119 W. 25th St., fifth fl.
Founded in 1883, this is the biggest fencing club in the country.
Your kids (ages 8 and up) will joust with the best (the U.S.
Olympic team trained here). Private ($30–$50 per twenty
minutes) and group ($20–$50 for one to three hours)
lessons are taught by national and Olympic team coaches; memberships
are required ($500 for students).
114 W. 26th St.
This 75-year-old school holds monthly competitions using regulation
electronic scoring equipment. Annual memberships are $350
for individuals, $500 for families, but kids needn’t
join in order to parry and feint on their floors: Youngsters
5 to 12 can just sign up for private ($30–$35 an hour)
or group ($15 an hour) lessons from former Olympians and national
The First Tee Metropolitan New York
Mosholu Golf Course; 3700 Jerome Ave., at Bainbridge Ave.,
Aspiring Tigers, from the ages of 7 to 17, start at a mandatory
six-week program taught by PGA professionals (free of charge).
After that, youngsters may become members of this nine-hole
course established in 1928, paying $5 a day, whenever there’s
no snow, to play with volunteer instructors when available.
The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers
Pier 59, 18th St. at the Hudson River
Outfitted with rainproof coverings and heating, this outdoor
driving range is open year-round and offers an after-school
program that covers basic swing technique and the fundamentals
of the sport ($220 for seven weeks). There’s also a
family clinic for kids 4 to 11 ($275 for four weeks), and
the Junior Golf Team (ages 7 to 16 by invitation only) is
open to highly skilled kids who have already participated
in at least one of the programs.
Randalls Island Golf School
Randalls Island’s new two-tiered, 70-station driving
range, which can be covered and heated for winter play, offers
private lessons ($60–$70 per half-hour) taught by PGA
members. Children 5 and up are invited to work on any aspect
of their game, from swinging to putting and chipping; equipment
Gymnastics & Acrobatics
Former Big Apple Circus instructor Kevin O’Keefe runs
programs at various schools, nonprofits, and churches. Four-hour
workshops ($50) include Circus Yoga (a combination of Hatha
yoga, clowning, and partner acrobatics—kids balancing
on their parents). During two-week Circus Kids Create sessions
($325), kids put on an entire circus.
Trapeze School New York
Hudson River Park, south of Canal St.
Daredevils 6 and up can take flying-trapeze classes off a
23-foot platform in Hudson River Park. Taught by former circus
stars, classes start with knee-hanging and move into basic
swings and getting caught by instructors ($47–$65 for
Claremont Riding Academy
175 W. 89th St.
The oldest continuously operated stable in the country has
staff members who have ridden competitively and calm, cosmopolitan
horses. Starting at the age of 6, children learn to approach
horses, then progress toward jumping and dressage in a ring
in the academy’s building. Semesters are nine to twelve
weeks, and range from $545 for a set of weekly one-hour group
lessons to $655 for weekly half-hour private lessons.
88-11 70th Rd., near Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills
This small stable has no ring, so English and Western lessons
($55 for private, $45 for semi-private and $38 for four or
more) focus on various gaits rather than jumping. While kids
8 and up can take guided trail rides ($25), younger ones can
take pony rides ($5).
Jamaica Bay Riding Academy
Gateway National Recreation Area, 7000 Belt Pkwy., Mill Basin,
This gorgeous 300-acre preserve offers an Olympic-size indoor
ring, a large outdoor arena with 50 cross-country fences,
and three miles of beachfront riding. Kids 8 and older can
start off with pony rides ($10 for fifteen minutes) and graduate
to guided trail rides after 11 ($27 for 45 minutes in a group,
or $45 per person for a two-person private ride). All jumping
and dressage lessons are private ($60 per hour).
51 Caton Pl., near Coney Island Ave., Kensington, Brooklyn
Dating back to the nineteenth century, Prospect Park’s
only stable offers two barns, an indoor riding ring, plus
the park’s outdoor riding rings and bridle paths. Kids
over 6 start with private lessons ($25 per half-hour, $45
per hour) in either English or Western style and move into
three-to-five-person group lessons ($35 per hour) depending