The Manhattan and Philadelphia skylines are just specks in the distance, as your plane slowly climbs. Once it reaches the proper altitude, the cabin doors fling open. It's time to jump. The instructor strapped to your back gives you a nod, and you tumble through the sky, free-falling at 120 mph for nearly a minute before the parachute opens and you drift gently to the ground.
This scenario fills some with fear and others with an intoxicating wave of adrenaline, but for the instructors at Skydive Jersey, it's just another day on the job. That's because for more than 20 years their company has been specializing in tandem jumps, which retain all the thrill of solo jumps without the months of required training. In fact, this group of experienced skydivers can teach first-timers all the essential skills and safety precautions necessary to take the big leap in only an hour. Skydive Jersey even offers group rates for folks who want to skydive with their friends or bring a pet emu along so it can finally experience the sensation of flight.
As a teenager, Sarah Heward suffered two herniated disks, which left her literally crawling out of bed throughout her teenage years until she was 30. Because her demands as a mother of three young children made it impossible to take time off for surgery, she sought an exercise modality to help heal her damaged back. Sarah found Pilates, which brought her fast relief from the years of pain. Now completely rehabilitated, she leads students of all fitness levels in finding physical wellness at her own studio in both small-group classes and private lessons.
The studio is lined with Pilates machines including reformers and springboards, designed to build patrons’ strength without adding bulk by utilizing the practitioner's own body weight as resistance. She also translates the exercises to mat-based routines, where students need nothing more than willing abdominals and their lucky spandex ascot to complete the full-body-toning regimen.
Delaware River Tubing launches tubes, rafts, and kayaks on five- to six-mile trips down scenic waterways just north of where George Washington historically crossed the Delaware River. Shuttles ferry groups to launch points, where watercraft journeys begin along the wide river. In addition to renting vessels, Delaware River Tubing's crew leads guided kayak tours that can highlight local wildlife and tackle class one rapids like a mall cop tackling a gummy-bear thief.
During river adventures, scents of barbecue waft across the water from the aptly named Famous River Hotdog Man. The riverside eatery, founded in 1987, partners with Delaware River Tubing to give each customer a hot meal, which they can devour at picnic tables in the water.
Even though the sprawling, bright-red barn that sits on Remembrance Stables holds 75 stalls, it doesn't take up much space. That’s because the farm—home to riding lessons, horse boarding, and day camps—sits on 100 acres of rolling, emerald hills, lined by a thick of trees and white picket fences. The expanse of land also houses two indoor arenas and an outdoor show ring, lesson ring, and plenty of wide-open space for riding, training, and reenacting the opening sequence to The Sound of Music. Riding students can opt to learn English-style equitation or hunter and jumper training under the tutelage of instructors specialized in each field, while the farm also hosts day camps for kids aged 6–13, which include lessons in horse care, grooming, breeds, leading, and handling.
Big Wheel Roller Skating Center has been a community staple since 1977. Skaters strap on rented skates, whether they're standard quad, inline, or speed skates, to take a turn around the expansive rink during open skate sessions offered seven days a week. Meanwhile, kids and grownups alike compete on the boards during roller hockey leagues, while tots gain their wheel-legs during roller camps and after-school programs. When feet are ready for a break, skaters can play arcade games that run the length of the rink, or head to the snack bar to refuel with nachos and pizza. And, of course, the rink is a great place for a roller skating party, perfect for those celebrating a birthday or closing on a new treehouse.
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.