Experienced captains guide passengers through the city's wide harbor avenues and more intimate waterways on a range of tours and themed cruises. Passengers can hop on or off each excursion at six designated docks such as Atlantic Wharf and Fairmont Battery Wharf. When disembarking, they may stop at waterside eateries such as the Barking Crab and Tavern on the Water to sip, dine, and heed Paul Revere's legendary warning about eating too many burgers. While most cruises beckon customers to board the Precious Time, Sadie, or White Pearl, captains also conduct mini cruises aboard unique vessels such as a turn-of-the-century fantail launch boat.
As the sun makes its retreat into the horizon, the whales of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary come out to play. Their elephantine fins slap the waters with such zeal that the pod seems to be putting on a performance for the catamaran of whale watchers in their midst. This end-of-day nature show experienced by passengers aboard Boston's Best Cruises’ New England Aquarium Whale Watch is hardly a rarity, as the ship’s crews guarantee sightings of these gentle giants with each excursion.
Champions of the natural beauty of Boston Harbor and the area’s rich maritime history, Boston's Best Cruises’ expert crew sets sail on cruises to suit all manner of interest. Along with their whale watches, Boston’s Best Cruises whisks passengers away on Harbor Cruises that grant unimpeded views of the Boston skyline and the King Kongs pumping fists within its skyscrapers. The Salem Ferry facilitates leisurely cruises between Boston and the historic city, and aquatic outings to the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area enable activities such as sunset clambakes, hiking, and fishing.
At The Clayroom, an evening spent decorating bisque pottery pieces can spark conversation and unleash each guest's inner artist. Visitors hunker down next one of the studio’s two working fireplaces and work on their selected pottery pieces. After choosing anything from coffee mugs or butter dishes to cereal bathtubs, painters brush on various paints to create their own inimitable pieces of art. The studio kicks open its doors for birthday parties and baby showers, and hosts weekly events as Pizza Night and Wine and Cheese Night.
Visitors to Mel's Funway Park can try their hand at two 18-hole mini-golf courses before speeding and swinging their way through the go-kart track and batting cages, which feature a replica of Fenway's Green Monster and slow- and fast-pitch machines that can reach speeds of up to 85 mph. Inside, a laser plex hosts games of laser tag, while other visitors attempt the laser maze, a web of 36 lasers that participants must avoid to keep from triggering the alarm and receive their cat-burglar certification. Funway Park has also partnered with Woodman's Restaurant to recharge empty body batteries with fare from a renowned and award-winning eatery.
Hidden among Strasburg's thicket of spindly trees, patchy grass, and dirt fields, castles and wooden forts stand strong while flying saucers hint of an alien invasion. This is all part of Skyline Paintball's battlefield landscape, which includes more than eight fields such as Mars Attacks and Frontier Fort. Before slinking through trenches and underground bunkers, players load up on fresh paintballs by Kee and GI Sportz, sold by Skyline onsite. Refs oversee matches to ensure everyone understands the finer techniques of pointillism and that no one uses a marker that fires faster than 280 feet per second. Players can walk on during open play each Saturday and Sunday or buy a group package for weekday melees during which up to 20 players can sling rainbows of paint throughout strategy-laden matches. For paintless competitions, Skyline also hosts laser tag sessions.
Since its inception as a nonprofit organization in 1985, Community Rowing Inc. has guided more than 15,000 students in invigorating rowing sessions held on the Charles River. Their experienced staff of Olympians and coaches helps students to become familiar with industry-standard boats and rowing machines through comprehensive introductory lessons and extended handshakes with the rowing arms. After gleaning the skills necessary to properly use equipment, students gain access to locker rooms, training areas, and any additional courses on the Charles River. The full-body, calorie-burning workouts are available throughout the week, allowing students to learn essential techniques such as sweeping, sculling, and dealing peacefully with the water road rage of aggressive gondoliers.