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.
Racing go-karts and glowing laser battles simultaneously challenge and entertain visitors inside iPlay America's 115,000-square-foot amusement facility. Like its outdoor cousins, the indoor fun park houses more than 200 motorized 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 simulated sessions, including the Kite Flyer, tantalize visual senses with video images and sound effects. Scents of fresh pizza, lobster mac 'n' cheese, and hotdogs waft from five nourishment purveyors.
The masterminds behind Keansburg Amusement Park, located just off the beach, oversee a park designed to turn a day out with the family during warm weather months into a mini vacation. By dotting the park with roller coasters, go-karts, arcades, and classic boardwalk fare, the owners seem to have realized their vision while also addressing the interests of different-aged groups. Families can glide around the park's classic carousel, and kids ride the colorful Jolly Caterpillar before he presumably morphs into a butterfly at closing time. Some of the park's newer attractions include a fleet of bumper cars and the Rocking Tug ride. With its more than 35 rides, the park has garnered accolades such as Best of New Jersey from the readers of NJ Monthly Magazine, as well as a 2011 Best of Monmouth County from the readers of Asbury Park Press.
Twenty-eight armed soldiers swarm between two stories, ducking and weaving to avoid the sharp eyes of their opponents. Or so the story often unfolds during laser-tag sessions in FunTime America’s state-of-the-art laser-tag arena. Though it may be the most adrenaline-pumping portion of the family-friendly play place, it's but an introduction to the variety of attractions that unfolds before visitors. It's hard to ignore the four-story Kiddy City structure, where kids scoot down slides, climb ropes, and play without fear due to its ubiquitous safety padding. As little ones give chase around the structure, bigger kids helm bumper cars, take a journey in the El Paso train ride, or race to scale the 20-foot climbing wall, whose foothold arrangements offer four difficulty levels from easy to easy for people with wings. Once playtime comes to a simmer, the video-game arcade really shines with its air-hockey tables and sit-down games that take imaginations on the road to their pixilated lands. The adjacent casino-theme Winners Cafe, whose walls brim with massive playing cards and decorative roulette wheels, feeds spent small-time heroes with pizza, pretzels, and other fare to boost energy before another go around the center beckons.
The successor to Coney Island’s iconic amusement parks of the 20th century, Luna Park delights families with games, entertainment, and attractions ranging from classic spinning teacups to "The Cyclone Roller Coaster", an 85-foot roller coaster originally built in 1927. As youngsters acclimate to adrenaline on low-fi rides such as the Big Top Express, a colorful circus train featuring clowns, elephants, and a bright-red caboose, bigger kids and stilt-wearing toddlers dive in to such exciting diversions as the Wild River, a log flume that culminates in a sopping, 40-foot plunge. Luna Park packs even bigger thrills into roller coasters such as the Steeplechase, which accelerates from zero to 40 miles per hour in less than two seconds, and the Soarin’ Eagle, which glides above crowds on the paths below. Throughout the day, games such as Whac-a-Mole and Duck Pond challenge players’ skills at naming every animal’s Latin taxonomy.
Rebounderz boasts more than 14,000 square feet of bouncing throughout three trampoline surfaces. Both kids and adults leap, jump, and flip through the space, just bouncing around or playing high-velocity games of trampoline dodgeball. At the foam pit, guests test their aerobatic skills and before landing softly into cloud-like masses of foam. The facility also has a four-lane basketball slam dunk runner. These feats create a serious cardio workout, and guests in need of a break can breathe heavily toward the arcade where they can sling a few balls at skee-ball or relax in the cafe with a smoothie or slice of pizza. For special occasions such as birthdays, parents can book one of four party rooms, including the basketball room replete with a basketball court, jump time, pizza, and a party assistant.
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.