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By Diana Franzese, CertifiKID NYC Family Fun Ambassador
Posted Dec 05, 2019
Posted Dec 05, 2019
Located less than 30 miles from New York City in Florham Park, New Jersey, IMAGINE THAT!!!® is a 16,000-square foot children's discovery museum where kids are encouraged to touch, discover, learn and explore 35 unique, hands-on exhibits. This recently renovated facility is all about learning through play, offering age-appropriate play spaces, arts & crafts and endless opportunities for make-believe.
Our CertifiKID NYC Family Fun Ambassador, Diana Franzese, visited IMAGINE THAT!!! with her son. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Diana: IMAGINE THAT!!! has everything a kid could ever want inside of one huge space: a castle with a large indoor playground for the 5+ crowd, a smaller climbing tier for the 4 and under little ones, and costumes to go along with the section they are playing in, including knights, princesses, pirates, ballerinas and more.
There is a pirate ship with a treasure chest, a puppet theatre, a 3D sand box to dig in with your hands and find fossils, a life-sized Lite-Brite and other sensory-driven activities.
They have an art section where you can paint like an artist and create something crafty with, glue, construction paper, jewels, and other supplies.
There are a few different Thomas the Train tables, tables with infant/toddler toys on top of them and actual toys to play with, including a castle.
If you have a fire fighter lover, there's a fire truck that they can pretend play inside of, along with with a music room filled with instruments, where a music note lights up with the beat of the music that they play.
The kids love the grocery store, food stand and diner sections. When they're done checking out at the cash wrap, they can head over to the kitchen and begin cooking with a stove, sink and fridge.
If your baby wants to play with baby dolls, there’s a nursery with dolls, high chairs, cribs, bottles of milk and pacifiers.
Their café serves up some great eats including children's favorites: hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and specials of the day like mac and cheese and chicken noodle soup. There are snacks like chips, popcorn, muffins, cupcakes, goldfish and the tastiest brownies, along with fountain drinks and other beverages like iced and hot coffee, juice and chocolate milk.
There are plenty of tables and chairs in a separate section and a few stools and tables near the play areas. No worries if your phone dies, they have many outlets, which is always a plus.
There are four party rooms for larger and smaller parties. You have the option of booking one of their magicians that they work with, who was great. We saw a show of his while we were there.
Their puppet shows are also nice. They host class trips as well. It's really a good time for the children and adults.
Getting There and Getting In
We used the GPS on my cell and got to IMAGINE THAT!!! without a hitch. The parking situation is excellent. They have a free parking lot with plenty of spaces. I didn’t see any buses or bus stops going down that road, but there were some buses on the main road a little bit of a walk away. I’m not from the neighborhood or even the state. We came down from New York to New Jersey to visit because we had heard and read so many good things about it.
What Did You Enjoy Most?
I love that it’s near another great place called, The FunPlex in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and a Chuck E. Cheese’s. It’s also in the same town as where the New York Jets practice.
Is There Anything That Could be Improved?
I really couldn’t say a bad thing about IMAGINE THAT!!! It had everything my son wanted and more.
Recommended Age Range
My son is 7 years old and had a blast. There were children much younger than him there, as young as about 2 all the way up to 9. I’d even recommend it for kids up to 10 years old.
Time Recommended to Experience Activity
Our family spent a good 3 hours inside IMAGINE THAT!!! If if were up to my son, it may have been 5 hours!
Tips for Families
There were some good choices of snacks, hot food and beverages available for purchase. I had a brownie and it was so good that I went back for another one. They have chicken noodle soup, chicken fingers, pizza, chips, cookies, juice, water, hot chocolate, tea, coffee and some other snack items.
There’s stroller parking in the front. Bring your socks because I believe they are required and I’m not sure if they sell any there.
If your kids don’t want to leave, bribe them with a little arcade action at Chuck E. Cheese’s about 5 minutes away or tell them they can take a dip in the wave pool at The FunPlex, also a few short minutes away.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
My whole family can’t wait to come back to visit this children’s museum again. We all had so much fun and I didn’t have to worry about my son running up the stairs or inside of elevators to other floors. He was right in my view the whole time.
Are you interested in becoming a CertifiKID Family Fun Ambassador for your city? Learn more and apply HERE.
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