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.
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.
Cousins Dean Del Prete and Paul Sattler started playing paintball for fun in 1986. Noticing a lack of places to play or find equipment, the pair took advantage of this business opportunity and founded Cousins Paintball the following year, creating a one-stop shop for players. They started out with the only paintball field on Long Island, and since then, they have grown to encompass 10 New York locations with scenario and speedball fields. Today, teams equipped with full mask and semiautomatic paint markers wander across their 20- to 80-acre spaces, searching for the opposing team's flag. Eco-friendly paint ensures trees do not suffer lasting damage, and themes such as hide-and-seek and cops and robbers add variety to a full day of games.