The stylists at Cranford Hair Company rarely come across a curl they can’t straighten or a strand they can’t lengthen. Though their skills are potentially intimidating—the staff includes a Redken-certified colorist and specialists in keratin straightening treatments—they go out of their way to make clients feel at ease. This combination of upscale styling and a relaxed atmosphere has won the salon many fans, as has a service menu that caters to both genders with precision haircuts, multidimensional coloring, and 100% human-hair extensions. The staff balances these scalp-oriented services with beauty treatments that focus on the rest of the body. Waxes remove hair entirely, and precise applications of airbrush makeup help skin glow brighter than a light bulb filled with plutonium.
Inside ProtecHockey Ponds Ice Center’s impressive, 52,000-square-foot facility, figure skaters, hockey players, and casual skaters alike glide across three separate ice surfaces—including an NHL regulation-size rink—during lessons, games, and public-skating sessions. Ranging from junior hockey players to New Jersey state figure-skating champions, the team of coaches imparts skills during everything from introductory skating lessons to four-day hockey camps. When the center isn't hosting the public for skate sessions, ProtecHockey Ponds Ice Center is home to the Rutgers University Men's Ice Hockey team, the Protec Ducks Hockey Program, and the nationally recognized Protec Academy Learn-to-Skate Program. Beyond the boards, a full-service café serves lattes for visitors to warm up before watching the center's hockey teams. The rink's staff can also host birthday parties, group outings, and fundraisers in their private room.
Spread across 150,000 sq. ft., Bridgewater Sports Arena is a multi-faceted sports and entertainment complex. In one area, families play arcade games like ski-ball. In another, athletes train on a fitness center's treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines. The arena also encompasses ice rinks and the futuristic LaserZone, where fog and black lights set the stage for games of team laser tag.
City Ice Pavilion's NHL-sized rooftop rink is open to ice-capaders year-round. That's thanks, in part, to the large weatherproof dome that curves over the the interior and gives it a cavernous feel, much like the ancient ice skating rinks found in pyramids. Aspiring skaters can take lessons, then try out their new skills during public skate sessions or adult or youth hockey leagues. Besides classes and open skating times, the Ice Pavilion also hosts a wide range of skating-themed events, including a regular morning coffee club for experienced adult skaters.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.
Steeplechase caters to serious skaters and blade bush leaguers alike with a variety of semiprivate lessons. Helmed by instructors belonging to the U.S. Figure Skating Association, classes span an array of styles, including figure skating, dance, freestyle, and hockey. Students will learn how to impress skeptical sidekicks with fundamental skating techniques, specialized ice skills, and the basic moves required for killer reenactments of Citizen Kane on ice. Enrollees are encouraged bring their own skates and gloves (rental is $4.50), and admission to the rink ($8) is not included.