It may be too cold for the playground, but there are plenty of spots in NJ where kids can climb and slide all winter long. From giant mazes to wall-to-wall trampolines, check out these great places for indoor play.
551 Main Ave., Wallington
An afternoon spent racing around a roller rink, battling it out in laser tag and flying through the air in a bounce house is just what your restless brood needs. There’s also “Gaga Ball,” where players duke it out in an inflatable ring, plus plenty of arcade games. Fri: 4–11 pm, Sat: 1–11 pm, Sun: 1–7 pm.
The Big Playhouse
316 Kinderkamack Rd., Westwood
This out-of-the-ordinary, tech-free playground for kids six and under is all about make-believe. Kids can play chef at “Café Main,” nurse animals back to health at “Doctors at Main,” and get their hands dirty at a pretend construction site. Tues–Sun: times vary.
Play Your Way
Mill Race Shopping Center
72 Hamburg Tpke., Riverdale
This mega activity center and playground helps adventurers 1–6 years old improve their agility on the climbers, balance beam and in a sensory playhouse, while older kids can brave it out on a mini rock wall and an obstacle course. Tues: 11 am and Wed–Sun: 9 am.
67 Old Kings Hwy., Maple Shade
Your mini adrenaline junkie can spend the day zooming down the zipline, scaling up rock walls and running in races at this top-notch climbing center. No previous experience is required, so it’s a great intro to the sport. Mon–Fri: 4 pm and Sat–Sun: 12 pm.
Fun Time Junction
400 Fairfield Rd., Fairfield
Perfect for preschoolers, kids can climb around a huge jungle gym, get messy in a craft corner and take a spin on a ton of ride-on character vehicles. There’s also laser tag and plenty of carnival games for those a little older. Tues–Sun until 6 pm.
Pole Position Raceway
99 Caven Point Rd., Jersey City
If your kid has a need for speed, he’ll love mastering the art of racing in the super popular “Arrive & Drive” program, where kids show up alone or in small groups and get to compete in go-kart races that teach control, speed and endurance. There are also “Junior Races” for littles 48–58" that teach new speedsters how to drive safely around the arena. Open Mon–Thurs at 12–10 pm, Friday 12 pm–midnight, Saturday 10 am–midnight and Sunday 10 am–10 pm.
Wild At Play
125 River Dr., Jersey City
This 2,300-square-foot jungle gym actually changes with the seasons. It’s a tropical island in the summer and Olaf’s winter wonderland in the winter, so kids (ages 3 months–12 years old) won’t ever get tired of the action. Our favorite part? The STEM-focused play area, where kids can take a break from the mayhem and squeeze in some outside-the-classroom learning with educational toys, books and real, live animals. Mon–Fri: 10 am–1 pm, 3–6 pm,
Sat: 9 am–12 pm.
Jungle Gym'n Bounce
12 Minneakoning Road 104B, Flemington
Kids big and little take their pick between dozens of gigantic inflatables (yes, that means slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses!) before sneaking in a round of laser tag or bazooka ball. FYI: There's open bounce sessions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it's a great way to keep your squad entertained on a rainy day.
The Jumping Jungle
10 Alvin Ct., East Brunswick
Kids 2 and up can climb and slide on eight inflatables, play laser tag, go head-to-head in the arcade and see if they can survive the storm simulator. And no sitting on the sidelines for Mom and Dad! Adults get in on the action in the kids vs. adults laser tag games. Times and days vary.
Fun Time America
269 State Hwy. 35 N., Eatontown
Have they gotten too old for “baby” rides? The newest attraction here, “Grand Theft Laser Blast,” puts a big kid spin on ordinary laser tag with bubble machines and special effects. There’s also the “Viper Simulator,” a virtual reality ride that sends passengers into 360-degree barrel rolls and a 22-foot-high rock climbing wall for kids 10 and up. Mon–Fri: 12 pm and Sat–Sun: 10 am.
110 Schanck Rd., Freehold
This gigantic space features a go-kart raceway (kids 10 and up can drive by themselves), a 6,500-square-foot outer-space-themed laser tag arena and a slew of classic boardwalk games. Who can say no to a few rounds of balloon darts and Whack-A-Mole? Don’t miss “iPlay After Dark” on Friday nights from 7 pm–midnight, where teens get full access to unlimited rides, go-karts and laser tag, plus live music and a light show. Mon–Fri: times vary.
House of Bounce
5100 Belmar Blvd., Wall
Looking to burn up some energy on an extra yucky winter afternoon? This 10,000-square-foot spot is packed with huge inflatables, climbers, and obstacle courses, and even has a gym where she can shoot hoops. Mon–Sun: times vary.
51 Stout Ln., Monmouth Junction
We love the just-for-toddlers room here where jumpers 3 and under can play without getting knocked around by the big kids. There’s also a 15-foot-tall jungle gym, a handful of gigantic slides and huge bounce houses for the older set. Fri–Sun: 12 pm.
600 Rike Dr., Millstone Twp.
Little climbers ages 2–8 can fly through the air on the trampolines, tumble on squishy inflatables and scale the highest heights on the indoor jungle gym. Big kids won’t want to miss the zipline, which ends with a free fall into a giant foam sponge pit. Mon–Fri: times vary.
