Fun Station USA fills its indoor space with the scaled-down amenities of an amusement park, such as mechanical rides, a multileveled maze, and a large concession stand stocked with carnival cuisine. At all hours of operation, the air buzzes with excitement?a byproduct of jingle-jangling machines, flashing lights, and splashes of color at every corner. After acquiring tickets from myriad arcade games that include skee-ball and air-cannon shooting galleries, revelers head to the redemption counter to exchange their winnings for prizes and foreign currency.
Though its wall-to-wall Japanese street-fighter games enticed many patrons, Chinatown Fair's most infamous attractions for more than 50 years were its chickens, according to an article in New York Times. The fowl competed against guests in games of Tic-Tac-Toe, and bags of fortune cookies awaited challengers who could end the chickens' impressive winning streaks. While the feathered opponents were gone when Chinatown Fair reopened in 2012, the arcade still lures plenty of gamers with arcade classics and contemporary favorites.
Washed "in bright candy colors, flashing lights and carnival-style music," as described by the Times, the arcade still keeps plenty of street-fighting games at hand, including Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. Fighting alternatives include Guitar Hero, air hockey, basketball, skee-ball, ticketed and car racing games. To reward exceptional gaming, the prize counter stays stocked with goodies such as plastic green soldiers and a large selection of candy. The arcade's birthday packages allow partygoers to enjoy a slice of pizza and drinks before venturing into the main room to test their skill on the games.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
Kids hearts start racing as soon as they see Kids 'N Action's murals, which depict cartoon friends cruising on a railroad and careening around a racetrack. At this indoor playground, wee ones bring those scenes to life. They hop on a train that meanders around the soft-play structure, where kids scramble through tunnels and zip down slides on four different levels. The go-karts on the track zoom at safe speeds, and toddlers play in their own designated section. An onsite arcade hosts games that aren't peppered with violence or breaking-news interruptions, while the sustenance prepared at the cafe is kept strictly kosher.
Luna Park seems like it was created to be a perfect date spot—think cozy two-person seats on rides and coasters, chances to win your date a fancy carnival prize, and a beach that begs for hand holding along its shore. Bonus points for sharing an ice cream cone or a hot dog.