ink-spraying gullet monsters.