182 Rte. 10 W., East Hanover
Kids take their pick from bumper cars, go-karts, laser tag and a 4-D motion theater in this 100,000-foot, everything-under-the-sun facility. There’s also “MagicQuest” (a gigantic, scavenger hunt game) and “Wiggles and Giggles,” a separate area perfect for toddlers. Mon–Fri: 12 pm and Sat–Sun: 10 am.
1 South Main St., Toms River
This brand new, underwater-themed space is equipped with a two-story laser tag arena, basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor playground and inflatable slides for the younger set. Infants get to check out Lou's Little Joey's, a soft play area for babies with an interactive discovery wall, merry go round and tug boat.
2 Changebridge Rd., Montville
The three-level play structure is the biggest attraction at this fun zone designed specifically for 1-7-year-olds. There’s also a smaller toddler playground just for little hands, a ball pit and an area covered in mats of all colors and sizes. Big kids can test their skills on the rock wall and the zipline. Mon–Fri: 9:30 am–5:30 pm, Sun: 9 am–11:30 am.
Rockland County, NY
Billy Beez USA
Get lost in “Billy’s Rainforest,” a 26,000-square-foot space that boasts dozens of safari-themed slides, bouncy trampolines and obstacle courses. There’s also a pint-sized sports court with basketball hoops, soccer nets and a “Rainbow Wave Slide” for races. Times vary.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports
612 Corporate Way, Valley Cottage
Kids pick from two different dodgeball courts here (separated by age), practice their slam dunk on the basketball court or launch themselves into the sky on one of the trampolines. Plus, the big-kid-free “Bounce Jr. Zone” for the 5-and-under crowd, its own trampoline court, a foam pit and mini bounce castle. Days and times vary.
Bridgewater Sports Arena
1425 Frontier Rd., Bridgewater
Tons of fog and blacklight madness take modern-day capture-the-flag over the top. Adventurers five and up can play real-life Ghostbusters by hiding in the maze’s nooks and crannies. Times vary.
Branchburg Sports Complex
47 Readington Rd., Branchburg
Bigger is better—especially when it comes to play spaces. And this complex is huge—every day, kids ages 3–12 explore the 82 different features (bridges, slides and tunnels) in the spot’s multi-level “PlayMaze.” And while the kids are having the time of their lives, parents can keep a watchful eye from the enclosed viewing section. Don’t forget to bring the older crowd—they’ll love the three indoor turf fields, four batting cages and 9,000-square-foot fantasy-themed laser tag arena. Wed–Sun: times vary.
Wantage Plaza Shopping Center
205 Rte. 23, Wantage
Take his game of hide-and-seek up a notch in this 6,000-square-foot space with fog and crazy light displays. Players pick from themes like “Infection,” where one person starts out as “patient zero” and works to contaminate all of the others. Take a break between rounds with “Highway 66 Bowling” (a small version of the real thing), putt nine holes of mini-golf or compete in tons of arcade games (kids four and up). Mon, Thurs, Fri: 3:30 pm, Sat–Sun: 11 am.
131 South 31st St., Kenilworth
507 King Georges Rd., Woodbridge
Thirty seconds on the swings and he’s onto something else? No problem—this play spot is all about options. Kids 10 and under won’t have the chance to get bored as they scale walls, shoot down slides, crawl through tunnels and race across suspended bridges. And, if for some reason they manage to exhaust the multi-level playground area, they can explore more than 12 imaginary play zones, like “Kidz Kastle,” where they can pretend to be knights and battle dragons. Times vary by location.
Locations in Edison, Fairfield Paramus and Union
Definitely an upgrade from your average green, golfers play a round of 18 holes in a cool glow-in-the-dark, monster-themed setting complete with a DJ and animatronic obstacles. (Don’t worry, it’s not too scary!) Once they’ve had enough putting, they can battle in out in the state-of-the-art arcade. Pro tip: Have kids wear white (which glows purple in the blacklight) so it’s easy to keep track of everyone. Times vary by location.
Pump It Up
Locations in Freehold, Hamilton, Marlton, Piscataway, Randolph, Roselle Park and Secaucus
Jumping beans of all ages can spend a couple hours after school or an entire day at this gigantic bounce house packed with tons of inflatables. Your mad chemist can also try out the “Mad Science Jump,” where they learn about dry ice and even make their own green “slime” before spending an hour hopping around on the inflatables. Don’t forget your socks! Times vary by location.
Locations in Maple Shade, Ocean Twp. and Pine Brook
For those who’ve outgrown ball pits and tunnels, check out this enormous arena with wall-to-wall trampolines. Kids and adults can bounce it up in the “Main Court,” jump into the “Foam Zone” (10,000 foam cubes) or play “Ultimate Dodgeball” on trampolines. (Trust us: When you see the fun you’ll want to get in on it, too.) Bonus: They also have fitness classes for parents here, so you can work out while the kids play. Tue–Sun: times vary.
The Gravity Vault
Locations in Chatham, Hoboken, Middletown and Upper Saddle River
A perfect fit for your first-time player, this chain boasts tons of hands-on instructors that push kids five and up to new heights. Times vary by location.
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