If you’re like me, you probably can’t get enough of the Hunger Games story, with its strong-willed characters relying on physical and mental skills to win in a survival-of-the-fittest competition. Even if you haven’t encountered the books or movie, these Hunger Games-inspired activities ranging from tree-climbing to cake decorating offer something new for Massachusetts residents looking for adventure!
Train to Win
Plenty of gyms across Massachusetts offer full-range fitness workouts, but Davis Square’s Boston Sports Club is the first to tout a fully inspired Hunger Games training circuit, free and open to nonmembers! The class, which runs on Thursdays at 7am until April 26th, offers participants a timed challenge of different training exercises inspired by the movie. The winner who does the most circuits of “Katniss Kickbacks,” “Sprint to the Cornucopia,” “Peeta Presses,” and others, gets a Mockingjay pin.
Bow and Arrow Finesse
Our strong-willed heroine of the series, Katniss, wouldn’t have gotten too far without her expert shooting skills. Learn or refine your own bow and arrow skills at ranges throughout Massachusetts.
Ace Archers in Foxboro provides one-on-one lessons and group lessons for people of any age. Group lessons even get to shoot Zombie targets and balloons ($12-15 per hour with equipment rental).
Tepee Archery in Acton and Archery USA, which is closing up its Dedham shop but will reopen somewhere nearby (check website for details) also provide classes and activities for novices and pros alike.
Soar to New Heights
Katniss’ climbing skills saved her on multiple occasions. The New England Tree Climbing Association will give tree-climbing lessons to groups and organize events throughout the region. They provide the ropes and equipment, and teach people how to climb over 80 feet into a forest canopy.
Navigate like a Pro
Our protagonists had to navigate tricky contest terrain to find water, food and shelter. Learn how to find your way through the woods at one of MA’s many orienteering trails.
The New England Orienteering Club (NEOC) welcomes beginners and novices alike to try their hand at at navigation using only a compass and map at locations throughout MA.
The Cambridge Sports Union also offers orienteering opportunities for its members and many MA parks have their own navigation trails.
Peeta’s artistic cake-decorating ability unexpectedly saves him in the Games! Learn how to bake like Peeta at one of MA’s many bakery classes, such as Sweet Alternatives in Natick and Newton or the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, with its myriad of baking, bread and other recreational dessert classes.
Katniss’ knowledge of plants also comes in handy throughout the story. The New England Wildflower Society, located in Framingham, offers a bounty of lessons throughout MA on plant and flower identification.
Knot-tying skills, camping—there are plenty more activities that can help your body stay fit and your mind stay nimble in case you ever find yourself having to survive in a futuristic Gladiators-style dystopia!
Know of other cool places? Add them in the comments below!
Kristina Grifantini is an award-winning multi-media science and technology writer that has written for Sky & Telescope magazine, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Alzheimer Research Forum, EBSCO Publishing, MIT Tech Review, and many others. She is currently the Communications Specialist at the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality; check out her website here and follower her on Twitter @kgrifant.