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.
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.
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.
The 50-mile-per-hour speeds of Zoom Ziplines’ four lines may feel dangerous, but that’s just an illusion. Daily inspections by staff members ensure safe, smooth trips for all customers who meet height and weight requirements. During two-hour trips, customers cross a suspension bridge on foot and fly down four ziplines that stretch up to 1,400 feet, breathing in mountain air and taking in stunning vistas. The course’s tandem ziplines allow friends to race or merely enjoy side-by-side views of the lake, local wildlife, and clouds playfully contorting themselves into the shapes of former presidents.
Palisades Climb Adventure presented by WonderWorks lays claim to the title of the world's tallest indoor ropes course, and you might not feel like arguing with them when you're 85 feet above the ground. Guests traverse 75 different obstacles that test the climber's mettle, whether they're trying to balance while walking across tremor bridges, maintain their grip on the rope ladder, or fight back the urge to eat the alternating spaghetti handline. Once an adventurer is buckled into the safety harness, they can leap, totter, and dangle through the entire course with the option to leave at any time. The only requirements are a minimum height of 3'6" and a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Staying indoors is fun at Kids Play, where youngsters can run, bounce, swing, and tumble through a variety of play areas. In the sports area, kids practice their kicks with soccer nets or fine-tune their jump shots with a basketball instead of their sister's porcelain teapot. Moonwalks and bounce castles provide a safe place for jumping, while mats offer a soft place to somersault. Kids can also play pretend on an indoor sandy beach or in a play kitchen.