Indoor Obstacle Courses, Ninja Warrior Training, and Aerial Arts for NJ Kids
Got kids who are obsessed with American Ninja Warrior and want the thrill of climbing warped walls? Or junior acrobats hoping to twirl in the air like circus performers in The Greatest Showman? Well, they're in luck because New Jersey is home to many indoor ninja-style obstacle courses and aerial arts gyms where your little acrobats and ninjas can hone the skills they've seen on TV.
These indoor adventures get your kids climbing, vaulting, swinging, and balancing. These New Jersey facilities keep adventure-seekers moving right through the winter from ropes courses and rock walls to trapeze swings and plate-spinning.
While the need to get kids out of the house is undeniable, keep in mind the high coronavirus rates before stepping out, and take proper precautions to keep your family safe. Find more active spots for NJ kids in our Sports Centers Guide. If you'd rather stay in, we've also got fun at-home ideas to get kids moving like these 25 exercise games and creative recess breaks.
Editor's note: Please click through to each venue's website for current safety protocols. Even if the venue doesn't mandate masks, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance. If a venue is too crowded, try using the "see all locations" option in this article or the "nearby" search feature on our Event Calendar to find something else to do.
Test your strength and agility in weekly competitions at Center Court.
Obstacle Courses and Ninja Gyms in NJ
Center Court – Chatham, Mount Olive, Lawrence
2021 update: All locations open for classes. Safety protocols are in place, including temperature checks, mask requirements, and social distancing.
Join the Ninja League here and test your strength and agility in weekly competitions. Young ninjas can start practicing at age 5, working up through increasingly challenging obstacles. Outdoor obstacles are also offered during warm weather and summer camps.
All Heart Athletic Academy – Hamilton
2021 update: Classes and parties are up and running. The facility follows health department guidelines.
Designed to improve your kids' athleticism and sharpen their minds, the obstacles here are infused with martial arts elements. With afterschool programs, camps, birthday parties, and adult classes, this facility aims to build strength and focus in kids and adults. Trial classes are available.
Get Air – Freehold
2021 update: Open with safety precautions and temperature checks.
This indoor trampoline park recently added a ninja-inspired obstacle course. The facility's popular vertical and side-by-side trampolines are now joined by a slackline, monkey rings, unstable fidget ladder, and rock-climbing wall. For younger kids, the tumble tracks and foam pit are ideal bouncy training grounds.
Get movin' and groovin' with a break dance class at Hudson Play.
Hudson Play – Jersey City
2021 update: Open with safety precautions. All guests over the age of 2 must wear masks.
This family-friendly Hamilton Park play space makes the ninja experience accessible to children ages 5 and older. Inspired by co-owner Jay Batra's 9-year-old son, fitness options include tumbling, swings, climbing, and ninja courses, in addition to chess and enrichment activities. The dynamic obstacle course is regularly reconfigured to keep the challenges fresh.
Movement Lab – Hainesport
2021 update: Open for classes, parkour, and parties; reservations are required. Other safety protocols are in place.
Founded by brothers who competed in the televised finals of American Ninja Warrior in Las Vegas, this gym offers pre-teen hula hoop classes, beginner parkour, ninja games, and birthday parties for children ages 6-12.
Nex Level Arena recently added several American Ninja Warrior–inspired features.
Nex Level Arena – Flemington
2021 update: Ninja courses, classes, and parties are all available. Enhanced cleaning procedures, temperature checks, and other safety protocols are in place.
A recent renovation of this indoor sports training complex has made it a go-to venue for obstacle courses, kids' classes, and birthday parties. In addition to its indoor turf fields and sports conditioning classes for kids ages 10 and up, new features include American Ninja Warrior–inspired quintuple steps, a cannonball alley, an unstable bridge, parkour boxes and ropes, and a warped wall. New drop-in classes and a kids ninja team are also offered.
Pinnacle Parkour Academy – Princeton and Cherry Hill
2021 update: Open for parties, classes, and ninja obstacles with safety protocols in place. Free trial classes are offered.
Focused on movement for all ages, this gym features modified, age-appropriate versions of the most popular ninja warrior obstacles for children, teens, and adults. A curved, warped wall, chin-up challenges, and other hurdles make kids feel like they are inside a favorite video game. After-school classes, birthday parties, and one-on-one training sessions are offered on courses designed by trainers who have competed on American Ninja Warrior.
Test your skill and determination on the Urban Air Warrior Obstacle Course.
Urban Air – Milltown
2021 update: Warrior course and other attractions are open with temperature checks, reservations, and other safety protocols.
Defy gravity at Urban Air's Warrior Obstacle Course and test your strength and agility on the trapeze swings, rings, ropes, and more. This massive trampoline facility also houses climbing walls, battle beams, tumble tracks, and a tube playground.
Where to Learn Circus Skills and Aerial Arts in NJ
Circus Place – Hillsborough
2021 update: Classes are running. Masks must be worn, and capacity is limited. Virtual classes are available as well.
The warm and welcoming spirit of the circus is alive at this facility, where kids and adults can learn everything from unicycling and juggling to trapeze arts and hoop skills. There is even a family circus option for the whole family to clown around together, and Circus Sprouts for preschoolers to learn acrobatics, balance, and prop work. Older kids can advance through several levels of lyra—graceful feats of balance in a fabric loop hung from the ceiling—and other aerial skills.
Gymnastics Unlimited – Flemington
2021 update: Classes are in session with limited enrollment, and masks are required.
Combining traditional gymnastics with warrior-style obstacles and circus arts training, this expansive central Jersey center can be a one-stop-shop for your active kids. Classes in the Ninja Zone features parkour, martial arts, gymnastics, and obstacle course training. The annual Ninja Games competition gives kids a chance to show off their kicks, rolls, and flips. Special Lil' Ninja classes are offered for kids ages 3-5.
Gravity Vault's colorful paths help kids scale new heights all while keeping them safe and socially-distanced.
Climbing Gyms in NJ
Gravity Vault – Multiple Locations
2021 update: All locations open for climbing. Masks and reservations are required.
The towering indoor rock walls with colorfully marked paths are ideal for kids age 5 and up. Instructors help get kids harnessed and scaling the walls in no time. Older kids may want to reach the top and learn some belaying skills, too. Group lessons and walk-ins available.
ClimbZone Howell – Howell
2021 update: Open Thursdays through Sundays with mask requirement and other safety protocols.
This indoor family entertainment center features more than 68 themed walls for kids of all ages to climb, as well as a ropes course, zip line, soft play for younger children, arcade games, and virtual reality.
High Exposure Climbing – Northvale
2021 update: The training course, classes, and parties are all open. Temperature checks, shoe cleaning, and other safety protocols are in place.
The Action Adventure room in this gym features 10 ninja warrior activities and occasional celebrity visits from American Ninja Warrior competitors. The 2,500-square-foot parkour training course includes two warped walls, multiple vaulting boxes, a salmon ladder, bars, a tightrope, foam pit, and other challenges. A special "Little Ninjas" class for kids ages 2.5 and up features tumbling mats, climbing walls, and a foam pit. Ninja warrior birthday parties include a specialized, age-appropriate obstacle course.
This post, originally published in 2016, is updated annually. Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues