Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.
Inside Pump It Up's 12,000-square-foot facility, sock-clad feet scamper across custom-designed inflatable play structures, slides, and obstacle courses while an attentive staff supervises. On Jump-N-Art days, kids can follow open-bouncing sessions with arts-and-crafts projects, and vibrant neon lights illuminate the dimmed facility during Glow Parties. An onsite party room hosts bouncers and their parents, who refuel with pizza, soda, and juice. The center also supplies up to 25 children or 250 life-size Hannah Montana cutouts with private party packages, which grant guests exclusive access to the facility along with catering, cake, and goody bags.
Tiny tumblers flip, twirl, and roll across the blue and black padded expanse of Kangaroo Kidz Youth Gymnastics’ studio. The center’s skilled instructors helm Mommy and Me classes, where kids as young as 1 years old discover the world around them with songs and examinations of specific pieces of equipment. Classes for older students build strength and flexibility through exercises such as headstands, cartwheels, and back-hand springs. Outside of regular classes, summer camps keep kids occupied with activities and playtime unified by special weekly themes, such as the Olympics or mad science. Parents' Night Out evenings empower moms and dads to have a night on the town as their child plays at the center, practicing gymnastics moves with which to impress dates many years in the future.
When Francesca Piotrowsky and Amy Sahagian, each mother to a trio of little ones, met at a stay-at-home mom’s group, they discovered a shared vision for an interactive place where their kids could frolic and socialize in a structured environment. The enterprising duo brought their dream to life with Monkeydoodles Playroom, a spacious facility stocked with toys, cushioned geometric shapes, and climbable structures. The playroom hosts 45-minute classes that help youngsters develop age-appropriate skills, such as balance and coordination, taking turns, or the ability to use trigonometry to pin the tail on the donkey. Open playtime sessions summon tykes aged 6 months to 5 years for independent escapades in the ball pit or astride a rocking horse.
Progenitors can prepare snacks in the playroom’s kitchen as their offspring mimic their actions in a pretend kitchen. The life-size kitchen lets parents tuck away a birthday cake during parties, for which Monkeydoodles Playroom can provide pizza and balloons for guests to gather into bunches and ride home on the breeze.
Rows of LCD televisions cast a glow across Power Play Gaming’s cavernous gaming room, reflecting the competitive glint in players’ eyes as they attempt to slay their enemies with intricate button combos. The battles and races that play out on each screen represent the pinnacle of modern video gaming, with selections from the latest Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation consoles on prominent display. Players can test their luck in solo adventures by the hour or declare their participation in one of the regular tournaments by slapping their desired opponents with a controller. The gaming center also specializes in parties, during which groups of up to 20 friends can join together for multiplayer jaunts through cyberspace.
While waiting for the end of a party or regular gaming session, parents can sip complimentary coffee, recline in massaging chairs, and surf the Internet on waves of free WiFi. The gaming hot spot is open Wednesday–Sunday for casual gamers, though parties can be scheduled outside of regular business hours.
The Great Divide Campground lures campers out of their tents and cabins with diversions such as fishing in an onsite private lake, swimming in a heated long-course pool, and dethawing marshmallows over crackling fires. Each of the 270 campsites adds to the natural greenery of its surroundings with a fire ring and picnic table. The campground staff peddles ice and firewood and delivers it for free, unlike pack mules that always demand tips. A private lake hosts boating and paddleboating. Other amenities include everything from a basketball court and horseshoe pits to a laundry facility, restrooms with flush toilets, and free showers.