Are you tired of going to the same places with your kids? Looking for new indoor places to take your kids to this winter? From the new Nickelodeon Universe theme park in New Jersey to the only indoor ski resort in North America to indoor sky diving in Westchester, Marissa Millman, Suburbs 101 contributor and children’s activities expert gives us the top 5 indoor places to take your kids to this Winter.
New Theme Park and Indoor Ski Resort to Take Your Kids to in New Jersey
Nickelodeon Universe, East Rutherford, NJ
Nickelodeon Universe American Dream– 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ
The brand new American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ is going to be a game changer for families in the Tri-State Area. The first of many activities to open at American Dream is Nickelodeon Universe – an indoor theme park similar to the one that exists at the Mall of America.
At 8.5 acres, Nickelodeon Universe is the largest indoor theme park in North America. The park has roughly 22 rides in total that are split almost equally among “Thrill Rides,” “Family Friendly Rides” and “Just for Tots Rides.” It’s all so adorably designed, with a bright palette of colors and Nickelodeon branded characters incorporated everywhere you look. At least for now, the park is extremely clean and everything feels current and fresh. It’s a manageable space to maneuver, with the attractions generally grouped by thrill level. There are no shows offered, but on our visit, we saw SpongeBob, two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Blue from Blue’s Clues making character appearances.
Also currently open at American Dream is Big Snow, an indoor, real snow, ski and snow resort. The only one of its kind in North America. I don’t ski but I’m down with the hot chocolate and the resort’s adorable mascot.
New Toy Store to take Your Kids to in Connecticut
Camp, South Norwalk, CT
Camp– The SONO Collection, 100 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT (203) 490-6466
Camp is no ordinary toy store. Its first location opened just about a year ago right by my office in Flatiron. And a few months ago, suburbanites rejoiced when Camp opened its doors in Norwalk, CT, at the SoNo Collection Mall.
Yes, toys are for sale here, but Camp offers much more than just shopping. There are interactive, immersive elements all over the space that perfectly tie together the store’s current theme and the toys for sale. And that theme changes constantly, making return visits to Camp an absolute must. (The current theme in SoNo is “Travel Camp”). Camp also offers a rotation of art, music and author reading activities for a fee. It’s a wonderful, modern way to shop and to entertain your children. Camp is a “Family Experience” store. And spoiler alert: most of that experience is located behind a secret door in the store’s Canteen.
Indoor Places to take Your Kids to in Westchester
Sparklicious, Mount Kisco, NY
Sparklicious– 333 North Bedford Road, Mt, Kisco, NY
If your kid loves all things pink and glitter, take them to Sparklicious in Mount Kisco ASAP. My younger daughter – who very much falls into the pink glitter category – was made to feel like royalty here. And I was just super jealous the whole time. In a nutshell, Sparklicious is a place that celebrates sparkle. Several activities are offered, some are “crafts” and some are “glamour.” You pay per activity – there is no studio fee just to enter. Sparklicious has Open Studio Hours from 10:30am to 1pm every Saturday, which gives parents quite a nice chunk of time to drop by on a whim when their kids are in need of pampering! Besides swooning over all the glitter and sparkles,
I loved the staff at Sparklicious. The women were so warm and lovely and patient with the little ones. I think my kid really did feel special during her visit.
iFLY Westchester, Yonkers, NY
iFly Westchester– 849 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers, NY
Rain, sleet, snow or hail, you can always take to the skies at iFLY Westchester. Head to Yonkers’ Ridge Hill, where folks of any and all abilities can spread their wings and soar in a vertical wind tunnel at iFLY. A trained flight instructor accompanies each participant inside the wind tunnel, and all guests are required to take a training session before their first flight or if they haven’t flown in awhile. Through hand signals and instructor demonstrations, first time flyers learn the proper way to position their bodies for flight. With more experience, guests can move onto new heights and new tricks.
On our visit, my older daughter and I took to the sky. I must admit I had a minor panic attack when I first set foot in the wind chamber, but I eventually calmed down and enjoyed myself. My daughter flew with much more ease. It was a real thrill and treat to try iFLY and it will only be more fun next time!
Indoor Venue to take Your Kids to in New York City
The GIANT Room, Manhattan, NY
The GIANT Room– 550 W. 28th Street, New York, NY
Though not in the suburbs, the GIANT Room is located at 550 West 28th Street, right off of 11th Avenue and mere seconds from the West Side Highway. An easy peasy car ride from Northern New Jersey, Westchester County and Fairfield County.
This Chelsea “innovation hub” was started by two female PhDs with a passion for connecting arts and sciences to early age learning. To quote their website, The GIANT Room “is for kids with GIANT dreams, who dare to act on them.” Locals can purchase a membership, allowing for free access to all day camps and unlimited Open Studio hours plus much more. But no worries if you’re commitment phobic or not located nearby, the GIANT Room allows access to those same things on a pay-per-use basis for non-members.
Sign up for the newsletter to learn more about the GIANT Room’s constantly changing day camps and workshops on offer. Or come by for one of the DAILY Open Studio hours – every weekday from 10am to 6pm and on weekends from 10am to 3pm, kids can pop by the GIANT Room and participate in that particular week’s themed Open Studio.
The GIANT Room’s activities are geared for kids aged 3-12 and note that it is recommended that parents sign up in advance via their website for all activities, including Open Studio.
You may also be interested in
About Marissa Millman
A corporate lawyer by day and blogger at Donuts at the Disco by night, Marissa Millman is so excited to finally let her more creative side shine as a blogger. Marissa was born on Long Island and spent her entire life in New York before meeting her CT born husband, Michael, in 2006 and eventually moving with him to Greenwich, CT in 2011. Together, they have two CT-born little ladies, and over time, their passion for exploring and experiencing all that’s around them has become a family affair. Marissa started her blog in the summer of 2018 to share what her family is up to in hopes that it may inspire other families to do some of those same things. Website: Donuts at the Disco. Instagram and Facebook @donutsatthedisco
About Suburbs 101
Suburbs 101 is an online lifestyle guide for the New York Suburbs of Westchester County, Long Island, Fairfield County and Northern New Jersey. Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the New York suburbs through our weekly interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Travel, and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on Instagram, Like Us on Facebook and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.