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.
Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.
Tropical Juice Bar's menu places the emphasis on healthy, nonprocessed foods, but never at the expense of flavor. Dishes such the Cuban sandwich and the mofongo with garlicky plantains and fried pork skin showcase the essence of the tropics. Ditto on the empanadas, their crispy shells concealing pockets of chicken, beef, or cheese that bulge like the eyes of a surprised cartoon character. And then there are the drinks—juices and smoothies made from 100% freshly squeezed fruits, including passion fruit, tamarind, and orange.
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.
At Thirst Lounge, glasses of draft beer and wine complement a menu of American pub food and Latin American favorites. Dishes range from beef sliders to mofongo, a Costa Rican specialty featuring fried plantains. Cubano sandwiches and buffalo wings pair particularly well with a pint of beer, whereas pepperoni or barbecue-chicken pizzas make for good coasters for the glass.