Garden State Plaza’s New Play Space Is ‘Shore’ to Please

This state-of-the-art play area is fun and interactive spot that makes a trip to the mall with kids more enjoyable for everyone. Courtesy of Westfield Garden State Plaza

Anyone who’s ever taken young children to the mall — especially during the holiday season — knows the experience is typically anything but merry. But thanks to Garden State Plaza’s recent renovations, shoppers may find themselves, and their children, having a lot more fun than they’d ever expected.

Not only does the Paramus shopping center feature a newly-renovated food court that evokes a sophisticated urban ‘bistro’ vibe, it also boasts a brand new shore-themed play space that will have preschoolers grinning rather than groaning during an outing to the mall.

While the food court’s makeover refreshed the space that can seat nearly 800 diners with new chairs, tables, and elegant lighting that call to mind a Parisian cafe, food options remain largely the same with the addition of Salsa Arepa, which pays homage to the national sandwich of Venezuela. Stewarts Root Beer, beloved for its burgers, hot dogs, and signature root beer floats, is expected to open either later this year or in early 2018.

The dining area, renamed ‘The Bistro,’ has upgraded WiFi and vibrant greenery, and though it’s a charming setting to grab a bite while making a list and checking it twice, it’s the play space, which opened in October, that’s winning over visitors of all ages.

While winter isn’t an ideal time to visit the beach, families can still enjoy some of the wonders of the sea   thanks to the play space’s virtual aquariums, which respond to movement from little visitors. Multiple screens allow children to check out fun and educational games, and there’s also plenty of room for running, jumping, and climbing. Soft flooring mimics sand dunes and a pirate ship is a fun place would-be sailors can explore.

The play area is located beside the food court on the lower level. Both updated spaces may have holiday shoppers coming out from behind their computers and venturing back to brick-and-mortar, retailers hope.

The mall’s hours are extended for the holiday season. For more information, visit Garden State Plaza’s website.