As a living landmark to the performing arts and cornerstone of the Rahway Arts District, the Union County Performing Arts Center has endured history and earned its way onto the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Recently restored to its 1928 luster, the former Rahway Theatre retains the charm and grandeur of its vaudeville theater origins while encouraging new forms of entertainment. From its 1,300 seats––where crowds once gathered to watch RKO movies and WWII newsreels––audiences can marvel at the theater’s opulent, gold-crested ceilings and ponder how many dresses can be made from its rich red drapes. One of the theater’s proudest treasures is its original Wurlitzer organ, which is small in stature, but emits massive sound out of its 500 pipes.
Leading more than 30 bike tours across the nation, the cycling enthusiasts at Bike and Roll fuel a passion for healthy, eco-friendly transportation via guided tours and self-guided rides atop rental bikes. Their fleet of two-wheelers stakes a claim to Trek bicycles—the same brand that propelled Lance Armstrong to victory—and other recreation, transportation, road, and children's bikes. Riders can pedal behind a guide during the Ride 'Round Manhattan tour, which circles the Statue of Liberty and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial before cruising along the Harlem River bike path. More adventurous cyclists can board rental cycles on their own and confer with free maps to conduct a jaunt across the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges while drinking in the skyline and making Waldo spottings along the river. Bike and Roll also outfits patrons with other specialty transportation, such as in-line skates, segways, and magic carpets programmed to swing past the tops of only historic buildings.:m]]
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.
BAM Social Sports assembles co-ed teams of athletes aged 21 and older for regular battle in recreational games throughout northern and central New Jersey. The network's friendship-fueled leagues span a wide range of sports, including basketball, soccer, softball, and bowling, and excluding hamster racing. After games, players can retire to local sponsor bars, where discounts on food and drink help celebrate victories or fuel mournful food fights.
Having accrued 15 years of teaching experience, the staff members at Tennis Innovators prioritize exciting instruction and curriculums over barraging students with volley after volley. They appreciate the challenge of holding a child's interest and create fun drills for junior pupils, who can begin to learn racket-swinging techniques as early as age 3. The QuickStart and JuniorExtreme programs act as intriguing introductions to the sport for adolescents and work on improving their coordination, mobility, and athleticism, both on and off the court. In fact, they don't require a court to host their afterschool programs and will adapt lessons to fit any suitable space, such as a gymnasium or the least occupied patch of an in-use baseball diamond.
Classes aren't just for children—the staff hosts adult sessions aimed at improving overall game play and fitness in a supportive environment for fully formed humans of all skill levels. Staffers also lend their management expertise to neighborhood tennis clubs, providing guidance for hiring and training processes, court maintenance, and marketing.
The organizers of Garden State BrewFest invite beer lovers to sample the ales and lagers of tri-state-area brewers in the name of charity. After collecting donations of canned food for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, gate attendants usher visitors in to taste two-ounce samples, each freshly poured by representatives from breweries such as Philadelphia’s Yards Brewing Company and Cape May County’s Tuckahoe Brewing Company. An array of entertainment engages guests throughout the four-hour fete, including live bands, a beer-pong tournament, and a keg-icing contest. Their Homebrew Competition lets DIY brewers enter their best fall-season beers, and the grand-prize winner gets to work alongside master brewer Brendan O’Neil of New Jersey Beer Co. Brewery for a day. Garden State BrewFest’s team donates a portion of the proceeds to St. Jude Children's Hospital.