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Hoboken’s Alternative to Sports Leagues

When it comes to meeting new people and finding something fun to do after work or on the weekends that doesn’t involve bar crawling or driving around for hours looking for parking (which, if it ever became an Olympic event, would easily be dominated by native Hobokenites), most people default to sports leagues like Zogsports or work-based softball or other teams. To be fair, many of those sports leagues also involve some bar-crawling, but the main focus is athletic competition.

Not everyone enjoyed gym class, and not everyone relishes the idea of getting sweaty and scoring points, though. What can you do if you want to meet people, socialize, and/or just get the heck out of the house if you don’t want to play ball? Well, there are actually plenty of options for the non-athletes among us. Here are just a few alternatives to pick-up games and beer leagues.

Escape Rooms

Want to exercise the little gray cells instead of your muscles? Escape rooms combine the team element with a distinct lack of sweat (unless you’re the type to stress-sweat), presenting you with a real-world puzzle you have to solve in a set time period. Whether you’re competing against another team (it’s theoretically possible for someone to set up a league of sorts) or just having fun with some friends, you have a few choices right here in town, including OutIn60 at 51 Harrison Street and Puzzle Out at 1 Newark Street.

OutIn60

Trivia Nights

Bars discovered the power of having some sort of event every night of the week a few years ago, and ever since the Trivia Night has become a hallowed tradition in Hoboken and other towns. Once again bringing an element of competition that only requires a well-trained brain, Trivia Nights also gently introduce alcohol into the mix in case you’re the type who only goes to the work softball games for the beer afterwards. Some of the best Trivia Nights are held at the Black Bear Bar and Grill (Wednesdays at 8pm) and Maxwell’s.

Aether Game Cafe

If your idea of gaming involves a table and maybe some dice, the Aether Cafe might be for you. They host a bunch of games, from Dungeons & Dragons to Magic the Gathering, and have several community game nights every month. There’s also coffee and snacks, so it’s an ideal spot to gather with some like-minded gamers, get comfortable, and flex those strategic muscles.

The Gravity Vault

Okay, so rock-climbing is exercise and you will probably sweat. On the other hand, it’s not exactly a traditional athletic activity. Indoor rock climbing is an activity that you can enjoy whether you’re buff and swole or if you haven’t purchased a pair of sneakers in decades, because it’s all about pushing your boundaries and having some fun with your friends. Even if all you do is stand by politely with your smartphone camera just in case one of your buddies falls and screams like a small child.

It’s a big world out there, and Hoboken is a city that’s much larger on the inside than it appears. If you’re not into sliding into bases or running around a basketball court, there are plenty of activities you can get into that will get you out of the house and into the company of people who share your interests. What’s you’re favorite?

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Jeffrey Somers

Staff Writer • Jeff Somers (jeffreysomers.com) is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People (wearenotgoodpeople.com) and the publisher of The Inner Swine (innerswine.com). Jeff may be reach at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .

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