9 Surprising Indoor Sports At Recreation Centers All Over NYC

With the arrival of the first day of spring and snow still falling in the middle of March, New Yorkers of all ages are hibernating inside their warm, cozy abodes. And who can blame them? Although there are fun activities for kids to enjoy during the winter months like sledding and ice skating, there’s a time limit for being outside in the cold, harsh weather. As winter drags on and the kids are begging to get back to their fun sports, NYC Parks has shared a list of unique indoor sports available at recreation centers across the five boroughs! Read on to learn about 9 of our favorites for kids.

Wheelchair Basketball At West Bronx Recreation Center



Basketball is a team sport, and to be successful, you need to work with your team and develop a bond with them. Wheelchair basketball serves the same purpose; the only difference is you are sitting and wheeling around the court instead of running. Basketball teaches kids and adults alike to work as a team to win the game. Bring the entire family to scrimmage with the teams and learn something new and different about a sport that is a century old. This is also offered in Manhattan and Queens and is open to people of all abilities. Check the website for more information. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 1527 Jesup Avenue, Bronx; 718-293-5934.

Jianzi At Al Oerter Recreation Center

Tuesdays and Thursdays


Dive into Chinese culture and have fun playing this traditional Chinese sport! Jianzi is a game played similar to hacky sack. The goal of a Jianzi game is to keep a heavily-weighted birdie off the ground for as long as possible using your body, but no hands are allowed. Adults will burn some calories and kids will burn off some extra energy with this exciting and refreshing sport. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 131-40 Fowler Avenue, Queens; 718-353-7853.

Roller Skating At Sunset Recreation Center and Brownsville Recreation Center

Times and dates vary

Get ready to get into the swing of things with roller skating! No longer a thing of a past, this retro activity that used to appeal to tweens and teens in ’70s and ’80s is now appealing to modern adults and kids of all ages. Adults can show off their smooth moves while kids can find their own groove at the weekly skate aerobics class in Sunset Park. Once everyone has got their skills down, show off them off and challenge your family to a skate-off at the Friday night roller skating parties in Brownsville! Check the website for more information. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 4200 7th Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-972-2135. 

Indoor Kayaking At Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center



You don’t need a lake to learn how to kayak! Kids can learn basic paddling and safety techniques in the pool in the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center! Plan ahead and prepare for a kayak trip that the entire family will enjoy this summer. This is great time for kids to learn all about this recreational water activity while having some fun in the pool! Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, ages 6-13. 232 West 60th Street; 212-397-3159.

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Urban Adventures Training At Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center

Tuesdays and Thursdays


Set your kids imagination and adventurous spirits free as they learn knot-tying and mountaineering techniques through indoor climbing challenges and ropes courses that encourage team-building skills. This training course will allow kids to test themselves against a series of unique physical challenges! Plus, kids will gain confidence and comfort in adventuring, while having a great time and staying active. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, ages 6-13. 93-29 Queens Boulevard; 718-263-1163. 

Double Dutch At Sorrentino Recreation Center

Times and dates vary

Although double dutch is a childhood and school playground favorite, it’s also a sport that helps kids develop their gross motor skills, such as running, jumping and hopping, while also teaching them how to wait their turn and follow directions. Whether your teen is experienced and looking to compete, or you are just looking for more fun activities for your little one, bring them to the Rockaways to practice and have fun with this award-winning program that’s more than 25 years old! Visit the website for more information. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 18-48 Cornaga Avenue, Queens; 718-471-4818. 

Figure Skating At Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink

Times and dates vary

Figure skating is a thrilling sport that is often enjoyed during the winter time, however families can enjoy the fun of figure skating all year long! Whether your kid is training to be the next best Olympic figure skater or simply wanting to enjoy the recreational benefits of ice skating, The World Ice Arena–a year-round, indoor ice skating rink–is offering figure skating lessons, as well as hockey clinics and learn to skate lessons for the entire family! Through the figure skating program, your kids can perform in shows and competitions. Visit the website for more information. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 131-04 Meridian Road, Queens; 718-271-7572. 

Track and Field At Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex

Times and dates vary

This two-story, 135,000-square-ft state-of-the-art complex includes a hydraulically banked track and seating for 2,500 spectators! Plus, its open to the public year-round and is located by the beach. The entire family can enjoy some of its many features such as an indoor track, places to host shot put, long jump, and high jump competitions, and a weight-training room. Visit the website for more information. Free with NYC Parks and Rec. membership, all ages. 625 Father Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island; 718-351-7923

Tai Chi At Greenbelt Recreation Center

Mondays and Fridays


NYC Parks offers free tai chi classes at the Greenbelt recreation center through the Shape Up NYC program! Originally developed for self-defense method for soldiers, tai chi has evolved into a gentle yet elegant form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction. Through meditation and movement, you will learn relaxation techniques, build on strength, and increase flexibility. Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. Shape Up NYC is a free program. You do not need to be a member of a recreation center in order to attend a class, though you must bring a lock for classes held at recreation centers. Free, all ages. 501 Brielle Avenue (across from Sea View Hospital), Staten Island; 718-667-3545.