Things to Do in West Hartford
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The experts at Yarnover help knitters of all skill levels learn basic and advanced techniques in knitting classes, as well as help those comfortable enough to knit by themselves navigate the shop and secure buttons, needle cases, and colorful royal alpaca, mulberry silk, or baby llama yarn. During the hands-on classes, students progress at their own pace as they take in wisdom and pointers from experienced teachers and broaden the knowledge of their hands and muscle memory. Guests can also stop by to sharpen their skills and talk trash about crocheters at a free knitting circle held every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
55 Wintonbury Mall
As the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Rock Cats clubhouse is baseball's equivalent of an arboretum, blossoming in the summer with big-league-ready talent while nurturing future pros, a laundry list of baseball all-stars that has previously included Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, and Torii Hunter. Following the frenetic lead of Rocky, a full roster of mascots entices eyes with various forms of family-friendly entertainment throughout each game. An extra dose of off-the-field entertainment can also be savored inside the ballpark's Fun Zone, where fans test their skills by smacking baseballs in a homerun derby, throwing fastballs with speed pitch, or swinging an oversize hot dog to prepare for the day when professional baseball decides all bats must be meat-based.
230 John Karbonic Way
Founded by American Mountain Guides Association–certified instructor Matt Shove, Ragged Mountain Guides teaches its climbing pupils the techniques and tools needed to scale the natural terrain of the Traprock region. Rock-climbing adventures illuminate how to handle rope and repel down mountain cliffs even when their escalators are broken. As seasonal temperatures drop, guides turn their attention to ice and alpine climbing, which challenges mountaineers to swing their axe and scale vertical ice. Students master increasingly advanced techniques until they can tackle cliffs on their own, and the most dedicated climbers can enroll in guide-certification programs. Matt Shove's expertise has also been tapped by organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and he regularly repels into the offices of Climberism magazine to contribute articles.
275 New Britain Ave.
A full quarter mile of outdoor track snakes across the grass, sending racers on an adrenaline-fueled grudge match of hairpin turns, pedal-pushing straightaways, and close finishes. A speedy fleet of go-karts sends drivers flying down the track in vehicles such as the swift 9-horsepower Interceptor, or the two-seater Tornado, which allows children to ride alongside their parents to learn proper three-point turn technique. An on-track scoreboard displays racers’ lap times with accuracy up to a 1,000th of a second, and printed results enshrine automotive achievements and bragging rights for display. Inside, a beeping, blinking arcade pits gamers head-to-head in pro-racing simulators, bouts of Guitar Hero, or rousing tournaments of air hockey.
1762 Berlin Tpke.
When traversing Oak Meadow Farm’s 52 verdant acres, one is struck by sweeping views of nearby produce farms. Students contribute to this idyllic pastoral scene as they learn the basics of riding in either indoor or outdoor rings. Head trainer Mark Rarick and assistant trainer Amy Kriwitsky bring their individual experiences, such as Mark’s stint in show jumping in England and Amy’s bachelor’s degree in animal science, to teaching beginners how to tack and nay effectively. Their efforts have earned them praise in publications such as Today’s Equestrian and Chronicle of the Horse.
309 Scantic Rd.
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