Chelsea Piers: The Perfect Place for an Active Day in New York City

by Nick David

Spread over nearly 30 acres along the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan, the Chelsea Piers is one of New York’s most popular full service sports and entertainment complexes.   In 1995, developers took over four of the city’s historic piers and transformed them into a massive recreation venue. Today, Piers 59 to 61 and the area around them are built up to offer endless opportunities for New York residents or visitors to golf, skate, bowl, play, have lunch, get a massage or take a cruise.

Chelsea Piers

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Go Golfing
The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers offers a year round opportunity to hit a few balls. It is a four-level high-tech driving range with a 200-yard fairway. Visitors simply have to buy a ball card, insert it into the card reader and the automatic ball tee-up system loads up the balls so you can drive them towards the sparkling river.

There is also an indoor training center, where any level of golfer can sign up for private or semi-private lessons, or even enroll in golf school. There are also camps and instruction for children as young as four years old. The golf academy offers a practice sand bunker, swing simulators, and PGA certified instructors who can help advance any skills.

Get a Massage
Chelsea Piers also offers a Sports Center Health Club, but that is membership only. Visitors are able to take advantage of all the services at the Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa located at the Sports Club. It offers full salon services, including haircuts and styling, as well as spa services for anyone looking for a blowout, a mani-pedi, acupuncture, chakra balancing, or a full Swedish massage. Make sure to phone for appointments well ahead of time.

Go Skating
Anyone who feels like skating at any time during the year can just head to the Sky Rink at Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers. This massive indoor skating facility is open year round and offers rental skates and helmets for kids during general skating hours. There is general skating available for several hours almost every afternoon, but call ahead to make sure as the schedule can change. For groups of twelve or more, there’s a discount and skate rental is included if reservations are made more than 48 hours in advance. There are locker rentals available.

The Field House
Aside from golf and skating, there are lots of other activities offered at the Chelsea Piers for casual visitors who just feel like getting out to play. The Field House offers open soccer or basketball games, batting cages, parkour lessons for teens, as well as youth and adult rock climbing. Call ahead to confirm times and prices. Also make sure to arrive early as these drop in sessions are highly popular.

Whatever you end up doing at Chelsea Piers, plan to spend the whole day. There are lots of places to eat, so don’t worry about getting hungry. There’s an Italian pizza place, a brew pub and a sandwich shop all right on the property. There are also lots of places to just sit and enjoy the beautiful views of the river and the New York and New Jersey skylines.

A Leisurely Boat Ride
Aside from all the on-land sporting activities, Chelsea Piers also has a Maritime Centre which offers several ways to explore the Hudson River and the incredible views of the Manhattan Skyline. Visitors can book a lunch or dinner cruise on the Bateau NY or the Spirit of NY. There are also classic harbor cruises, cruises around the Statue of Liberty or sunset cruise available from a number of different operators, including Yacht Manhattan, America 2.0 and Eastern Star among others.

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