Tuscan Pizza House's name is not just a generic moniker intending to summon up images of Italy—its owner, John Gioldasis, learned his eatery's pizza recipe firsthand while visiting a Tuscan restaurant. Upon that foundation, John's cooks have sprinkled 20-plus toppings for more than 30 years. They include even more fixings on nearly 15 specialty pies, such as the chicken stir fry, which is a medley of grilled chicken, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers.
Other Italian and pizzeria staples comprise the rest of the menu, from chicken parmesan to subs filled with imported ham. For flavors that evoke America better than a bald eagle stealing an apple pie from a window sill, Tuscan Pizza House offers half-pound Black Angus burgers crowned with onion rings, barbecue sauce, or ranch.
Today's side deal gets a lush Christmas tree into your house while simultaneously getting your family out of it. For $38, you get a pre-cut Christmas tree, up to eight feet tall, from Smolak Farms (up to a $75 value). Located just 45 minutes outside of Boston, this picturesque 300-year-old New England farm lets you and your family enjoy the Christmas tradition of taking your pick of hundreds of pre-cut trees. Because purchasing a Christmas tree after Christmas is considered something of a faux pas, this side deal understandably expires on Christmas Eve. This deal covers the tree only—rope is not included.
Housed within the antiquated Amos Blanchard House and Barn Museum, the Andover Historical Society preserves artifacts and archival records from Andover’s storied 350-year history. Within the more-than-100-year-old building, visitors can experience what it was like to live as a middle-class family in the early 19th century or peruse the vast library archives. The society also hosts events within the community, including the seasonal Tree Time display and lectures on the town’s history.
On his way to work one day, Andre Boucher spotted a hot air balloon, and on a whim he decided to follow it. He met it where it landed, and the aircraft's pilot offered to take Andre up for a ride. Ever since he was young, Andre had been fascinated by aviation, but airsickness and a codependent relationship with gravity always prevented him from enjoying it firsthand. But as he felt the basket drifting with the wind instead of battling against it, Andre knew he had finally found a way to experience flight. He has since acquired more than 23 years of professional experience, even lending his expertise to an elaborate promotional flight for Pixar's balloon-based film Up.
Andre now captains A&A Balloon Rides, LLC, where colorful carriages lift patrons between 500 and 2,000 feet above the lakes, treetops, and fields of New Hampshire. Guests can arrange private or group flights, and they can set up flown or tethered rides for school events, company picnics, or aerial-photography sessions, the latter of which can finally prove that birds fly on hoverboards.
One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
The inspiration for Zorvino Vineyards came to Jim and Cheryl Zanello in the same way it does for many American vintners—from a trip to Italy. Taken by the contrast in the quality of the wines and the pace of life between the two countries, the Zanellos brought over their own taste of the old country to an 80-acre New England estate. With grapes sourced both from their own vineyard and such regions as Tuscany, Chile, and California, the pair crafts a suite of red, white, and fruit wines that they sell on site and proffer to local restaurants and merchants. However, the winery itself is worth a trip, with its wrought-iron gate, lantern posts that seem to grow out of empty casks, and swarms of fireflies that send Morse code recommendations for the best wine to pair with salmon. Inside the tasting room, guests lean on hardwood banisters as they sip samples of the winery’s creations.