Relaxing classes and activities
Places to blow off some steam.
Mon Feb 15 2010
Chelsea Piers Golf Club (Photograph courtesy Chelsea Piers)
Cousins Paintball (Photograph courtesy Cousins Paintball)
Melody Lanes (Photograph courtesy Melody Lanes)
Okeanos Club Spa (Photograph courtesy Okeanos Club Spa)
New York International Table Tennis Center (Photograph courtesy of NYITTC)
Mondays suck, we know. The bright side? You get to let out all your frustrations with Rock and Roll Karaoke. This isn’t your typical screamfest: The live band backing you has a better chance of drowning out your tone-deaf caterwauling than any normal karaoke machine could. Choose from more than 500 classic songs, including dozens from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen—and don’t forget your air guitar. 95 Stanton St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts (212-995-1652, arlenesgrocery.net). Mon 10pm, free.
Astoria Indoor Batting Range
Bring your A-Rod game and hit the cages. The pitch speed can be adjusted from 40 to 90 miles per hour, so you’ll be smacking balls with reckless abandon no matter what your skill level. 34-37 37th St between 34th and 35th Aves, Long Island City, Queens (718-937-4332). 20 balls $3.
An all-access day pass is just $20 at this 18,000-square-foot indoor rock-climbing playpen. Packed with wall options for both advanced and novice climbers, there are plenty of ways to release your tension—you don’t see Spider-Man ever lose his cool in the line of duty, now do you? 575 DeGraw St at Third Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (917-325-4390, brooklynboulders.com)
Chelsea Piers Golf Club
Enjoy the satisfying thwack of a golf ball being hit head-on at Chelsea Piers’ driving range. Grab a club and set up shop in one of the 52 heated stalls—you’ll get the most bang for your buck on weekdays and off-peak hours on the weekends, when $25 buys you 147 balls (as opposed to 90). You can also chip away at your stress with the indoor full-swing golf simulator, in which you can virtually play up to 51 different courses, including California’s Pebble Beach (one hour $45). Pier 59, 23rd St at the Hudson River (212-336-6000, chelseapiers.com)
Get your aggression out in a (sort of) nonviolent way over a game of paintball. Round up nine of your friends (or enemies—they will be targets, after all) and you’ll have 20 wooded acres to roam all by yourselves. For 50 bucks per person, you’ll get 500 paintballs, a semiautomatic paintball gun, protective goggles and a mask—and the ultimate catharsis. 2727 Arthur Kill Rd at Tanglewood Dr, Staten Island (800-352-4007, cousinspaintball.com)
Knocking down pins is hardly a release if you have to wait endlessly for your chance to do so. Forgo the crowds and strap on some shoes at Sunset Park’s 26-lane alley, which offers weekly specials like all-you-can-bowl Sunday and Monday nights (8pm--midnight, $20). During Midnight Madness on Fridays and Saturdays (midnight--3am), bowl as many games as you can for $22. 461 37th St at Fifth Ave, Sunset Park, Brooklyn (718-832-2695, melodylanesny.com)
The next time you feel like punching a wall, save yourself the repair bill (and the broken wrist) by taking an hour-long private boxing lesson instead. At Mendez, a trainer with more than 20 years of experience will teach you how to properly beat up the bag, so the only damage you’ll incur is the $25 fee and two sore arms. 25 W 26th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave, fifth floor (212-689-5255, mendezboxingny.com)
New York International Table Tennis Center
To free yourself from competitive urges, head to this spacious training center for some ping-pong therapy. Sign up for a half-hour slot ($8) and pit your skills against serious players—three-time Chinese champion Yu Xiang Li is the head coach, so you know the opposition is fierce. The basement club also has a lounge with free snacks, a theater system for watching recorded tournaments, and showers so you can leave refreshed and ready to face reality. 134-32 35th Ave between Farrington and Prince Sts (718-961-4208, nyittc.com)
Okeanos Club Spa
We can’t think of a more apropos way to blow off steam than in a sauna: Sweat it out in the customary Russian banya at this swank midtown spot. Owner Andre Irzailov recommends you use the oversize showerhead (which pours out a whopping five gallons of water per second) immediately postsauna for a cool down. We suggest you don’t leave without slugging back a complimentary shot of Zyr Russian vodka at the full bar. 211 E 51st St between Second and Third Aves (212-223-6773, okeanosclubspa.com). Half day $50, full day $90.
Blah blah blah, yoga’s great, but some of us have to work, you know. That’s not a problem anymore. With Relax Already, you can arrange for a private or semiprivate kundalini yoga lesson (for up to ten people) at your home— or gather up to 25 coworkers for a course at the office. Workplace options range from a Renew Already 75-minute immersion of yoga, meditation and extended relaxation ($165) to a Relax and Rejuvenate package, featuring just 30 minutes of breathing and stretching. You won’t even need to change your clothes, and you’ll be back at your desk by the time your boss’s Starbucks double espresso kicks in. Prices vary, special rates offered to the newly unemployed; TONY discount: buy one, get one free for a private or semiprivate lesson. Visit relaxalready.com or call 917-273-3772 for more program options and info.
Binge-eating chocolate to curb anxiety: not such a good idea. Learning to cook healthy, homestyle meals: a better one.“I see people coming in who are totally stressed-out,” owner Micol Negrin says. “But after a half hour of cooking, everyone’s smiling, meeting new people and overall in a better place.” Check out Rustico’s three-hour “Favorites from Milan” class on Monday 22 and learn to prepare wild-mushroom-and-goat-cheese ravioli, osso bucco and Nonna’s Chocolate Cake ($110). Or sign up for “Italian Home Cooking” on March 5 and master Neapolitan beef scaloppine; Tuscan tartlets with caramelized onions, tomatoes, basil and goat cheese; and Piedmontese hazelnut and chocolate crostata ($95). 40 W 39th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, third floor (917-602-1519, rusticocooking.com)
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Best places to relax in New York City