Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
At The Cliffs at Valhalla, professional setters map out more than 200 new climbs every three months. It’s part of the gym’s mission to keep routes as challenging and engaging as those found outdoors.
Though ideal for skilled climbers, the gym caters to first-timers too. Certified instructors lead adult classes in climbing basics. Staff members guide customers to the proper gear and yodeling song books at the pro shop, and they even created a fitness area with climbing-specific cardio training equipment and yoga classes to complement the climbing terrain.
The Cliffs at Valhalla also readies kids for climbing. Climbing camp lets kids experience indoor and outdoor climbing, and award-winning birthday parties furnish groups with private climbing walls and a 1:5 instructor to student ratio.
As the mother of three children, Tara started taking Zumba classes as a way to get back in shape. Not only did she quickly see results, she also had fun moving her body to the Latin-inspired beats. Now a certified Zumba instructor, Tara introduces others to this upbeat fitness craze during one-hour classes.
A veritable mountain greets climbers inside The Rock Club, challenging them to scale its 40' high face without speaking a single word. After pulling their eyes away from the main wall, guests discover the gym's other rocky offerings, including 80 climbing stations, more than 200 individual routes, and muscle-testing bouldering cliffs. Experienced staff members with a passion for climbing roam the gym, eager to help veteran climbers reach new heights, introduce new climbers to the sport during beginners' classes, or describe the scent found at the top of the Himalayan Mountains.
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.
Your excursion will depart from the north side of 43rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, at 9:00 a.m. Because Urban Escapes doesn't like to wait around for latecomers, make sure to get there 20 minutes early. During this time you can make combat buddies in line and give each other cool tough-guy code names such as Iron Steel and Millard Fillmore. A bus will pick up your newly formed militia and transport you to New Breed Paintball in West Milford, NJ, about an hour away from the city. After checking in, you'll spend about two hours traversing private fields under the unblinking eye of watchful referees, dodging airborne paintballs as if they were so many rabid butterflies.
Why build a business based purely on surprising people? “Because life moves fast and we don’t play nearly as much as we should,” say Surprise Industries founders and sisters Kat Dudina and Tania Luna on their website. By setting up surprises for big groups and individual clients alike, the duo, along with their imaginative staff, encourages the giddiness of play that often gets lost in the shuffle of adult responsibilities. With only a location and a time to arrive, participants are swept into an unpredictable adventure that may involve anything from attending an ice-sculpting workshop to being elected chairman of the Federal Reserve.