By Liz Johnson
Keeping kids busy over the holiday vacation week can be a challenge for any parent. Luckily, Hunterdon County is home to several indoor play arenas that offer a variety of activities to keep children busy and parents happy. Here are a few of the more popular go-to choices:
Next Level Sports
426 Case Boulevard, Flemington
If your child is a diehard fan of the American Ninja Warrior television show, then check out Next Level Sports Ninja obstacle course. Drop in classes are offered throughout the week and weekend. Cost start at $15 per child.
176 Route 202, Ringoes
Jump, climb or slide, Bounce City’s open bounce is a great way to get out of the house and exert that pent up energy on rainy or cold days. There’s a toddler area for your littlest bouncers, and token-based arcade.
495 Route 202, Flemington
Northlandz is in the Guinness Book of World’s Records for being the world’s largest model railroad with more than 8 miles of track and hundreds of tunnels and canyons reaching 3 ½ stories high in a 52,000 square foot building. It also boasts a 94-room dollhouse. Open 7 days a week, the train museum offers longer opening times over the holiday.
Black River and Western Railroad
108 John Ringo Road, Ringoes
After a reading of The Little Engine that Could, take a ride on a real locomotive courtesy of Black River and Western. On Saturday, Dec. 28, the railroad is hosting a Cabin Fever party, with cookies and hot cocoa included in the ticket price.
West Hunterdon Lanes
1089 Route 12, Frenchtown
Hunterdon Happening List Finalist for Best Amusement, West Hunterdon Lanes offers a snack bar, light shows, bumpers for beginning bowlers (say goodbye to gutter balls!), party facilities and a game room.
The Paint Party Studio
48 Main Street, Flemington
Consider booking a paint party for your kids and their friends at this Hunterdon Happening List Finalist for Best Group Activity. Or take part in the Winter Barn painting class slated for Saturday, Dec. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
ACME Screening Room
25 S Union Street, Lambertville
Hunterdon Happening List Winner for best moviehouse, the ACME screening room is currently hosting Animation Show of Shows, “an exciting array of clever, touching and funny animated short films” according to its Web site, through Dec. 21.
Red Mill Museum
58 Main Street, Clinton
Before there were cell phones, computers and tablets, there was radio, the “most important invention of the 20th century,” according the the Red Mill Museum Web site. Check out its Sound of the Times exhibit, featuring radios collected by enthusiast Michael Molnar.
426 Case Blvd, Flemington
There’s no need to wait for cold weather to ice skate. Try a public skating session at Flemington Ice, which offers beginner lessons.
Branchburg Sports Complex
47 Readington Road, Branchburg
Offering laser tag, a Playmaze for children ages 3 to 12 and an arcade that gives away fun prizes, the center has specials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights worth checking out.
Frenchtown Roller Rink
2998 Route 29, Frenchtown
Skate on a beautiful maple wood floor, then grab a snack at the snack bar which offers hot dogs, pizza, and soft drinks. Play the hokey pokey and laugh about it all the way home. Admission is $8 per person.
Bucks County Children’s Museum
500 Union Square Drive, New Hope
The Bucks County Children’s Museum is just a few minutes away from Lambertville (you can even walk over the bridge) in New Hope. It’s a great spot for curious toddlers and younger school age children, offering different themed areas to pretend, play and explore. Note: The Museum is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. They do, however, offer a special Countdown to Noon event on New Year’s Eve!