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The American Dream Daycation: Forgo the Flight and Spend A Fantasy Day at This Local Wonderland!

The American Dream Daycation

Most parents know that a family vacation is often not exactly a vacation. Packing, traveling, and finding activities that will please all ages can be more stressful than staying home. But what if you could take a vacation without a hotel or a plane? What if everyone found their favorite activity in one place?

American Dream, just five miles from NYC in East Rutherford, New Jersey, might just be the perfect place for New York families to vacation—or should we say “daycation?” With over three million feet of entertainment, retail and dining, American Dream has something for everyone in the family—no traveling required. 

The Kid Fantasy: American Dream’s Indoor Entertainment

Convincing your kids to get in the car will be a breeze — once they realize that they are headed to Nickelodeon Universe. The largest indoor theme park in North America has the world’s steepest roller coaster; tallest and longest spinning coaster; and tallest indoor spinning drop tower.

If that’s not thrilling enough, kids can join their favorite DreamWorks characters like Shrek and King Julien at the DreamWorks Water Park, with more than 40 water slides including the world’s tallest indoor body slide (142 feet).

And it only gets better. There’s also an NHL-regulation-size ice rink, a blacklight 18-hole mini-golf course and an Angry Birds mini-golf course, an interactive aquarium and a LEGOLAND Discovery Center with an immersive 4D cinema.

Coming soon to American Dream: a 300-foot-high observation wheel overlooking the New York City skyline, a Hasbro game room (Hungry Hippos anyone?) and a 40,000-square-foot indoor go-kart academy. The biggest challenge of the American Dream daycation will be getting your kids back in the car at the end of the day.

The Parent Fantasy: American Dream’s Shops

When was the last time you browsed at Saks, tried on an Alexander Wang gown or bought some Tiffany earrings? Luxury shopping, or even luxury browsing, isn’t always easy with kids in tow.

At American Dream’s The Avenue, however, you can shop Dolce & Gabbana, Jonathan Adler and Hermès without leaving the building—and perhaps while your kids are surfing the world’s largest indoor wave pool. 

And it’s not just high-end retail here — more practical purchases at Altar’d State, PRIMARK, Uniqlo, Ulta and Sephora might be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, there’s plenty of room to get your shopping on — many of these stores, like Aritzia, H&M and Mango are the largest in New Jersey. Lululemon is the largest in the tri-state area and the Zara store is the largest in North America. 

The Family Fantasy: American Dream’s Restaurants 

If you can drag everyone away from their beloved activities, there are plenty of places to meet up for a meal. The Yard House serves California-inspired comfort food like poke nachos and truffle fries.

Award-winning Texas pitmaster Michael Rodriguez makes his famous 48-hour-smoked wings, brisket sandwiches and ridiculous chili mac at The House of ‘Que. For burgers and beers, and maybe a ball game on TV, stop by 1ST RND. 

If your family wants to grab a quick bite between rounds of fun, check out the latest outpost of Brooklyn-favorite Best Pizza, or indulge in artisanal ice cream at Van Leeuwen. There are many more options, and more to come, at the Coca-Cola Eats food court, including Charley’s Philly Steaks, Kelly’s Cajun Grill, Latin Grill, Wendy’s, Jollibee, PORA and Taco Bell. 

Does it seem too good to be true? American Dream also offers affordable parking, charging stations and free WiFi. And it’s only a short drive away. So, wish your island-hopping friends bon voyage and get on with your perfect daycation instead.

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