Extreme Sports and More Thrilling Activities for Kids near NYC

Take a high-flying lesson in trapeze alongside the Hudson River at the New York School of Trapeze.
Take a high-flying lesson in trapeze alongside the Hudson River at the New York School of Trapeze.
8/11/23 - By Diana Kim

If you're raising a daredevil who loves extreme sports and high-thrill activities, we've got you covered. From parkour classes to go-karts, zip lines, and axe-throwing, we've rounded up 12 thrilling, adrenaline-pumping things to do in NYC. These extreme sports offer excitement and thrills in a safe and controlled environment so parents don't have to worry.

Make sure to take note of any age or height restrictions before heading out or risk being shut out of these extreme sports in NYC. Find more heart-pumping activities and things to do in our Guide to Kids Sports Centers, Gyms, and Fun Zones in NYC.


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Top Extreme Sports and Thrilling Activities in NYC

1. Area 53 – Dumbo, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Spread over two locations, this ultimate action park offers a slew of extreme sports in NYC. The indoor adventure park is located in Williamsburg and includes a ropes course, climbing wall, roller rink, a ninja warrior course, laser maze, battle beam, skeeball, pool, foosball, air hockey, indoor paintball, and airsoft. In Dumbo, kids can hit the action-packed laser tag arena.

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Extreme sports in NYC: Beat the Bomb
Do you have what it takes to Beat The Bomb or will you get blasted?

2. Beat The Bomb – Dumbo, Brooklyn

Beat The Bomb is one of the most exciting escape rooms in NYC, at least according to my kids. It's a mashup of classic escape room fun with new-age gaming technology, game shows, and theater. If you fail to defuse the bomb at the end, you'll be blasted by a colorful paint bomb. Don't worry—Beat The Bomb embraces its extreme sports reputation by outfitting all players in hazmat suits and full-face masks before you even set foot into its escape room. Kids must be at least 8 to partake.

3. Bronx Zoo Tree Top Adventure – Bronx Park, the Bronx

For a thrill like no other, ride the zip line at the Bronx Zoo Tree Top Adventure soaring 400 feet across the Bronx River while suspended 50 feet above the water's surface. You'll feel like you're on a true jungle adventure as you make your way through the climbing course with seven climb options of varying difficulty, including obstacles like wobbly bridges, ladders, and tightropes. Kids need to be at least 7 years of age to enjoy this extreme sports outing.

4. New York and Brooklyn Ninja Academy – Midtown West and Park Slope, Brooklyn

Kids can learn ninja warrior skills at the Brooklyn Ninja Academy and its sister branch, the New York Ninja Academy. Whether training to compete on American Ninja Warrior or just looking for an exciting gym class, this pair of ninja academies is guaranteed to provide a heart-racing workout in more ways than one. For even more thrills, check out its newest aerial silks class, which plays into the fearless ninja warrior attitude and sends students soaring.

RELATED: Roller Skating in NYC for Kids and Families

Extreme Sports and More Thrilling Activities for Kids near NYC: The Cliffs Gowanus.
The Cliffs Gowanus provides a challenging, towering climbing gym for thrillseekers.

5. The Cliffs Gowanus – Gowanus, Brooklyn

Not for the faint of heart, the climbing and bouldering walls at the Cliffs are a great activity for little adventurers. The climbing walls reach nearly 45 feet high, which makes for a challenge. The bouldering walls have more than 150 different "problems," from easy to difficult. Kids can also try out for the competitive team. Looking for more rock-climbing options? Bookmark our post on the kid-friendly climbing walls in NYC for more extreme sports options.

6. Kick Axe Throwing – Gowanus, Brooklyn

Kids who enjoy playing darts or practicing archery may just love axe throwing. It's a fun new adventure for families and kids who want to tackle a new challenge. This extreme sport is best for older kids from tweens to teens. Axe-throwing experts are on hand to provide training and guidance.

7. Trapeze School New York – Greenwich Village

For some high-flying fun, kids love learning the flying trapeze at the New York School of Trapeze. No experience is necessary and kids as young as 6 can take a class. Instruction in this extreme sport starts with basic skills like hanging off the bar by your knees, dismounting with a roll, and being caught by an instructor. Once students are ready, they can try more advanced moves like catch-and-release. After our first class, my kids immediately wanted to go back for another lesson.

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Extreme Sports and More Thrilling Activities for Kids near NYC: The Movement Creative
The Movement Creative promotes parkour skills in city parks. Photo courtesy The Movement Creative

8. Parkour – Citywide

Parkour classes are a creative and exciting way to help kids build physical skills, push their limits, and gain confidence all while having fun in a safe and supportive environment. There are several parkour classes throughout the city, including those offered by The Movement Creative, Brooklyn Zoo, Chelsea Piers, and Parkour NYC.

9. Ropes Courses – Multiple Locations

Thrill-seeking kids can challenge themselves with a ropes course that is interspersed with other exciting activities like zip lines, bungee jumps, bridges, and tunnels. At the Adventure Park at Long Island, there are 49 zip lines,14 trails, and more than 200 "challenges" that keep the excitement level up. Combine a beach trip with an extreme sports outing at WildPlay Jones Beach, which offers three courses with ropes, bridges, and tunnels, a 40-foot bungee jump, and a 700-foot-long zip line. For a FREE option, look into the Alley Pond Adventure Course.

RELATED: Visiting Urban Air Adventure Park in Brooklyn with Kids

Extreme sports in NYC: RPM Raceway Jersey City
Fuel a need for speed at RPM Raceway Jersey City. Photo by Jody Mercier

10. RPM Raceway Jersey City – Jersey City, New Jersey

Get your adrenaline pumping at RPM Raceway Jersey City, which boasts the world's longest indoor electric go-karting track. The track has three levels of elevation, spiraling ramps, and even 90-degree-hairpin turns. Thrilling straightaways allow karters to hit speeds of up to 45 miles per hour on a fleet of brand-new OTL electric go-karts. Riders must be at least 6 years of age and 4 feet tall to ride.

11. City Climb – Hudson Yards

Grab your safety harness and sense of adventure for this extreme sports outing. You'll climb a 45-degree, open-air staircase to the top of 30 Hudson Yards before leaning out over the building's edge for a birds-eye view of the city that never sleeps. This is a truly only-in-NYC experience that puts some thrilling action into your typical observation deck experience. Climbers must be 13 years or older and certain height and weight restrictions apply, too. If your kids want to climb, plan on taking your own daring journey right behind them—minors need permission and a chaperone, but you're in for a memorable experience!

12. iFly Indoor Skydiving – Yonkers and Paramus, New Jersey

Test your kids' mettle with a visit to one of these indoor skydiving venues where they'll experience the thrill of weightlessness thanks to its patented vertical wind tunnel. Sessions include classroom time, plus time to suit up in a flight suit before entering the tunnel with a flight instructor and taking flight. You'll get the feeling of free-falling without the danger of jumping from a plane! Kids as young as 3 can participate in this extreme sports experience.

Unless noted, photos by the author

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