At Van Houten Lanes, bowling balls thunder down the waxed stretches of 16 AMF synthetic lanes—and crash through the neat rows of AMF pins waiting at the end. All the while, an AMF automatic scoring system keeps an up-to-the-minute record of each player's successes and struggles. And yet bowling isn't all that this modern alley has to offer—a large-screen TV, pool table, and an internet-connected jukebox render the cocktail lounge comfortable enough to pass for "the new apartment" when parents come to visit. The bowling facility's café fuels play with cheesy calzones and signature Hoboken-style 32-inch pizzas—all of which can be washed down with craft beer from Flying Dog Brewing. Thanks to these ample amenities, including family-friendly touches such as lane bumpers, Van Houten Lanes frequently hosts events ranging from children's parties to fundraisers.
Real racecars greet fun-seekers in the lobby as they enter Velocity 17's 100,000-square-foot facility, foretelling the indoor adventures available within. With the high-performance go-kart Groupon, you'll race friends on a spaghetti-style track designed by Formula 1 professionals and reach speeds of up to 30 mph. Futuristic light-slingers can play laser tag in a 4,000-square-foot, multi-level arena, complete with fog, black lights, and piles of Electric Light Orchestra albums to hide behind, while kids can play in a safe environment at Velocity 17's attraction-packed Kids Zone.
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.
As a state-of-the-art indoor pond, Floyd Hall Arena provides ice so smooth and true that even the Zamboni drivers can't help but purposefully get their tongues stuck to it. After strapping on their skates, all ages and skill levels can practice figural flow, hone their hockey stopping, and improve their foot-cursive penmanship. For the especially graceful, the facility also rents Olympic-quality walkers ($3, not included in this Groupon) that turn any avalanching ice princess into an upright frozen duchess. Since opening in 1998, the arena has hosted more than a dozen NHL teams and countless quantities of avid skaters young and old.
Planet 301 plunges families into a world of friendly competition with two floors and 32,000 square feet of hands-on games and activities. Each three-hour pass turns gamers loose in Planet 301’s fully stocked funplex, unlocking complete access to its bowling and laser-tag arenas as well as acres of classic and state-of-the-art arcade games. After stealthily zapping foes with focused beams and busting piles of pins, patrons can hone real-world skills with a trip to the arcade, working on hand-eye coordination with a game of skee-ball, cataloging new breeds of waterfowl in a round of Wacky Ducks, and helping Donkey Kong register for community-college classes.
Uniquely residing indoors, the marquee at Fabian 8 Cinema evokes nostalgia with its towering lights and brick façade, even as it flashes the current features in digital print. Within the actual theaters, viewers recline in high-backed rocker seats, arranged in extra-wide stadium configurations for maximum comfort and cowering space during scary scenes. Serving eyes a veritable feast of motion pictures, first-run features spring from the latest in digital cinema technology, augmented by digital and 3-D technologies.