Looking for an indoor play space that makes your jaw drop and your kids jump for joy? We've rounded up a dozen of the biggest and best spots for playing, jumping, bouncing, climbing, and thrill-seeking throughout New Jersey.
The Garden State is home to tons of awesome play spaces, and it was tough choosing just 12. We limited our list to those with major wow factor—places where you can tackle a Ninja Warrior–style obstacle course, play laser tag, climb on and through play mazes, bounce on inflatables and trampolines, play arcade games, scale rock walls, and even go roller skating or bowling. While most of these spots aren't specifically geared toward the smaller set, all have areas and/or times set aside just for them.
Read on to find out which fun zones made the cut. And for even more options, check out our guide to indoor play spaces, where you'll find drop-in play for $15 or less, the best trampoline parks and bounce houses in NJ, and much more.
Branchburg Sports Complex boasts a four-level laser tag arena that's perfect for big kids.
Branchburg Sports Complex – Branchburg
Branchburg Sports Complex is PACKED with tons to do for toddlers, kids, and adults. The PlayMaze, for children ages 3-12, boasts 82 different play elements including slides, tunnels, and bridges. BSC also has a four-level, 9,000-square-foot interactive laser tag arena, which is available for drop-in play and private parties, as well as an arcade where kids can collect tickets and win prizes. Recently added are Tod Squad sessions (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9–11am and 2–4pm; and Thursdays, 9–11am), when kids ages 1–4 can enjoy a bounce house, soft play equipment, the PlayMaze, and more.
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Parents can keep a close eye on little ones in the enclosed toddler area at CatchAir.
CatchAir – Paramus
This fantastical spot is an underwater-themed dreamscape filled with fun stuff for kids 12 and under. There's a soft play area for toddlers and a Tiny Town for kids under 4 feet, plus a three-story play structure, ball cannon, and interactive dance floor for bigger kids. Visitors can boogie at a bubble dance party, plunge into a ball pit, go for a spin in candy cane teacups, and more. Check out our review of CatchAir for more.
The Funplex – East Hanover
With more than 100,000 square feet of attractions, there’s plenty to keep all ages busy at this family amusement center. The arcade features everything from boardwalk classics like Skeeball and air hockey to the latest video games. Bumper cars, go-karts, and laser tag are perfect choices for older kids. And kids ages 4–12 can have a blast in the three-level Foam Frenzy play area, where air canons and blasters shoot thousands of colorful foam balls. The recently renovated Pit Stop Cafe offers standard fare like burgers and pizza, as well as salad and vegetarian options.
Funtime Junction – Fairfield
Winner of Mommy Poppins' 2017 Bestie Award for Best Romping Spot, Funtime Junction is a large play palace with a soft, two-story playground, a Sesame Street–themed bounce house, arcade games, laser tag, and even a helicopter ride. It's closed on Mondays, but walk-ins are welcome every other day of the week. Pizza, drinks, and snacks are available for purchase. Socks are required, and adults are always free!
Test your strength and agility on Hudson Play's awesome obstacle course, then fuel up with a smoothie at the cafe.
Hudson Play – Jersey City
The whole family will love hanging around at Hudson Play, a fitness-focused adventure spot filled with unique climbing, hanging, and swinging structures. Between the climbing walls, warped wall, Ninja Warrior–style obstacle course, and play space, everyone will definitely get a workout here! (Hudson Play even offers workouts for adults.) Younger children will have fun building with the Imagination Playground blocks, and the HealthBAR Cafe offers an array of smoothies and fresh juices. Perhaps most exciting: Hudson Play offers a drop-off program for kids ages 5–12.
iPlay America – Freehold
This indoor theme park will keep kids of all ages happy. With rides, arcade games, mini bowling, laser tag, and a 4D theater, iPlay is the perfect place to go when the weather outside is frightful. There's a variety of rides and attractions for children of all sizes, including the Just iKids section, where small children can run, climb, and crawl. Both arcade and boardwalk-style games are available, as well as a variety of food options. iPlay offers unlimited four-hour ride bands, or you can buy credits to enjoy individual attractions.
ISC Sports Center – Cherry Hill
ISC offers a lot to do under one roof, including roller skating, an arcade, small inflatables, and Roo’s FunZone, a 36-foot-tall indoor play gym. Kids ages 10 and under will love the slides, swings, obstacles, and more. Parents of little ones will appreciate the small toddler zone with slides, blocks, and climbing. The FunZone is open for play every weekend, as well as Tuesdays and Fridays and during school breaks.
JUMPnasium – Fairfield
This indoor inflatable playground provides 13,000 square feet of gigantic inflatables, including giant slides, climbers, a moon bounce, and trampoline basketball, plus arcade games and air hockey. Open jump is 70 minutes long. Time slots fill up quickly, so make your reservation online before you go. Kids must be 34” or taller to jump on most inflatables, but don’t worry; there's plenty of non-bouncy stuff for toddlers to play on, too.
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Launch Trampoline Park isn't just for bouncing...
Launch Trampoline Park – Deptford, Linden, Delran
It's OK to let your kids bounce off the walls at Launch. Play on a huge grid of tramps, as well as an extreme dodgeball court, slam-dunk area, ninja course, indoor jungle gym, arcade, rock wall, and cafe. Weekly programs vary by location; they include Toddler Time, Teen Night, Middle School Night, Home School Hours, and more
Pump It Up – Piscataway, Randolph, Roselle Park, Secaucus
This bounce spot is known for parties, but it also offers daily open-jump sessions (all 70 minutes). There's your basic open-play jump as well as many special themed sessions, including Little Tikes Jump for ages 18 months – 6 years; a morning Pajama Jump; and a Cookies & Cocoa Jump. On select Friday nights, make it a Parents' Night Out and drop off the kids for three hours of jumping, snacks, a movie, and crafts. In addition to two arenas full of inflatable fun, the Roselle Park location features a Ninja Warrior course with hanging bridges, jungle swings, cargo tube nets, and more.
Tilt Studio – Voorhees
This 20,000-square-foot facility will keep your family occupied for hours with awesome activities. In addition to arcade games, there’s a nine-hole mini-golf course, mini bowling, a laser maze, a foam ball “volcano," a climbing area, gem mining, and a few rides. The snack bar offers typical kid-friendly fare such as hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream.
The lights go out at Urban Air for glow-in-the-dark fun.
Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park – Milltown and South Hackensack
Urban Air opened a Milltown location in September 2017. Wall-to-wall trampolines, air basketball hoops, dodgeball courts, a climbing wall, and obstacle course are just some of the highlights at this jumping spot. A Thursday family special bundles jumping, pizza, and drinks; a weekly sensory-friendly jump lets kids enjoy the park without loud music and flashing lights; and a weekly Jumperoo toddler time offers full use of the park to the 5-and-under set. As of February 2019, three new locations are set to open soon: in Hazlet, Avenel, and Hamilton Township.
All photos courtesy of the venues
This article originally published in 2018.