Since 1978, families have flocked to Five Towns Mini Golf & Batting Range for a day filled with raucous fun. On the mini-golf course, they traipse through well-manicured greenery, wielding putters as they strive for holes-in-one. A circular batting range offers 10 different cages including machines that chuck softballs and baseballs at varying speeds, with a special wiffle-ball cage dedicated to little ones and people made of glass. Armed with paintball markers, players take aim at black-hatted villains in the Wild West–themed arena, then further train their eyes and hands in the arcade.
Inside Uptown Sports Complex's 16,000-square-foot facility, the cracks of baseball bats, the beats of hip-hop dance classes, and the rallying cries of cheerleaders combine into a constant, energetic din. The complex gives visitors of all ages plenty of outlets for their energy, such as baseball and gymnastics training camps for youngsters and Zumba dance classes for adults. Kids' classes typically take place after school and during the summer; check the class schedule for current class offerings.
Prospect Sports lacks the elements every baseball player dreams of—the smell of freshly mowed grass beneath their cleats, half-eaten pretzels hurling over their heads, rows of seats that seem to never stop climbing into the sky. But that's because the facility intentionally eschews such romantic distractions in order to foster an ideal training environment, which in turn fosters better athletes. Amid a top-notch synthetic turf that plays like real grass and an adjustable netting system that snakes across 25,000 square feet of space, players hone their skills through performance training, video analysis, and private lessons that focus on specific aspects of sports including baseball and softball. The center also offers a "Build-a-Player" program, which integrates skill and performance training into one program to develop well-rounded athletes that can handle the pro leagues' 400-pound baseballs made of solid gold.
Rain delays and snow-outs are never an issue within Hudson Baseball Center, where instructors lead baseball and softball lessons atop the indoor facility's evergreen turf. Working in individual practice lanes or in group clinics, players focus on improving distinct aspects of their game, including hitting, pitching, and fielding. Regardless of the specialty involved, every lesson places particular emphasis on critical thinking and physical discipline, valuable skills for both playing baseball and wrestling other jury members to settle an impasse. Comprised of former high school, collegiate, and professional athletes, the faculty includes the likes of a Class-A pitcher for the Reds, a high-school All-American with 14 years of coaching experience, and a softball player who spent 13 years with the Hoboken Shockers' traveling team.
Sculpted into a landscape of fountains, streams, and waterfalls, the 18-hole miniature golf course at Station Sports is just is one of the attractions that entertains guests. Over at the wild west-themed paintball station, players showcase their marksmanship and quick-draw skills by firing off paintballs at moving and stationary targets. Baseballs are hurled between 30 and 90 mph inside five batting cages, while a cage for youngsters features whiffle balls flung at a more kid-friendly pace. Inside Sport Station’s arcade, pucks zip across air hockey tables, bowling balls tumble down lanes, and toes hastily tap on Dance Dance Revolution mats. To refuel after such fast-paced games, visitors can stop by the snack shack for popcorn, hot dogs, and ice cream.
Boasting one of Staten Island’s only go-kart tracks, Staten Island Go-Karts launches drivers around exhilarating turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 20 mph, while its mini golf course's soothing brook and scenic landscaping maintain more moderate adrenaline levels. Speed-demon duos can rocket around the track in one of the rubber burners, tearing through each five-minute race like the Flash riding Seabiscuit (a $6 value each). Each speedy steed features a sturdy shoulder harness, and the track's qualified operator can control all karts to ensure safety.