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.
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.
The phosphorescent indoor landscape at Monster Mini Golf immerses putters in an eerie universe that inverts the sun-soaked cheer of conventional courses. Rimmed in glowing barriers, 18 holes lure swingers of all sizes to challenge their coordination and resolve in the face of winged monsters, scowling animated trees, a creepy clown, and their opponents' shockingly dazzling smiles. Sheltered from searing rain and howling wind, the indoor course enables play around hazards such as a spell well and luminous, ghostly windmill at any time of the year. An in-house radio station and DJ mask the sound of pounding hearts with lively beats and course commentary, and golfers looking for additional glory can win prizes by participating in regular contests or at the on-site arcade.
Offshore Sailing exposes participants to founders Steve and Doris Colgate’s years of water-navigating, knot-tying experience. The couple actively participates in several national boards and committees and competes in numerous races. This year marks the school’s 47th year in business. Budding sailors will participate in a two-hour lesson with up to three other students, ensuring individual attention and personal dolphin-speak translations from knowledgeable instructors on a sleek, award-winning Colgate 26 sailboat. The lesson will provide novice seafarers with the basic skills to sail with confidence, just like it has for more than 115,000 other graduates.
Despite the adventure that the urban landscape of New York has to offer, some city dwellers can’t shake the itch to climb boulders, hike mountain trails, and surge through whitewater rapids. One group of New Yorkers decided to remedy this, organizing weekend retreats to places such as the Adirondacks and New Hampshire's White Mountains. As word of their adventures grew, more and more people asked to join, and thus began Outdoor Connections. Today, its guides lead outings for adventurers of all fitness levels, from a day of apple picking, hiking, and wine to full-moon hikes with campfire roasts and unabashed howling. Loading up large passenger vans, Outdoor Connections' team takes guests to places such as state parks and preserves in the Adirondacks and Catskills, as well as along the Hudson River Valley and Delaware and Lehigh Rivers.
Soccer is known as "the beautiful game," but it doesn't always start out pretty. It takes hard work and determination to become a great footballer. That's why Coach Frank opened Soccer Beyond, a comprehensive training community. Having gone through top-flight academies, including the school at Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany, he's performed some of the sport's most demanding drills and skills. He teams up with Coach Andrew, a product of Everton FC's academy in Liverpool, England. Together they have a world of soccer knowledge to share.
The main points the coaches want to instill is that soccer is a team sport and to have fun. They don't exclude anyone from playing, and keep an upbeat, encouraging atmosphere throughout all training sessions, scrimmages, and games. During sessions, they teach adult and youth players how to pass, receive, and dribble. They also cover keys to soccer-specific quickness and building stamina. Whether engaging their students through camps or league games, the coaches always place importance on healthy lifestyles and can-do attitudes.
The YMCA of Greater New York keeps community members in peak physical condition with an array of fitness, sporting, and outreach programs. During an unlimited one-month training montage, bodies heave weights, raise heart rates on strength and cardio machines, and bulk up atrophied gills with aquatic activities. Patrons can donate sweat socially during group classes that do not require registration, such as Zumba, yoga, and cardio kickboxing. Child-care programs ($2.50/hour)—available at various locations—busy youngsters in safe settings as parents pump up muscles in preparation for tearing phone books in half.
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