Philadelphia Rock Gyms challenges climbers of all skill levels with 2,000 square feet of climbing terrain, 1,500 square feet of bouldering plains, and more than 30 top ropes. Initiates to the vertical sport can get the hang of climbing basics during the gym’s variety of lessons, which impart skills such as proper technique, safety, and the ability to tell which rocks open a supervillain's secret lair. The gym also features a variety of team-building opportunities and private room rentals, as well as a pro shop that outfits patrons with the proper climbing equipment available for rent or purchase.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Gamin' Ride brings amusement park-style entertainment right to your door in the form of a video game theater complete with gaming consoles, high-definition displays, and 4D interactive technology. Arriving with a trailer full of gaming goodies, the Gamin' Ride crew accommodates groups of up to 16 in the indoor theater to play games on Xbox360, PS3, Wii, and the less-popular Kick the Can console.
Yet the experience is far from your typical video-game play, as players experience superrealistic touches while immersed in play. Some extras include vibrating seats that let you feel the intensity of a car chase and other games work with a Smell-O-Vision system that releases game-appropriate scents, such as fresh-cut grass during Madden games. Each trailer's library features 100 of the most popular multi-player games and also includes the latest sports releases, singing and dancing games, shooting games, and many Mario titles.
"Summer experiences for children should be fun, enriching and affordable." That's the overarching philosophy that Greenhill Day Camp runs by, and it's no surprise that it puts children's needs at the top. Connected to the exploration-centric Plymouth Meeting Friends School, the camp builds those experiences for kids each day with educational summertime activities. Camp sessions are grouped both by age and by theme, giving children the chance to choose a preferred camp week—perhaps one based on learning culinary skills or the wonders of science. In between the daily morning assembly and the campers' sleepy evening commutes home, they spend time splashing at the indoor pool, crafting sculptures from recycled finds, and figuring out which counselor might be the one who's cool with a surprise puppy visitor.
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.
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.