Blue, red, and yellow pads sprawl across 12,000 square feet of gymnastic playground. Mini gymnasts fly on three sets of uneven bars, balance delicately on five regulation-sized balance beams, and launch themselves into the air on the ground-level trampoline. The instructors spot them during programs for all ages, starting with Mommy & Me classes and working their way up to competitive teams.
In the summer, Captain Don Cartwright migrates from Florida to New Jersey to captain fishing trips off Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays aboard his 35-foot boat, the Bill Chaser. Cartwright, who has a US Coast Guard master's license and more than 20 years of fishing experience, helps groups hook everything from striped bass and bluefish to larger catches such as bluefin tuna and shark.
When you set foot inside Centercourt Athletic Club of Marlboro's players lounge and see its mahogany leather chairs set around flat-screen televisions showing major international tournaments, it's clear the club takes tennis seriously. Here, there are six indoor climate-controlled Rebound Ace courts—easily spotted thanks to indirect halogen lighting—where you can take lessons from USPTA pro and founder Clay Bibbee and his fellow expert instructors.
When tennis players aren't engaged in leagues, private instruction, or casual play, they can use the fitness center's Life Fitness machines, adding the strength to put extra zip on a serve or incite intimidation during pregame flexing. Thanks to each of these amenities, the club boasts certification as a Regional USTA Training Center.
As the sun sets, cityscapes buzz with neon silhouettes as runners clad in glow-in-the-dark garbs race through the Glowbash 5K's metropolitan courses. But the late starting time and futuristically-clad participants are not the only things that set this race apart from other 5K trots. Competing in teams of two or more, runners must follow ten clues provided at the start of the race that will guide them to a series of predetermined checkpoints and challenges. Depending on the route they take, runners can cover anywhere from 3 to 5 miles in a path that can take roughly 2.5 hours to complete. After the race, each participant receives a medal and access to a post-race party, where they can mingle with fellow runners rather than going home and jogging alone on their human-sized hamster wheel. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Across the woodsball fields and speedball arena of Long Live Paintball, contenders dodge the colorful fire of their opponents as they leap over cable spools and post up behind a charred bus or towers of barrels. It's on these obstacle-ridden grounds that dye-slingers compete in elimination-style games or battle to complete a given mission, such as capturing the adversary's flag and using it to pick popcorn kernels out of their teeth. Admission rates range from simple entry fees for the fully equipped to all-day Gold packages that supply players with a marker, 500 paintballs, and all the other necessary provisions. Rentable chest protectors cushion trunks from crossfire, and disposable camo cuts down on the time players spend fusing their DNA with that of a tree. Although the field is generally first-come, first-serve, the staff can prepare for parties of 10 or more with an advanced reservation.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.