Places to Go
Compiled and photographed by Sarah Einhorn
With weather being erratic in the fall, I prefer to plan for indoor trips on Chol Hamoed Sukkos so we do not have to scramble at the last minute if it rains. Below are three indoor attractions we recently visited and really enjoyed. I hope you enjoy them as well!
Arena STEM is an unusual attraction. It has eight exciting interactive play zones enjoyed by adults and children alike. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Each of the eight zones have activities utilizing those subjects or skills. Everyone loves trying their hand at scientifically advanced and remote-controlled activities, making Arena STEM a popular and fun destination.
Visitors can try their hand at flying drones, speedboat racing, or sailing from dry land using the remote-control keys. There are on-road and off-road driving and racing. There is a rocky terrain to drive Crawlers on and DJI Battlefield where robots are in combat with each other. The VR Zone offers virtual reality activities, where driving and racing can be done from the comfort of your chair.
The staff is extremely helpful and hands on. They guide visitors on how best to use the technology and make sure everything is working well. Arena STEM also offers many classes and courses on techniques used in the activities. When we visited, we couldn’t decide which was our favorite activity: the boat racing or the drone flying!
1 Garden State Plaza Blvd
Paramus, NJ 07652
Floor 1-Westfield Garden State Plaza
Monday-Thursday: 11 A.M.–7 P.M.
Friday: 11A.M–8 P.M.
Price starts at $25 per zone.
Approximate Distance from Flatbush: 50 minutes
Palisades Center Mall, West Nyack, NY
It’s quite amazing to see two-sided themed climbing walls lined up in the Palisades Mall just behind the food court. A staggering 34 different climbing walls offer visitors a fun outlet in a creative way. A clear wall encloses the area, making it both open and airy but at the same time safe from children wandering off and from curious onlookers.
Climbzone has an excellent track record. With facilities in Lakewood, NJ and Laurel, Maryland, they are experienced in providing fun climbing challenges. Their harnessing system allows visitors to hook themselves on the ropes. All climbers can go at their own pace and do not need to wait for staff to help them; however, if help is needed, staff is on call at all times.
Each climbing wall is a custom-made work of art. With walls depicting Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, a huge piano, emojis, a lighthouse, a rocket ship, the Big Ben, a map of the U.S… you think of an idea for a climbing wall, and chances are there may be one already with that theme!
It’s not necessary to trek through the whole mall to reach Climbzone. The entrance near Cheesecake Factory is right below Climbzone. Just take the escalator up and it will bring you directly to the climbing wall wonderland.
Information, prices, and hours posted here are current as of the posted or updated date. It is advisable to call ahead or check online to confirm hours and prices.
Palisades, 3594 Palisades Center Drive
West Nyack, NY 10994
Sunday: 11:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M.
Monday-Tuesday: 12:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
Wednesday-Friday: 11:00 .A. M.-7:00 P.M.
Saturday: 11:00 A.M. -8:00 P.M.
30 Minute Climb-$18.99
60 Minute Climb-$23.99
Approximate Distance from Flatbush: 1 hour
Every six minutes, a new hour-long game is started. Each game has a different objective. There is the traditional Team Death Match where the objective is to hit the opposing team. The Elimination Game’s objective is to be the last one alive, and Capture the Flag’s is to get the other team’s flag. Domination and VIP are another two varieties of games played at Tac Ops.
Each time slot has up to 30 players. Unless you book all the slots or pay for a private event, other people can book at the same time and play the game with you. Although Tac Ops is professional and high tech, you don’t need to be experienced in order to enjoy the game. The difficulty level can be adjusted based on level and experience and can be enjoyed by players ages seven and up.
373 US-46 d110
Fairfield, NJ 07004
Hours vary. Call or check online for the current hours. It is advisable to book in advance.
Price starts at $30 for a 75-minute session
Approximate Distance from Flatbush: 1 hour