Stable Mates Equestrian Center facilitates proper technique in the saddle through year-round riding lessons, summer camps, and polo instruction. The outfit specializes in teaching students the gait of walk-trot during riding lessons and oversees riders’ advancement all the way up to the grand-prix level. The onsite professional instructor teaches both horseback-riding and polo lessons, helping novices to develop basic riding skills, practice mallet work, and understand the rules that govern the sport of kings, which can only be changed by the decree of another king. Summer camps held from June through August enlighten participants in the areas of riding and stable management, in addition to hosting equine entertainment such as shows and games.
Deer Park Bowl sets an atmosphere of relaxed fun with its state-of-the-art lanes and onsite bar and grill. Patriotic stars and stripes adorn 16 gleaming Brunswick Pro Anvil synthetic lanes that also feature upfront ball returns, delivering balls back to players faster than it takes to memorize the 14 Eskimo words for “bowling.” Servers at the onsite Pinheads Bar & Grill dish up pizzas, fried fare, and Italian entrees as customers play darts, gaze at six plasma televisions, and swig from an extensive selection of cold bottles, tap beer, and top-shelf liquor. On weekend nights, neon lighting transforms the alley into a cosmic wonderland, accompanied by satellite radio and Saturday night.
High-school social-studies teacher Anthony Pennino Sr. played his first round of paintball in 1985. By the following year Tony had gathered 20–30 friends and kin for paintball bouts on his family's private land. As demand for paintball guns and safety gear grew among his brigade of marksmen, he converted his basement into a makeshift store, supplying paintball accoutrement from home until moving into a storefront in 1990. Within two decades Tony and his clan formed the lauded paintball team the New York Dogs, opened their own indoor arena, and eventually combined that arena with their largest store yet.
That facility forms the backbone of Island Paintball, where a sports turf field hosts Model 98–brandishing players. In between games, players can watch other contests from behind the staging area's Plexiglas viewing windows or browse Island Paintball Supplies' gun wall and 12 massive showcases of paintball gear. An in-house gunsmith repairs any malfunctioning guns, which patrons can wield at open-play sessions and private parties.
At The Adventure Park at Long Island, small platforms hang at various levels among the branches and boughs, connected by bridges and ziplines. Guests navigate up into the canopy and then soar back down, experiencing fantastic speeds coupled with stunning aerial views. To ensure all visitors have ample time to enjoy their experience, course start times are staggered throughout the day. This keeps the treetop traffic at a minimum, ensuring minimal wait times and no outbursts from squirrels with road rage.
Pump It Up is a blissfully big space designed to help kids meet their needs for friendship, midair dance moves, and gravity defiance. Parents can watch as their bounce-prone descendants slide, scale, and moonwalk around Pump It Up’s inflatable arena. The bounce zone draws kids with its promise of afternoon hang time and offers a brief history lesson in its resemblance to King Louis XVI’s famous “jumpy castle.” Kids can bond with one another through the subtle physical fitness that comes with recreational jumping, and they’ll be glad to have a spot to discuss pressing kid-only issues, such as the superiority of the color blue to the color green.
Nicole Parisi forges interspecific bonds. At Major Expectations Riding and Training, she helps guests young and old get to know horses during lessons that run the gamut from simple horsemanship to jumping and show maneuvers. Alongside a packed curriculum of horseback sessions, Nicole can also corral a pile of ponies at a remote location for birthday parties or pony rides to celebrate a renewed mobile-phone contract.