School is out, the sky is clear, and azure Atlantic Ocean is glimmering beneath the bright sun. Days like this were made for visits to Casino Pier—for meandering down the beach with a frosty ice-cream cone, for taking a leisurely ride on the old-fashioned carousel, and for soaring down a water slide into a pristine pool.
The iconic pier has been entertaining generations of families since its opening in 1932 and is divided into three distinct sections. The amusement park is a treasure trove of new and classic rides alike, including thrilling rides, a scenic sky ride, and an action-packed go-kart arena. A rooftop miniature golf course elevates golfers above the park, where they'll find dazzling views of the surrounding boardwalk and ocean. Beyond the amusement park lies Breakwater Beach, a water park with an array of towering slides and interactive play areas. And within a sprawling, air-conditioned edifice, you'll find the casino arcade, which dispenses handfuls of tokens and prize-redemption tickets from its classic slot and skee-ball machines. This area of the boardwalk also houses a century-old carousel, complete with hand-carved horses that come to life for children who have completed all their chores.
Gales of laughter compete with crashing ocean waves at Steel Pier's scenic location on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Traditional attractions such as a ferris wheel take parkgoers on a spin, while elsewhere, guests get behind the driver's wheel of bumper cars. To get their hearts racing, the most daring visitors climb aboard The Sling Shot, which sends them racing at 100 miles per hour and up to 5Gs, or The Mix, which places guest on spinning arms that reach speeds over 60 miles per hour. Guests can also go on a helicopter ride for a bird's-eye view of the shore and other birds.
While a modern amusement park today, Steel Pier has a historic past. Originally opened in 1898, the Pier hosted top entertainers such as Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and Frank Sinatra, and famed acts such as The Human Cannonball and the Miss American Pageant. But after years of neglect and a devastating fire, Steel Pier was in need of a makeover. So in 1993, the Catanoso brothers renovated the landmark spot to offer it's nostalgic charm and thrills to families for years to come.
The Survival Race?s 5-kilometer track challenges racers to navigate a gauntlet of mud-laden terrain. Staggered waves of up to 300 runners each conquer military-style obstacles, wade through murky water, and slide through muddy trenches before reaching the finish line to celebrate at a shindig awash with delicious eats and smitten swamp monsters. Afterward, a Facebook album aids online nostalgia by showcasing dirt-caked athletes and their marshy feats.
Beyond its roaring arcade and indoor amusement park, The Funplex decrees that 8,000 of its 100,000-square-foot kingdom be annexed to the Realm where fantasy game MagiQuest disperses Magis on heroic adventurers through an interactive and spellbinding semivirtual lair. Carefully choose your Magi alias and grab your secret-yielding loaner wand (a $2 value) before embarking on a fantastical adventure filled with distinguished wizards, enchanting pixies, and cunning dragons. Seasoned with mystical spells and motion sensors, wands respond to trees, mountains, and flat screens sprinkled throughout the Realm, sharing clues so Magi can complete honorable tasks or surprise wicked goblins with an unexpected hug. With unlimited play (a $14.95 value), Magis can entreat the hours to swallow them into the transformative wormhole of role-playing bliss.
Normally to be a superhero or a pirate, one has to get cast in a movie. Pump It Up changes all of that. The Freehold location's interactive adventure parties invite young revelers to train as a superhero to the tune of an epic soundtrack or assume the role of pirate and go on treasure hunts. Beyond these inventive themed events, Pump It Up welcomes guests to explore its indoor inflatable arenas, where a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads launch socked striplings into the air. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstacle-scape.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a frying pan. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Guardians can rest assured that their children will stay safe, thanks to staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes and the fact that each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
Visitors love to get inside the fun at iPlay America, enjoying the racing go-karts and glowing laser battles that simultaneously challenge and entertain guests inside the 115,000-square-foot amusement facility. That's why it was named best kids destination in Central New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly. Like its outdoor cousins, the indoor fun park houses more than 200 arcade games, attractions and carnival-style games for the whole family. Interactive amusements, such as the iPA Speedway, place patrons in the driver's seat of a real vehicle, and the 4D Motion Theater tantalizes visual senses with video images and sound effects. Five nourishment purveyors?Game Time Bar and Grill, Sonny's Boardwalk Grill, Mixx Frozen Yogurt, Boardwalk Bites, and Broadway Sweets Candy Store?sate visitors' hunger.