New York City Winter Sports & Activities

Winter Activities in NYC

 flag football player

What are the most common New Year’s resolutions we hear from our friends–and resolve ourselves–year after year?* Get in shape. Lose those pounds put on during holiday binges. Try a new sport or other winter activities in NYC. Get to the next level in [insert favorite physical activity here at which we’re not as good as we’d like to be]. Trim and firm and tone. Get out of the house and PLAY more often.

All well and good, but when the wind chill hits single digits, our usual go-to activities such as running and biking become considerably less appealing… and don’t even get us started on our gym attendance, or, um, lack thereof. Here then, are a few NYC winter sports alternatives to the usual gym and yoga classes, to get us motivated, sweaty, taut, feeling alive.

swimmer stretching 

Indoor triathlons near Union Square; on the Upper East Side

If you’re already in pretty good shape, but just looking for different New York City winter sports to push that beautiful body of yours, we love the concept of the JackRabbit Indoor Triathlon. Held in a variety of venues around town, the Indoor Tri allows athletes of all levels the opportunity to compete without having to deal with the pesky ice, wind and general freezingness of winter. The race here consists of 10 minutes of (indoor pool) swimming, 30 minutes of (spin bike) cycling, and 20 minutes of (treadmill) running. Your score is computed by the “distance” completed in each segment, and you compete head-to-head against other indoor tri-athletes, for glory and, by the way, $100 to $300 gift-certificates. This winter activity in NYC is organized by the three New York City JackRabbit stores, the next Indoor Tri will be held on January 10 at the McBurney YMCA near Union Square; and the one after that on January 30th at Asphalt Green on the Upper East Side.



Indoor Golf

There are two ways to hone your golf game while the greens act more like whites. For pure muscle-memory sharpening, nothing beats an hour or two at the driving range, pummeling the ball straight and long (or not) again and again and again. Chelsea Piers has one of the best ranges in town… and one of the best wintertime deals: off-peak hours are extended to include the entire day, every weekday, which means, for example, $30 will get you 186 balls, even after work, for those of you who loathe to play hooky.

golf course 

Another NYC winter sports idea which is even better, though considerably more expensive: Golf Simulators, which allow you play some of the sport’s best, most challenging, courses without ever leaving, say, Midtown. Among the quality golf sims around town: The Manhattan Athletic Club, which has 20 courses available for members (unlimited access, only $40 a month) and non-members alike ($10 every 15 minutes); and Drive 495, in Soho, which is considerably more expensive (around $5,000 a year), but the available courses include such dream-come-trues as Spyglass Hill, Saint Andrews and Pebble Beach, there are swing coaches on-site and on-call, AND you can get cocktails.

rock climbing


Wall Climbing

If winter inactivity has you climbing the walls at home, maybe it’s time to go out and… climb some walls! Wall climbing is a great NYC winter sports activity, plus (as with just about everything else) New York City has several indoor wall climbing facilities, for both beginner and advanced rock rats of all ages.  The Sports Center Climbing Wall at Chelsea Piers is as good a place to start as any, given that it’s the largest in town, with a 10,000 square foot main wall–that’s 46 feet high by 100 feet wide–plus a nearby, 73-foot-long bouldering wall. And The Climbing Gym at The Manhattan Plaza Health Club, in Hell’s Kitchen, features over 60 different routes of varying degrees of difficulty (which they regularly change, so even the most avid climbers get something new), a pair of 20-foot squeeze chimneys, a 160-foot bouldering route, and some very attractive prices.


Join a league, have a blast, meet fun new people!

If you want to get your New York City winter sports workout in a more social environment, there are tons of organized leagues in this town, for just about every type of sport you can imagine, and for athletes of all abilities and levels of competitive fire. Although many slots are already sold out, check out Zog Sports, which manages almost a dozen different leagues of casual, co-ed teams in sports such as touch football, indoor soccer, volleyball, dodgeball, basketball, and bowling. In a similar, if even more casual, vein, there’s the NYC Social Sports Club (“co-ed sports leagues with post-game bar specials”), which field teams in activities like inner tube water polo, indoor ultimate frisbee, broomball (outside, and on the ice!), flag football, and the somewhat mysterious “office chair polo”.

* Besides Calvin’s classic non-resolution, of course.


Posted in NYC Events |