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.
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.
Rooted in the belief that anyone should be able to achieve peak fitness levels without having to break the bank, the staff at New Jersey Sports Advantage guides clients in elite-level training at affordable costs. Though they emphasize baseball and softball skill building, the licensed instructors also dedicate space in the 5,000-square-foot facility to boot camps, speed training, and sports performance programs for both individuals and teams. After a session on the Pilates reformers or relieving stress with a certified fascial stretch therapist, visitors can stop by the onsite café for a healthy snack or smoothie.
Any day of the week, hop over to The Sports Place for rollicking barrels of unrefined fun in batting cages, game rooms, full basketball courts, laser-tag zones, and more. The inflatable playground provides kids of any age with space to jump, roll, climb, and dive on anything from an oversized dragon to an appropriately sized mega-slide ($9 all-day admission per person). For additional all-ages fun, swing through The Sports Place's signature GloPutt mini-golf course, a Neotastic, glow-in-the-dark wonderland packed with motorized obstacles that, if dodged correctly, light up the faces and giggleplexes of any child ($7 per round per person). If you're feeling weak-kneed from physical exertion, refuel at The Sports Place's snack bar.
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.
The Ballpark's 15,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility has been the training ground for regional all-star youth league players and state championship teams since 1999. A team of experienced coaches, led by three-time Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Tony Picaro, teaches fundamentals such as bunting, fielding, and signing autographs while wearing an oversize novelty foam finger. Private and group lessons hone skills after school, and multiday clinics immerse rookies and pros alike in the sport's finer points. Outside class hours, players practice at six public batting cages, a timed home-to-first track, and a pitching mound monitored by radar and off-duty traffic cops. The Ballpark is also a great place to host a birthday party, which include pizza or hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, papers goods, and a free batting cage token.