2 years ago this past fall I took my brood to Trapeze School. It was a bit chilly, the last weekend of the year that the school was open, so it was really exciting for everyone.
Trapeze School, in NYC, is located on the Westside Highway between piers 26 and 34, just south of Canal, directly across from Desbroisses Street. They have erected a huge trapeze with nets, a small shed, port-a-potty, etc. The location is perfect because as people stroll and bicycle up and down the Westside Highway, they can watch you and you can watch them. The Westside Highway has become an incredible urban playground.
The day we went, CNBC was filming. We were sent the video later, it was literally about our family. Probably because it was me and 3 kids of all different ages. My son was terrified of the heights and decided against it. He was 6 at the time. My girls were 9 and 11. They thought it was awesome. They begged me to go again.
Trapeze School has become a pretty popular thing since it was highlighted on Sex in the City, so getting reservations is not as easy. You have to book it pretty far in advance. I finally got around to it and we went again today.
It was really hot and humid. I’d recommend going in the fall when there is a slight chill in the air. You are literally spent by the end. It is pretty exhilerating being up 22 feet as you grab the bar and jump into a freefall. Before you drop, the vista of downtown NY is spectacular. So, off you go. The key is to immediately swoop your feet up and stick them through the bar like you did when you were 8 years old on the playground. The instructors yell out instructions from below. Then, you swing and then say, drop hands. You are now hanging upside down back and forth with your knees bent and sucked onto the bar. Next, grab the bar again, swing back and forth quickly 3 times and tuck your knees into your chest, flip into a somersault and land in the net. Wow!
I went up 4 times today. My daughter went up more. There is a belt that is attached to your waist so tightly that I now know what wearing a corsett must have been like. It sucks. I had enough of not breathing after an hour or so. The class lasts for 2 hours.
Once you have the knee drop thing down, you do the switch off. Up you go, do the knees over the bar, swing big and then another trapezist (one of the instructors) grabs your hands in mid-air and you release your legs and you are now hanging in mid-air with someone holding on to your hands. It is pretty cool. I passed on this one.
All and all, a really cool experience. Not for everyone. But, if you happen to be a theme park person, like my daughter, you’d probably love Trapeze School.