Pump It Up knows it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, so they skip the last part. Each piece of the indoor inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards. The staffers' watchful eyes take care of the rest. Sock-clad striplings are then free to safely launch themselves into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Adult counterparts can leap alongside their offspring through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, or slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the lights get switched off, and the roomful of players navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape with glow sticks and bracelets.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero that melt off youthful energy faster than ice cubes tossed into a running DVD player. At the climax, the birthday boy or girl gets to blow out the candles on their cake while seated on a blow-up throne.
Shenanigans Farm’s owner, Mary McKiernan, has more than 30 years of experience working with horses. But she has also tamed an even wilder beast: eighth-grade students. As a middle-school teacher, she learned to work with each student at his or her own pace, a philosophy she transfers to horseback-riding lessons. Joined by assistant head trainer, Ricci Tarockoff, she teaches English-style riding to students of all skill levels.
Set on 62 rolling acres, Shenanigans Farm connects to the Metamora Hunt trail, offering myriad opportunities for scenic trail rides. Its horses graze in expansive pastures and paddocks, waiting for students to saddle them to trot around the large indoor or outdoor arenas. The farm maintains a family-oriented vibe, often hosting summer camps for boys and girls, Halloween parties, and costume contests to see who can dress as the most convincing bale of hay.
At Glow Golfin', there are no light fixtures. This isn't because the company has a long-standing beef with the estate of Thomas Alva Edison either. Rather, it's because its 18-hole indoor golf course is illuminated by glow-in-the-dark murals. Each piece of neon art depicts a picturesque woodland scene or classic underwater tableau, such as a school of fish or an undulating patch of seaweed. Given its uniquely festive environment, it's no wonder that Glow Golfin' also specializes in throwing parties for all sorts of occasions, including birthdays for kids and leisurely hangouts for adults.
The independently owned Community Bowling Centers accommodate bowlers of all ages and abilities, featuring bumper-equipped lanes and lightweight balls designed for the hands of pintsize players. At 10 smoke-free locations throughout the region, guests enjoy open hours in addition to league opportunities and special events. The onsite bar serves ice-cold cups of soda or beer, which guests may raise in toasts to friendship and man's ability to hydrate himself. On select evenings, the alley lights turn down and the ethereal illumination of Glow N Bowl takes over with laser-light shows and fog machines. As balls roll down phosphorescent lanes, a sound track of thumping beats and alien distress calls saturates the space.
An alley-splitting bowling ball crashes into the headpin, destroying a 10-pin triangle before automated pinsetters restore order in time for the next roll. Controlled chaos is the name of the game at Cherry Hill Lanes North, where guests compete on 36 Brunswick lanes equipped with an automatic scoring system. Those looking to unwind after a frame or toast an old pair of bowling shoes can indulge in nightly drink specials at the 11th Frame Sports Bar, a spot that also boasts pool tables and Saturday-night karaoke from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The 18-hole, par-71 Springfield Oaks course, with the spatial sprawl of its front nine and the tree-packed tightness of its back nine, offers an ideal habitat in which to improve your swing or battle your broker in an all-or-nothing, x-treme golfing throwdown. The Jerry Matthews–designed Red Oaks, recently re-opened, features a fun and challenging 9-hole course on well-groomed greens. Purchase two Groupons and combine them to play 18 holes of golf at Red Oaks, doubling your chances of hacking away at the course's 31 par.