Amid its 25,000 square feet of climate-controlled indoor turf, Long Island Sports Complex treats up to 15 birthday celebrants to one hour of motion-based merriment, followed by a half-hour of pizza, cake, drinks, and party goods. The facility takes care of all the food, decorations and invitations, so parents can spend more time knitting the perfect birthday gift or reanimating it during an electrical storm. Sports-party revelers get to release excess energy with their choice of soccer, baseball, softball, football, or lacrosse without the outdoor inconveniences of grass stains or slingshotted acorns from territorial squirrels. Two to four sport-savvy supervisors will be on hand to make sure that everyone has a safe time.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
43,000 square feet await airsoft players at Strikeforce Sports' indoor, close-quarters combat field. Once games start, that space starts to feel like an entire city. Foam boards have been transformed to look like buildings of brick and stone. Among them, obstacles such as trash cans and cars are the only things standing between players and their opponents. Strategy plays a key role here, as players choose whether to sneak slowly around corners, go through crawl spaces, or storm in and face their challengers head-on.
Away from the competitive space, Airsoft pistols and rifles, along with other gear, blanket the walls of the onsite pro shop. Here, staffers help players customize their airsoft guns with add-ons, including red dot sights. In addition to restocking their equipment, players can refuel between rounds at the full-service restaurant and sports bar.
A restaurant, a rock-climbing wall, batting cages, and a custom embroidery shop are all housed in Artistic Stitch’s 30,000 square foot facility. At the cages, Probatter Simulators accelerate batters’ learning processes with sophisticated programming that allows for different types of pitches, aiming lobs in the strike zone, around it, or directly at the nearest Ming vase. A 20’ rock-climbing wall invites visitors to ascend to new heights, and soccer and doge ball games spark friendly competition. In addition to general recreational play, day-camp sessions and birthday party packages allow children to let loose and engage in energetic matches. Famished athletes can replenish their energy at the on-site restaurant, Saverio’s Bistro, which serves up piping-hot brick-oven pizzas, paninis, and pastas.
Having set up camp at The Mount Brace Outdoor Club and Flight Park, Let’s Go Paragliding sends its students skyward under the guidance of owner Benoit Bruneau. A certified instructor, Benoit was named the 2010 paragliding instructor of the year by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. At his facility, Benoit oversees introductory paragliding lessons, and for more advanced students, tandem flights, personal training, and training programs. Let’s Go Paragliding also stocks high-quality paragliding equipment and gear.
The field at TM Baseball & Softball Academy extends both inside and outside letting players play during warm weather, cold weather, or nonexistent indoor snowstorms. During daily training sessions, the TM Baseball & Softball Academy coaching staff helps high school and college-level players–as well as children as young as 3 years old–hone their hitting, defense, and fielding abilities. They also infuse sessions with strength, conditioning, and agility exercises so that players can field line drives and beat mascots during 7th inning dizzy-bat races.