Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.
Strikes and spares abound at Larkfield Lanes, where balls have tumbled down 20 lanes since 1949. The sport hasn?t changed much in the intervening years, though the alley certainly has. Every Friday and Saturday night, for instance, the house lights go down for glow bowling, where special-effect lighting and upbeat tunes turn the alley into a nightclub-style setting. Complimentary bumpers, meanwhile, ensure that balls never wander into gutters, and four-week Learn to Bowl classes ready kids for future bumper-free games. Once they have the basics down, youngsters can even enter one of Larkfield Lanes? leagues, which the alley also hosts for adults and senior citizens.
With two European-inspired quarter-mile courses, Grand Prix New York's sanctuary for speed captures the thrill of karting in the country's largest indoor race complex. Racers rumble and roar over speedways that change elevation six times, careen cars around 14 turns and three elevation changes, and boast a gravitational pull quadruple that of a black hole. Drivers race in championship-caliber gasoline-powered Sodi Karts equipped with race-proven safety-wrap systems and 6.5-horsepower engines that reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Three custom tracks help racers curb repetition, and teen-friendly Brownstone and tyke-friendly Tunnel tracks give mini racers the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Apart from its karting specialty, Grand Prix New York houses a bowling alley, billiards room, arcade, and bounce castle. The onsite restaurant, appropriately named Fuel, serves up an American menu of burgers, sandwiches, and more. Fully enclosed and air-conditioned, Grand Prix New York shelters families from heat waves and summer storms, offering a comfortable arena for healthy competition or proving that six failed driving tests can be a fluke.
NYC Skeeball League brings players from around the city together for structured, social rounds of the classic boardwalk game. At bars across Manhattan and Brooklyn, league members test their mettle against one another during game nights featuring two matches of seven games apiece. Although winners enjoy the sweet taste of victory, all participants receive the benefit of meeting new people as well as free games of skee-ball on league nights and frequent after parties at host bars. Players in groups of four or more can form their own league team, and individual players can sign up as free agents, where they will be paired with others after fierce contract negotiations sweetened by bonus high-fives.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.
LIFE The Place to Be is like a chameleon in the form of a giant 25,000-square-foot building. The space can serve many different purposes: a venue for weddings, the site of Sweet 16 parties, and a fun center with activities for all ages. Aside from the event space?which incorporates amenities such as projection screens and a sound system?the facility houses a rock-climbing wall, four mini AMF bowling alleys, and 3,000 square feet of arcade games.