Gigantic green, blue, orange, and yellow inflatables pack JumpNasium?s 13,000-square-foot playground, with some stretching all the way to the high ceiling. Within them, kids burn off energy clambering over obstacles and cascading down slides. They shoot hoops, hurl dodge balls, and kick soccer balls around the massive air-filled sports complex or knock the cover off baseballs at the inflatable T-ball park. Kids then catch their breath at the arcade with lighted air-hockey tables and video games before losing their breath once more in the hurricane simulator which blows winds up to 80 miles per hour just like the used-car salesman simulator. With five party packages, JumpNasium also make its playground an ideal spot for birthdays, winning kids over with playtime and a trip to the photo booth to commemorate the big day.
The chefs of Mardi Gras Fine Foods reach for pure olive oil and MSG-free recipes to create their Mediterranean-, Cajun-, and German-style deli foods. Freshly made main dishes, such as beef brisket and hot-pepper-jelly tortas, sit in a refrigerated deli case, ready to be packaged up and taken home. Meanwhile, bakers whip up brownies, scones, and muffins, and stack platters high with mini-croissant sandwiches and paninis.
Bent on accommodating guests' desires, the courteous staff also takes special orders to meet specific dietary needs. In addition, custom-designed catering menus feed parties from 5 to 500 atop white table linens or the backs of volunteer ghosts.
Inside the kitchen at Riverside Manor is a staff that knows how to bring the best out of their Atlantic-harvested ingredients and Italian cooking methods. Fresh, homemade pastas envelop pumpkin ravioli and serve as pillows for shrimp and scallops. Filet mignon tops bruschetta or stars in an entr?e of its own. And eight brick-oven pizzas come strewn with four cheeses, spinach and feta, or crispy buffalo chicken. And to accommodate as many patrons as possible, the cooks prepare a whole-wheat penne primavera along with an entire menu of gluten-free dishes.
But perhaps it?s the building itself that best represents an elegant fusing of old and new. On the site of what was once a 19th-century silk mill, the doors now open into a scene that could fool you into thinking you just passed through a wormhole to Tuscany. Along with hand-carved wooden furnishings and ornamental ironwork, brick archways and painted trompe l?oeils bring a playfulness to the space, which doubles as a frequent host for weddings and other special events.
Since 1985, Anthony Marra has treated patrons to the same traditional eats that he grew up with, based on recipes brought from Italy by his Nonna Rose and Papa Tony. Each day his deli tables populate with prosciutto, broccoli rabe, and sundried tomatoes in gourmet sandwiches, many available hot or cold, and side dishes such as meatballs, sweet fryer peppers, and seasonal stuffed artichokes complement hand-tossed, gooey pizzas in a variety of sizes. For those seeking catering for a private party, Marra’s offers traditional Italian pastas and meats sautéed in wine by the tray-full, or by the bathtub-full for those seeking to be fully immersed in Italian culture.
At Creative Kids, imagination is the driving force behind the programming for each day. The school’s facility boasts an art room, a movement and dance area, and a parent’s lounge, with rooms painted in bright solid hues of purple, green, and orange. Kids are encouraged to express themselves and discover new talents, whether that means building robots out of LEGO blocks, rocking out in a music class, or embracing their inner Picasso in an art class. With such a wide variety, kids can let their imagination run wild and choose from a broad selection of signature party themes and activities.
For the 32nd time, more than 100 balloons add their colors to the sky during the festival grounds during the weekend-long QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. The balloons take flight during five mass ascensions at dawn and dusk. But that isn't the weekend's only entertainment. There's also vendors and arts-and-crafts, thrill acts, and family entertainment galore. Outdoor stages also host hard-rocking performances by America, 3 Doors Down, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, as well as pop rock band Hot Chelle Rae.