The latest update for this article was written by Lindsay Podolak.
Do you have an American Ninja Warrior fan in the house? New Jersey boasts an array of spots that can fulfill his/her desire to tackle obstacle courses like those seen on the popular television show. These locales feature tests of strength and endurance, climbing, tumbling and more. It’s a perfect way to burn off some steam and keep kids active, too. Here are some of the best places in the Garden State to explore with your little ninja.
Where: 200 Daniels Way, Suite 120, Freehold
Details: This indoor trampoline park boasts a ninja-inspired obstacle course. The ninja course here takes trainees on a race through a maze of walls and trampolines. The Main Court features thousands of square feet of side-by-side trampolines; the section’s selections range from vertical trampolines, basketball courts, a dodgeball area and individual trampolines. Delayed recording cameras and giant flat-screen monitors also record sessions for later viewings.
Why I like it: Every Saturday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 am the venue is open only to special needs jumpers and their families during “Special Time Just for You.”
More info: Visit getairfreehold.com or call 732-228-8435.
Where: 266 Union Street, Northvale
Details: This 20,000-square-foot facility aims to build kids’ strength and courage while developing lifelong friendships. They have obstacles both high off the ground or right at your feet. The Action Adventure Room boasts a ninja warrior course, double salmon ladder, warped wall, 32-foot stunt jump, pole walk, climbing cube and more. Ninja classes work on strength as well as endurance in a fun setting. Classes aim to make exercise interactive while constantly changing. They also offer ninja camps, birthday parties and teams.
Why I like it: Tween Nights and Teen Nights provide youth a fun, healthy alternative to a typical Saturday night.
More info: Visit www.highexposureclimbing.com or call 201-768-8600.
Where: 710 Park Avenue, Hainesport
Details: All classes here are broken up by age and skill level. There are two classes for five-to-eight year old ninjas looking to train, and two classes for nine-to-13 year olds. The ninja class is more for casual training, while the ninja team class (tryouts required) is made for stronger ninjas. The teen ninja class for 13-to-17 year olds prepares kids for competition in the National Ninja League. Its focus is on conditioning and skill development. Non-students can go to open gym, but Movement Lab recommends learning about their facility in a class first.
Why I like it: Movement Lab has been home to more Ninja Warrior finalists than any other facility in the country, so you know your child is receiving top-notch training here.ck the website for the right open gym time for your child.
More info: Visit www.mlabnj.com or call 609-265-1909.
Pinnacle Parkour Academy
Where: 1205 Warren Avenue, Cherry Hill; 45 Everett Drive Princeton Junction; 505 Rt. 168 Unit A, Turnersville
Details: Between all members of the academy’s staff, Pinnacle Parkour Academy has been represented on American Ninja Warrior more than 17 times. So, they know a thing or two about obstacle course racing. This academy also aims to inspire people through movement. Explore the warped walls, rings, monkey bars, ropes, huge foam pit and more.
Why I like it: Week-long summer camps for kids combine parkour instruction, ninja workshops, special guest coaching and games. Only one week is offered at each location, so register early before spots run out!
More info: Visit pinnacleparkour.com or call 855-PRO-PARKOUR (see website for numbers of various locations).
The Edge Sports Center
Where: 19 Royal Road, Flemington
Details: A double salmon ladder, warped wall, ropes, rings, unstable bridge, floating bridge, cannonball alley and other obstacles are all available at The Edge. The gym is structured by age group from Monday through Thursday, but on Fridays, all ages can attend during the open gym from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The Edge recommends that first timers take a session with their age group in order to learn how to tackle the center’s obstacles. The Edge also offers a 10-visit punch card for use any day, Monday through Friday, for ninja warrior classes only.
Why I like it: Whether it’s a viewing party when one of The Edge’s coaches is on American Ninja Warrior or a Mediaeval Knights’ practice where you can watch the knights battle it out in suits of armor and chainmail helmets, this place always has something fun going on.
More info: Visit theedgesportscenter.net or call 908-432-0783.
Base Camp Adventure Fitness
Where: 1591 HWY 37 West, Toms River
Details: Even your preschooler won’t be left out of the action here; classes for 2.5-to-5 year olds offer an introduction to ninja warrior obstacles. During this parent-and-me class, parents can help kids through the course with assistance from an instructor. Base Camp Adventure Fitness offers age-based membership options. Members can take classes and have open gym access (open gym happens from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).
Why I like it: If your kids take a liking to the classes, they can register for Youth Ninja Warrior Competitions, held every year from April through September in three age divisions: 6-8 years old, 9-11 years old and 12-14 years old.
More info: Visit www.basecampnj.comor call 848-226-6554.
All Heart Academy
Where: 2 Nami Lane, Hamilton
Details: All Heart Academy’s motto is “Exercises in Disguise.” They aim to make fitness fun. This includes many obstacles based off American Ninja Warrior. Ninjas can test their skills on the warped wall, salmon ladder, monster wheel and 30-foot long elevated monkey bar set. They even have a motorized rock wall. All ages are encouraged to develop skills related to more than just obstacles, though. That’s why All Heart Academy also teaches skills for rock climbing, gymnastics, parkour, speed, agility and balance.
Why I like it: All Heart swears by these five, unexpected positive effects of martial arts– it boosts confidence, helps you focus, provides physical fitness, gives you a sense of community and is FUN!
More info: Visit www.allheartacademy.com or call 609-577-7609.
Where: 1 Easy Street, Bound Brook
Details: This 11,000-square-foot spot focuses on fitness through movement and play. They also have tons of replicas of obstacles from the American Ninja Warrior show. Obstacles are scattered throughout the gym, and many can be adjusted to different heights, skill sets and ages. Other obstacles pop up during events and competitions to mix things up and test one’s adaptability. Here, ninjas can safely practice a skill or maneuver from various heights, surfaces and angles in their large foam pit. A separate cove even includes a bar for practicing swinging maneuvers.
Why I like it: Groups of homeschooled children ages 9 and older can book private four-week sessions comprised of four two-hour time slots, one hour for the class and one hour for open gym.
More info: Visit www.vertiquestgym.com or call 908-391-3823.
Centercourt Club and Sports
Where: Locations in Chatham, Mt. Olive and Lawrence
Details: Centercourt’s state of the art ninja courses, built by American Ninja Warrior competitors and finalists, offer children and adults a chance to learn the ropes as well as test their skills. With classes, leagues and camps available, Centercourt has a full roster of options for ninja warriors of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a ninja pro or just starting out, Centercourt has the trainers and courses for you.
Why I like it: New this year is the Tiny Tumblers class for children ages 3-5 who are looking to break into the sport that is taking the country by storm.
More info: Visit centercourtacademy.com