Adventure Activities in New York City -- Try if You Dare
Here are five adventures in New York City we dare you to try:
1. Free fall over the city
One of the best adventure activities in New York for thrill-seekers is to see New York from above. Literally. Drive out -- or take the Long Island Rail Road -- 70 miles east, to Calverton, N.Y. That's where you'll find Skydive Long Island. That's right: sky dive. Jumpers can go together in groups of two to eight people. You'll watch a brief training video upon arrival, and then sign a waiver (no big deal, right?) and then -- it's off to the plane, with expert divers at your side.
Try to relax as the plane soars to an altitude of more than 13,000 feet. Before you know it, you'll jump out of the plane in tandem, attached to your guide. The free fall lasts about 60 seconds before the parachute lets out. If you're lucky (and your eyes aren't squeezed shut), you'll see the Manhattan skyline. A weekend dive will cost you about $225.
2. Test your acrobatic skills
If you want to stay a little closer to the ground, why not try the flying trapeze! You can do it at Trapeze School New York. Classes are offered daily in trapeze -- as well as other apparatus such as trampoline, silk and ropes, balancing and acrobatics -- for everyone from beginners to expert artists who want to brush up on their skills. The school can be found in a permanent tent on West 30th Street (between 10th and 11th avenues). Other workshops are offered at locations on Governor's Island and right by the Hudson River.
No worries about falling; there's a stretchy net underneath to catch you. But lest you doubt the "daredevil" aspect of this activity, know that you'll have to sign a waiver before you climb one rung of the trapeze ladder!
TSNY Trapeze School New York
Location: 518 West 30th St.
3. Play the Broadway ticket lottery
For some, "daredevil" could be all about taking chances. So why not take a chance on scoring front row seats to a Broadway Show - for 20-30 bucks? I did it a few years ago with my friend Cathy. I'd never seen 'Rent' (believe it or not). We showed up at the theater box office at around 5PM (when it opened) and paid 20 dollars each (an individual can win two tickets so we figured we'd boost our chances). Then we waited. At 6PM, they closed off purchasing options and drew a bunch of names. Mine was one of them. We didn't get front row seats -- but we were in the second row. Not so bad.
The Broadway lottery tradition apparently started with 'Rent' -- but now a lot of other shows offer different lottery options, including students only or standing-room tickets. It's a risk, but definitely worth it.
4. Spend time with Shakespeare
For theater lovers, a must when you go to New York City in the summer is Shakespeare in the Park. It's free. But in order to get in, you have to wait in line -- starting early -- outside the Delacorte Theater in Central Park (right off 81st Street and Central Park West).
I will admit; I have never waited myself. But I've seen a number of shows there -- including 'The Merchant of Venice' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' -- all thanks to my theater expert friend, Cathy. Too bad she's going to Ireland for the year. Regardless, she got up at 4AM every time and spent hours waiting in line. She was always victorious -- and for this, I am grateful. Not everyone is as lucky. But with many things in life, it's a gamble.
5. Put yourself in a cyclone
If all of that seems too sedentary, here's another adventure activity in New York you wouldn't want to miss -- the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island. It's probably one of the most famous coasters... ever. Whatever you do, save your trip to Nathan's for later.
Coney Island is on Surf Avenue in the southernmost part of Brooklyn. The subway can get you there in 45 to 60 minutes from midtown Manhattan. During the summer, there's a fireworks show every Friday night. And for anyone in your travel party who isn't into rides, there's always a stroll along the boardwalk -- or some quiet time on the beach. But you, the daredevil, of course will be strapped in for the ride of your life on the Cyclone!
- Overview:New York Travel Guide