TOMS RIVER, NJ – It’s technically called “Indian Head Plaza”, but more commonly referred to as the Home Depot plaza or in the past, the Pathmark plaza before that store shut down. Now, it’s getting a reputation for being a fun place to spend the day in Toms River.
Combined, the businesses at the plaza can actually be considered part of one large amusement and family fun center.
You can literally spend an entire afternoon or even a full day at the plaza these days and have a fun family outing that includes affordable shopping, dining and entertainment.
If shopping isn’t your thing, there are a lot of incredibly fun activities within walking distance. Next door, you’ll find Urban Air Adventure Park, a hidden hole of fun for all ages, including climbing walls, a battle beam, acrobatic dropzone, dodgeball, trampolines, a tumble track, and slam dunk zone virtual reality experiences, and a warrior’s course. It’s as much fun as you can imagine packed into a retail space.
When you get tired of jumping, tumbling and spinning, you can head over to the Gamer’s Nook, a state-of-the-art video game center that hosts regular tournament play and events for kids. You can book a few hours on a gaming console or PC and go head to head against opponents. Billed as an e-sports center, the Gamer’s Nook has XBox One, Nintendo Switch, Playstation and PC gaming stations. The place is great for anyone from novice gamers to competitive and pro gamers.
Bury the Hatchet
After you have decimated your friends in brutal digital competition at the Gamer’s Nook or beat them senselessly over at Urban Air’s battle beam, you can unwind and bury the hatchet, literally, at Bury the Hatchet. Bury the Hatchet is a fun way to unwind after a busy day by doing something frowned upon literally anywhere else in the world, throwing hatchets into a wall.
Hoop Dream Society
If basketball is your game…or if you wish you were good enough to make it your game, the Hoop Dream Society is a basketball training center that offers basketball training and camps for kids.
The plaza even has a ‘gift shop’ built into it in the form of Hobby Town. Hobby shops are a dying business in America. Once the hub of fun for dads and their kids, they are slowly being replaced by big box stores and online shopping. Hobby Town has survived because it provides products and services you’re just not going to find at Target or Amazon. Besides being a place for picking up great toys Hobby Town also has an indoor rc racing track and, seasonally, an outdoor track used for events.
Pathmark has since been replaced by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, which is sometimes a treasure trove of hidden finds on discounted goods. You can also find bargains around the corner at the Dollar Tree. Mom and Dad can stroll and browse for discounts while the kids run, jump, game and chuck their hearts away.
When the day is done, the entire family has a few great options for dinner, including Tony’s Pasta House, Koi Hibachi and Kitchen, Beidronka Polish Deli and the Revolutionary Lounge and Kitchen.
Tony’s Pasta House is a Toms River tradition and if you haven’t been there yet, their food and rosemary bread is worth visiting even if you weren’t coming down for a day of family fun. Tony’s has evolved over the years and now includes a full menu of pizzas, pastas, sides and even a ‘create your own’ pizza menu.
Koi is a traditional Japanese style sushi and hibachi restaurant where you can watch the chefs cook your food in front of you. There’s six hibachi tables, a sushi bar and dining-only tables.
If you want to eat on the go or pick up some authentic Eastern Europoean specialties, visit Beidronka’s Polish Deli. They prepare some amazing to-go meals and have a full selection of items and groceries from the old country. Don’t forget an entire display full of different types and flavors of homemade style perogies.