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By Diana Franzese, CertifiKID NYC Family Fun Ambassador
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Posted Nov 19, 2019
There's something for everyone at HudsonPLAY in Jersey City! Kids ages 0-2 can play, develop and socialize in the Soft Play area while adults settle in alongside. For the preschool set, there's the Pretend Play space, complete with soft blocks, toys and games. For kids ages 5 and older, there's the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course, complete with four lanes of adventure, two speed rock climbing walls, a 12-foot warped wall and a pro-level slackline. Parents, you can get into the fun, too, for some multi-generational fitness!
Our CertifiKID NYC Family Fun Ambassador, Diana Franzese, visited HudsonPLAY with her son. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Save up to 33% off an all-day pass to HudsonPLAY with this CertifiKID deal.
Diana: HudsonPLAY is unlike any type of place I’ve ever seen. They cater to children and adults which is pretty cool. They usually have adult night as the manager mentioned to me, where children aren’t allowed. They play club music and have black strobe lights. That sounds awesome.
I took my son because they have a lot of activities that I knew he would love, including a ninja warrior course, rock wall, cornhole, darts, VR roller coaster, ping pong, Nerf guns, a warped wall, toys, a trampoline tire, board games, and puzzles. It is housed in a gymnasium, which is different. It doesn’t look like a school gymnasium or anything with basketball hoops but it’s the shape of a gym with a stage in the front. That's what it reminded me of, anyway.
There’s also a café with healthy snacks and coffee and juice. The second time we went back, they removed the darts and Nerf guns which, although fun for the kids, was probably a better and safer move for everyone. The staff is patient and helpful and don’t bother you too much. They also added more toys for the little ones to play with in the play section, such as ride-ons, play houses and more toys in general.
Getting There and Getting In
My GPS worked fine and it gave me exact directions to the facility. There is free street and lot parking. We have gone twice and both times we were able to park on the street, just a block away. There are buses around the area. If you take a Path train from NYC to Jersey City, you might be able to take a bus there or have the option of a short, 10-minute cab ride. I came from NY to NJ to get here so, from one state to another, it took maybe 40 minutes. There wasn’t any line to get in and checkout went very quickly and smoothly.
What Did You Enjoy Most?
I enjoyed the fact that it was so close to NYC. As soon as you get off the tunnel, it’s right there in Jersey City. It’s just so different from any other place around. There may be some similar play gyms around, but they’re more or less just for children. HudsonPLAY is for all ages, even adults. You can walk in there with another adult and practice the ninja course, climb a rock wall, do a little VR, play ping pong or Uno, and no one will look at you cross eyed because you do not have a child with you.
Is There Anything You Didn’t Like?
They have improved from the first to the second time we have visited, so everything I was uneasy about the first time (like the darts) had been removed when we returned for a second time.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Give yourself at least a few hours at HudsonPLAY. A child may want to spend a good 3-4 hours like my son did before we had to pull him out. If you go for a date night or friendly gathering, you may spend a good 2-3 hours in there.
Recommended Age Range
My son is 8. They actually used to have a playgroup there a couple of years ago for tots. It’s seriously good for the young and the not so young. I’d say, if they’re old enough to walk steadily to the age of an adult, they can have fun.
Tips for Families
Unlike other play gyms, playspace and family fun centers, you are not required to take off your shoes...no taking 15 minutes to find and put on the kids shoes when you’re trying to leave. You keep them on at all times. There are some vacant spots by the coat hangers to place the carriage. You can bring some food from home. Just be sure to eat it in the café and not on the play floor.
The café had a limited selection but if you get thirsty, at least you can keep hydrated. You can bring something from home and no one will say anything to you.
Afterward, we stopped at Loradella’s Pizzeria, also in Jersey City, for a pizza pie. When the children are finished, take them to the arcade in the back of the shop. They had Nickelodeon playing on the television in the arcade. There’s a cool indoor playground and playspace across the street called Funzy Play that we have visited.
Down the block from Loradella’s is a small, outdoor ice rink (obviously seasonal) and down the block the other way is Newport Greene Park, which has a carousel (seasonal), a playground with a splash pad and a fake beach type of set up with lounge chairs, sand and beach umbrellas. No matter what time of year you go, you will have something a little extra.
There are also bike paths and walking trails through the park. The Newport Centre Mall is about a 5-minute drive from there, which has a Cheesecake Factory and this adorable children’s spa called Glitter & Glam.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
We went twice already. You know what they say, “The third time is a charm,” so we definitely would visit again. We still haven’t found any place quite like it by us, nor have I even heard of any place that similar anywhere else.
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