Imagine a facility that has 2 full-size indoor ice rinks; an aquatics center with an Olympic-size pool, water park, water polo team, and warm water lesson pool; a 100-yard turf field for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and football with an indoor track around the perimeter; classes for children with special needs and everything handicap accessible, gorgeous locker rooms, a daycare center, great food, and in the near future, a medical facility. Now imagine you could drive to it in about 30 minutes (traffic permitting), find easy (free!) parking, have a variety of membership options (including a day rate), all with brand-spanking-new equipment and top-level instruction. Well, this place does exist and is located in nearby Stamford, CT, right off of I-95 at exit 9. I was lucky enough to take a hardhat tour of Chelsea Piers CT two weeks ago and the place is amazing. The facility is owned by the same group as the NYC location and offers equal top-notch instructors/coaches, clean design and friendly, helpful people. Here is a brief overview of just some of the activities offered. The fun starts July 5, 2012.
I wanted to jump in the almost-finished Olympic-sized pool; it is just so beautiful and big. Youth and adult programming will include recreational swimming, competitive swim teams for youth and adults, swim classes for all ages, and a wide array of summer camp programs. Chelsea Piers will also be home to a comprehensive water polo program (think Olympics and college scholarship), with instructional classes for kids and competitive leagues for adults. There is also a warm water instructional/exercise pool. The indoor water park (The Splash Zone) features a water play pool, three giant slides, a zero-depth entry area and mini water slides -- all guaranteed to keep kids happy and active for hours.
The 65,000-square-feet Tennis Club at Chelsea Piers CT features 7 indoor courts. Extensive program offerings include 10 and Under tennis, summer camps for kids, adult clinics, private lessons, adult league play and organized, social tennis events. The Director of Tennis is Gigi Fernandez, who has been a dominant fixture in the tennis world. During her 14-year WTA Tour career, Fernandez won 17 Grand Slam doubles crowns, as well as 2 Olympic Gold Medals.
The Squash Club at Chelsea Piers CT offers 12 professional-quality courts (11 singles and 1 hardball doubles). Anderson Courts and Sports Surfaces installed a unique hardball doubles court that includes a colored all-glass left sidewall to create amazing spectator viewing of the fast-paced action (and squash is FAST). The Squash Club will offer a wide range of programming including private lessons, clinics, after-school programs, camps, youth and adult leagues, competitive tournaments and special exhibition events. The Club will be headed by Natalie Grainger, who turned pro in 1996 at age 18. Throughout her 15-year professional career, Grainger has won dozens of tournaments, rising in 2003 to be the #1 squash player in the world. The Squash Club also boasts ample viewing areas for spectators, a comfortable bar and social lounge equipped with flat screen TVs, well-appointed changing rooms and a fully stocked pro shop operated by industry leader Harrow. There is also a 7,000 square-foot fully equipped private gym for Squash Club members, as well as access to babysitting services.
The Adventure Center
The Adventure Center includes the Jump Zone, a multi-trampoline space for open jumping, dodge ball, trampoline basketball and fitness training; a 24-foot-high rock wall (the Rock Zone), 5 automated batting cages, a mini turf field and a Little Athletes Gym for children 6 months to 5 years.
The Gymnastics Center at Chelsea Piers CT is one of the largest gymnastics training centers in the United States with more than 15,000 square feet of gymnastic equipment. The facility features 2 competition spring floors, deep foam training pits, an in-ground TumblTrak, a rod floor, in-ground trampolines and multiple sets of men's and women's Olympic equipment. The gymnastics center also features a large preschool area equipped with the training equipment for young athletes. The Gymnastics Center will be led by Byron Knox, who will serve as both Director of Gymnastics and Head Girls Coach. Knox is head coach of the University of Bridgeport’s women's gymnastics program.
The Rinks at Chelsea Piers
The Rinks at Chelsea Piers CT will operate 7 days a week, welcoming skaters of all ages and ability levels for ice hockey, league play, figure skating, general skating, and birthday parties. The facility will have an extensive ice hockey program, including youth and adult ice hockey leagues, lunch time hockey for adults, summer and holiday camps, Mite Development and Mite Cross-Ice leagues for kids, and a full roster of youth and adult weekend and holiday tournaments. Players looking to take their game to the next level can take advantage of off-ice training at BlueStreak Sports Training. The Skating School at Chelsea Piers CT will offer private instruction and group classes taught by a professional coaching staff. General skating hours will be available for individuals and organized groups interested in spending a fun day on the ice. Rental skates and helmets for children are available. The general skating schedule will be posted in July. This is a great option when it is 100 degress in the shade in August.
Camp programs are offered all summer, beginning July 9 and ending August 31, 2012. Available weeks vary by camp. Families may sign up for one, two or more weeks of camp for maximum flexibility. Chelsea Piers Summer Sports Camps are divided into four categories: Preschool Camps for the youngest athletes, Intensive Camps that provide a skills-focused experience for upper elementary and middle school athletes in one individual sport, Multi-Sport and Dual-Sport camps for children who enjoy a diversity of sports activities or are two-sport athletes, and High School Elite Camps that provide sport-specific training for high school-aged athletes.
Ok, now you know what they have and you’re thinking: Is this all affordable? The answer is there are different membership options available and heavily discounted Founders rates are available until June 30. For example, a club membership, which give you access to a large part of the club, is $120 for a family with a $195 joiners fee. Compare that with Equinox’s website, which lists the regular membership initiation fee of $395 with dues of $141 a month (and you can’t bring your kids to swim). And remember, there is an option to pay a day fee and use the facility and not join. For more information, check out www.chelseapiersct.com , where there is a ton of information on programs and membership options. Chelsea Piers CT, One Blachley Road, Stamford, CT 06902.