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Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream: Opening Day
Photograph: Courtesy Angela Pham/BFA.com

The best indoor amusement parks and fun zones close to NYC

Indoor amusement parks are year-round fun no matter the weather. Check out these arcades, mini-golf courses and more.

By Allie Early and Oliver Strand

Bounce your way through a trampoline park, master all the Pac-Man levels or try your hand at laser tag: These indoor amusement parks and fun zones near New York City are a guaranteed good time for the whole family.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to indoor activities for kids in NYC

Some spots focus on arcade games, while others offer a variety of fun attractions for all ages. If you're looking for something more splashy, you might check out the best indoor water parks NY families love the most.

Want even more family-friendly fun? Check out our top spots for escape rooms for kids and the best mini golf NYC has to offer. And after working up an appetite, why sit down for a meal at one of the best family restaurants you and your family will love.

Best indoor amusement parks and fun centers

Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream: Opening Day
Photograph: Courtesy Angela Pham/BFA.com

1. Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream

Things to do Games and hobbies

Travel time: 30 minutes from NYC by car, bus or ferry and shuttle.

This amusement park has over 35 features, including Dora’s Sky Railway, the Rugrats Reptar Go-Round, the world's steepest roller coaster, PAW Patrol Adventure Bay, a nine-story ropes course and so, so, so much more! Located inside the American Dream megamall, all this fun is just 30 minutes from Manhattan. 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ (833-263-7326, nickelodeonuniverse.com). 

Shipwrecked kids
Photograph: Courtesy Shipwrecked

2. Shipwrecked Miniature Golf

Things to do Birthday parties Red Hook

Put-put, ahoy! At this theatrical Brooklyn playland, kids embark
on a voyage around 18 holes of colorful pirate-themed minigolf, complete with sound effects, special lighting and other fun surprises. The custom-built arcade is home to 50 classic games like Pac-Man, Frogger and Donkey Kong for just 25 cents a play. 621 Court St, Brooklyn, (718-852-4653, shipwreckednyc.com).

Modern Pinball NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Modern Pinball NYC

3. Modern Pinball NYC

Things to do Games and hobbies Kips Bay

If you have gamers in your brood, you’ll want to go to Modern Pinball NYC. Part museum, part arcade, your kids will be completely absorbed by the huge variety of vintage games. 362 Third Ave (646-653-0839, modernpinballnyc.com).

Legoland Discovery Center Westchester
Photograph: Jessica Lin

4. Legoland Discovery Center Westchester


Travel time: 1 hour by car from NYC.

This Westchester center boasts a total of 3 million Lego blocks that make up its attractions, from functioning Lego vehicles, interactive displays, and exhibits like Merlin's wizarding workshop to a Lego-themed cinema, where you can catch a 4D movie. Kids can learn how the colorful plastic bricks are made, take classes with master Lego-builders and even go on two Lego-themed rides. The expansive center also houses Miniland, which features replicas of landmarks and buildings in both New York City and the Westchester area. 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers (844-740-9223, legolanddiscoverycenter.com).

dave & busters.jpg
Photograph: Dave & Buster's

5. Dave & Buster’s

Restaurants American Midtown West

The behemoth food-entertainment venue offers virtual-reality simulators and Skee-Ball—plus Philly cheese steaks, salads and burgers. Dave and Buster's Times Square is a combination bar, restaurant and arcade. The venue is part of the nationwide Dave and Buster's chain, founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, when a restaurant owner (Buster) and arcade owner (Dave) decided to combine the services of their neighboring establishments. 234 W 42nd St, 3rd floor (646-495-2015, daveandbusters.com).

Photograph: Courtesy Area 53 Laser Tag

6. Area 53 Laser Tag

Things to do South Brooklyn

This DUMBO space promises a healthy dose of competition. Suit up for an adventure in a darkened, dual-level basement where you and friends can aim for one another and try to claim victory. Events and parties welcome! All ages are welcome, provided participants are able to handle the laser gun. 53 Bridge St, Brooklyn (718-618-6704, area53nyc.com).

Photograph: Courtesy David Borelli

7. Launch Trampoline Park

Travel time: 1 hour by car from NYC

If you're a parent to a child or teen that has plenty of extra energy to burn, you'll want to make a trip to Launch Trampoline Park in Linden, NJ ASAP. The new facility offers open jump on huge trampolines with trampoline games, and it also has laser tag. Check the venue's events calendar for the most up to date information, including family nights, toddlers-only time and other great stuff. 1601 W Edgar Rd #7A, Linden, NJ (908-357-2908, launchlinde.com).

Photograph: Courtesy FunPlex East Hanover

8. FunPlex East Hanover

Travel time: 1.5 hours by car from NYC

This indoor amusement center boasts 100-plus arcade games (a combination of classic and new selections), plus bumper cars, an interactive XD theater and electric go karts. Little visitors will go crazy for Foam Frenzy, a three-level play space where kids and shoot foam balls from air cannons/blasters, and laser tag. Last but not least, there are also free-fall rides and a Super Twister gravity ride. 182 NJ-10, East Hanover, NJ (973-428-1166, thefunplex.com).


9. Bowlmor Times Square

Things to do

Enjoy fully renovated 90,000-square-foot space with 48 lanes of black light bowling with HD video walls, seven new bowling lounges (with themes like Art Deco, Speakeasy, Pop Art, Central Park or Coney Island), a cool sports bar (for the parents!) and a new state-of-the-art dining space for guests. There’s also a sweet arcade in case you’re feeling competitive. 222 W 44th St (212-680-0012, bowlmor.com).

Photograph: Courtesy Kidz Village

10. Kidz Village

Travel time: 1 hour by car from NYC

No reservations are needed for Kidz Village’s two locations in New Jersey! Children ten and under can explore an engaging multilevel indoor playground and play areas that include a tool shop, movie theater and beauty salon, to name a few. There are also arcade games to try (DDR, Air Hockey, Skeeball and more). Kenilworth’s location includes a 1950s-style play diner with Elvis memorabilia, and Woodbridge offers a mini racetrack with pedal cars. 131 31st St, Kenilworth, NJ (908-445-7220); 507 King Georges Rd, Woodbridge, NJ (732-826-8577, kidzvillage.com). 


11. FunFuzion

Travel time: 1 hour 15 min by car from NYC

You name it—they’ve got it. Head to FunFuzion for arcade games, bumper cars, kiddie rides (helicopter, frog hopper, carousel, mini whip), a Mexican jungle-themed mini golf course and laser tag in a glow-in-the-dark arena. Families who are just interested in bowling will also find an awesome time at FunFuzion, since the Roc n’ Bowl offers 17 lanes and glow bowling, pls a full-service bar for adults (and snack bar for everyone)! 29 LeCount Place, New Rochelle (914-637-7575, funfuziononline.com).


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