Every parent knows kids sometimes have more energy than they know what to do with. Structured classes that keep the kids moving can be a great way to get out all this energy. If you’re looking for a class that is a little more outside the box, check out axe-throwing. (Don’t worry, it’s totally safe for your youngster!) Or, if you have a little American Ninja Warrior fan on your hands, consider enrolling them in some classes where they can take a swing at their favorite obstacle course themselves. Whether it’s axe-throwing or building their ninja skills, here are some places in the city where you can take your kids for a unique, adrenaline-filled experience guaranteed to get their blood pumping while getting the wiggles out.
The Field House, 62 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011
If you’re still looking for ways to keep the kids occupied this summer, look into the “Ninja & Parkour Camp” at Chelsea Piers. Kids will have plenty of fun trying out equipment like the vault, balance beam, pommel horse, rock climbing wall and more. The camp is suitable for kids ages 7 to 13, and days last from 8:45 am to 4 pm You can book the camp for anywhere between one and eight weeks.
73 Allen St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10002
Don’t let the name deceive you. Gotham Archery specializes in bow-and-arrow classes, but they also offer a 1.5-hour course on throwing axes and knives. The class starts with 20 minutes of instruction on safety and form, but the remaining 70 minutes are devoted to student practice. Throwers under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and all throwers must be at least 16 years old. Classes are $50 per person at Gotham Archery’s Manhattan location.
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10128
Kids can work on agility and teamwork skills in “Ninja Kids” courses, where they’ll use gymnastics equipment and the Ninja Warrior curriculum. Three different “Ninja Kids” courses are offered based on age, ranging from 4- to 7-year-olds. If you’d prefer a one-time ninja training experience, check out the “Ninja Night Out” course. Here, kids ages 5-16 will have three hours of fun going through Ninja Warrior obstacle courses as they learn parkour from USA Gymnastics-certified staff. All skill levels are welcome. This course is $50 and includes pizza for when the kids have worked up an appetite! If your child likes parkour, they can also take the “Parkour & Ninja” course, where certified instructors will teach them how to move quickly through equipment like a warped wall and vaulting blocks. No experience is necessary, and kids ages 5-14 are welcome to join.
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11234
The “Ninja Warrior and Parkour” class at Aviator Sports and Event Center is a great fit for kids who want to brush up on their ninja skills (and parkour!). The Ninja Warrior obstacle course will help little ones improve their speed and strength as they hurry through obstacles like slanted steps, unstable bridges, a cargo net swing and more. In the parkour part of the course, jumps, vaults and climbs will help kids build their agility, flexibility and coordination. Several classes of “Ninja Warrior and Parkour” are available, with sessions offered for kids ranging from 5 to 17 years of age.
Neighborhood: Gerritsen Beach
25 Noble St., Brooklyn, NY 11222
If you’re looking for a more competitive axe experience besides free throwing, go to Bury the Hatchet, where you can play games of axe-throwing! Sessions last 1.5 hours, but you can play several games in that time. Before they begin, all throwers receive a 15-minute safety and training session. Each lane can accommodate up to 12 people, so the kids can bring their friends! Trained staff will supervise training and keep score of your games. Throwers must be at least 16 years old and those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent. The cost is $39.99 per person, but Bury the Hatchet also hosts walk-in hours on Mondays through Thursdays from 4 pm – 8 pm, when sessions are half-priced at $20 per person.
480 Baltic St., Brooklyn, NY 11217
The rules here are the same as they are at Gotham Archery’s Manhattan branch, but the axe- and knife-throwing classes at this location are $45 per person.
622 Degraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Even your younger children can take part in the fun at Kick Axe Throwing. Kids (and adults!) ages 8 and up are welcome to join in as long as they have the necessary coordination to throw. If they’re not up to wielding real hatchets yet, there are also foam axes for the kids to throw. “Axe-tructors” are on-site during each session to teach your students to throw. When you’re done, Kick Axe even has plaid shirts, fake beards and tattoo sleeves if you want to take a themed family photo! All throwers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Classes run for 1.25 hours and cost $35 per person.
Queens & Staten Island
47-11 Van Dam St., Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101
Neighborhood: Long Island City
501 Industry Rd., Staten Island, NY 10314
At Axes and Arrows, throwers will have 15 minutes of learning the rules and basics before trying it for themselves. The remaining hour of the session will be divided into multiple games. The cost is $25 per person for a session lasting 1.25 hours. Kids ages 12 and up are welcome to throw.