The history of Liberty Hall Museum stretches back more than 200 years. The original 14-room Georgian home was built in 1772 and served as the home of New Jersey's first elected governor. As the years passed, Liberty Hall became the home of governors, senators, entrepreneurs, and congressmen as it slowly expanded into a 50-room mansion. Presidents George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford all stayed here. Collections of antique furniture, toys, tools, and ceramics from several generations fill the rooms.
Today, Liberty Hall Museum gives visitors an inside look at what life was like during America's early days, when the Founding Fathers were drafting the Constitution and Betsy Ross was sewing the Statue of Liberty’s gown. Inside the home, you’ll see historical fashions and furnishings; outside, ancient trees shade a carefully maintained English-style parterre garden. The onsite firehouse, added in 2005, serves as an educational center, where youngsters can don firefighter gear and play on a fully restored antique fire truck.
Within the 5,000-square-foot Ballplayer’s Edge facility, baseball and softball players train to swing the bat faster, throw the ball harder, and play the game better. The facility’s crack team of coaches—led by Joel Burgos, hitting coach for Rutgers University-Newark—improve strength, agility, and instincts with training tools that include four adult-size batting cages and the ProBatter PX2 hitting simulator. The simulator immerses players in game-like situations, complete with virtual pitchers delivering strikes from either the windup or the stretch. Meanwhile, RightView Pro video analysis captures each home-run cut, shown bunt, and taunt lobbed at the computerized player, allowing for side-by-side comparison with major-league swings.
Home to the state's largest freestanding bouldering island, New Jersey Rock Gym houses 12,000 square feet of vertical terrain to climb as well as 41 top roping stations. Armed with either day passes or membership, guests scamper up the gym's synthetic summits, hoping to ask questions of the learned ceiling light sequestered at the top of the mountain. While gear is included with some membership options, guests can opt to bring their own materials or rent the individual shoes ($5), harnesses ($4), or chalk bags ($2) they need from the pro shop. New Jersey Rock Gym offers a collection of educational course work in the vertical arts, teaching belay technique to beginners or advanced skills to adults. Children can also take advantage of youth climbing programs, mini camps, and birthday parties before retiring to private refreshment chambers to absorb bottles of electrolyte-infused refreshment. The nearby pro shop outfits climbers with name-brand gear for purchase, while a WiFi lounge transmits terabytes of data into nearby electronic devices or unsecured cyborg brains.
In the summer, Captain Don Cartwright migrates from Florida to New Jersey to captain fishing trips off Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays aboard his 35-foot boat, the Bill Chaser. Cartwright, who has a US Coast Guard master's license and more than 20 years of fishing experience, helps groups hook everything from striped bass and bluefish to larger catches such as bluefin tuna and shark.
Opened in 1998, Floyd Hall Arena welcomes skaters of all sizes to practice their axels and slap shots on two NHL-sized ice rinks. In addition to youth hockey and Learn to Skate programs with professional instructors, the rink hosts public skating sessions each week so that casual skaters can loop the rink as their leisure and more advanced skaters can test out prototypes of hand skates. Patrons can take a look at upcoming public skating times by checking the monthly event schedule, found here.
Lissette Brandao has a wealth of national and international experience, including spending her college career at Rutgers, playing semi-professionally in the US, and playing internationally for the Portuguese Women's National Team. But she doesn't keep everything she's learned to herself. Instead, she teaches youngsters and high-schoolers the world's game, from basics to advanced, through team training, camps, and private lessons. To ensure she delivers the highest possible quality to the youth she teaches, she has certifications from organizations such as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the US Soccer Federation.
Even after 10 years in business, a spot on Golf Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, and multiple features in Entrepreneur magazine, CEO Joshua Jacobs maintains a laserlike focus on what’s important to the health of America’s youngsters. His youth-enrichment program, taught at all TGA franchises, uses the games of golf and tennis as means for communicating positive life values and building confidence in pre-K through 8th-grade students, all while keeping kids active to combat obesity. Born from a team of golf, tennis, and education professionals, the five-level TGA curriculum teaches etiquette, sportsmanship, and the value of physical activity alongside lessons in math, science, history, and English. The trained staff outfits each student with modified equipment for their lesson, including shorter golf clubs, lighter tennis racquets, and reduced-flight golf balls that have had their wings clipped for indoor use. Students also receive a handbook filled with lessons, activities, and challenges to encourage further development.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.