Those cracked tiles aren't going to fix themselves. But a visit to the Boston Design Center's 10 bathroom-focused businesses will. Once open only to professionals, the eight-story design mecca now offers 20 designers on call to walk you through showrooms—some classic, some splashy—filled with tiles, faucets, mirrors, tubs, and everything else you'd ever want in your WC. One Design Center Place, Suite 337, Boston, MA 2210, bostondesign.com.
It doesn't get much stupider than this— or more absorbing. Club into the booth and fire at the lizardy dino-creatures from the movie. Coolest moment: When T-Rex emerges out of the dewy fog, plucks you out of the Land Rover in its teeth, and shakes the bejesus out of your animated persona. Messiest moment: When the herbivores smother you in steamy feces. Jillian's, 145 Ipswich St., Boston, MA .
One way to minimize your exposure to E. coli is to sail on Boston Harbor instead of the Charles River, and Courageous Sailing is the best way to go for the bucolic-urban experience. Courageous offers easy access to Harbor Islands State Park, where with a little advanced planning you can even go camping. The only year-round sailing center in Boston, it merits its name because of its iceboating events and other cold-weather adventures. 1 First Ave., Charlestown, MA .
In Newton's New Art Center classes, weekend collectors can ponder the age-old question—What Is Art?—then study the intriguing works showcased in the late-1800s Universalist church. Should you find something lacking in any of the canvases, prints, or sculptures, you can improve the view by organizing your own exhibitions: The guest curatorial program lets interested parties help decide what goes on display. 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA 2460, newartcenter.org.
Forty-four lanes. Metal bumpers. Affordable prices. A kingpin's dream—and now a bowling reality. The pro shop (yes, this bowling alley has a pro shop) stocks enough balls, bags, and shoes to satisfy amateurs and experts alike. The sprawling entertainment complex also has 12 pool tables, a video-game arcade, and a full service bar, and is open 24/7 (save for Christmas Eve). 820 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester, MA bostonbowl.com/.
You can't get much more physical than this intramural league that takes over Jamaica Plain's English High field each fall. In the four years of its existence, the league has grown to include more than 150 women in two divisions (including some fierce straight girls), and been responsible for not a few off-the-field passes. Make no mistake, these girls come to score, and the bruises they get are real. But the tradition of post-game brews at Doyle's goes a long way toward soothing the pain. E-mail [email protected] for more information, MA .
Designed as a commuter bikeway, this 10-and-a-half mile trail has won the hearts of walkers, runners, and rollers (including cyclists, in-line skaters, and people who use those bizzarre dry-land cross-country skis). There are plenty of entry points along the way, but we recommend you begin west of Arlington Center to avoid having to cross cobblestones and four-way intersections. Moving past ponds, historic sites, and wooded areas lends the feeling that you're 700 miles from the city, instead of just seven. Alewife T Station, Cambridge-intersection of Railroad Avenue, Loomis Street, and South Street, Bedford, MA minutemanbikeway.org/.
The BCT could play it safe. Instead, it offers outside-the-box productions, like Reflections of a Rock Lobster, about a gay teen's fight to bring his date to the prom, and Honk!, a lively musical based on The Ugly Duckling. And if your kids like what they see here, sign them up for one of the many workshops the BCT offers. 316 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA bostonchildrenstheatre.com.
One thousand publications await you, from audiovisual, business, and gay culture to photo, food, and fashion (in French and Italian), trains, travel, and woodworking. There's also a small but good selection of bestsellers and paperbacks; some are even discounted. You can browse to your heart's content, undisturbed, with plenty of room and good music. Hard to leave, and you can't do it empty-handed. 360 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Attention preppy brides, retro brides, downtown brides, and every bride in between: The special-event stylist Lindsay Griffin has the updo for your "I do"s. An alum of North End and Newbury Street salons, Griffin specializes in natural, modern looks that are polished but never fussy. Schedule a trial at the sparkling 800-square-foot space Griffin opened in Somerville's Ball Square earlier this year. 106 Bristol Rd., Somerville, MA lindsaygriffin.com.
Makeup savant Katrina Hess gives brides a glow so natural they seem lit from within. We'd guess it was magic, but Hess will also provide tips to help you re-create the look at home. And she doesn't tout just one particular line: She blends high-quality products such as Chanel, Laura Mercier, and Shu Uemura to find what works best with your coloring and skin type. 105 Newbury St., Boston, MA katrinahess.com/.
The vibe, the feel—that's what you're looking for when you're with friends and dressed for a Night Out. It's also what the Middlesex does best. The intimate space is minimalist sublimity, with low-slung lights casting shadows in exactly the right way. Music is spun by DJs who bump everything from French pop to roots reggae. The signature touch: the lounge's benches on wheels, which allow you and yours to create a personal alcove. 315 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA middlesexlounge.com.
Outfitting your postmarital life is no small feat, so finding everything you need in one place and getting sage advice certainly helps. Bloomie's consultants deftly provide estimates and mix-and-match services to help you build a highly personalized wish list. Table setups let you see just how that Waterford looks with the Villeroy & Boch flatware, and if you decide you want the Baccarat instead, swaps are a cinch. 225 Boylston St., Newton, MA 2467, bloomingdales.com.
You don't want your girls in some garish getup out of 27 Dresses. Thankfully, a trip here makes finding the right dresses simple, owing to a tight selection of gorgeous (and, happily, understated) frocks from the likes of Coren Moore, Jenny Yoo, and Lynn Lugo. There are tons of colors, fabrics, and styles, and the service is both professional and patient. 10 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, flairbridesmaid.com.
The Straight Wharf remains one of Nantucket's toughest reservations. Perhaps guests know that the celebrity contingent (regulars include Brian Williams) might be on hand. But we're guessing it has more to do with the food—standouts like halibut chowder sprinkled with house-made bacon, and a clam bake featuring lobster and chorizo over corn and littlenecks. 6 Harbor Sq., Nantucket, MA 2554, straightwharfrestaurant.com.