AT THE REVAMPED iPLAY AMERICA, ADULTS CAN ENJOY THE MEGA INDOOR THEME PARK DURING PARTIES, WEDDINGS, AND OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS
BY JESSICA JONES-GORMAN • PHOTOS BY ROBERT NUZZIE
When iPlay America first opened its doors in November 2011, the central New Jersey mega indoor theme park with its immense assortment of arcade games, two-level laser tag arena, and spinning roller coaster catered entirely to kids and their families. But over the past seven years, the entertainment epicenter has vastly expanded, adding adult parties and VIP suites to its already extensive lineup of attractions. And with a host of concerts and trade shows in the offing, and with plenty of social gatherings taking place at the site regularly, the newly revamped Event Center at iPlay America is one of the state’s hottest venues.
“We have added so many new attractions and additions to make iPlay America not only a place for kids but a place where there is truly something for everyone,” noted Jessica Schwartz, vice president of marketing for the company. “Our Game Time Bar and Grill has over 25 screens and projectors to watch every game you can think of; we also show UFC fights and major boxing championships, and the Event Center has given central New Jersey a great venue for artists. Area residents can watch popular acts perform without having to trek into the city.”
The space, which was formerly known as the Encore Events Center, has been open since iPlay launched, but Schwartz said the concept has evolved over the past few years, allowing the company to cater to an adult and corporate clientele.
“We changed the name to allow for an increase in corporate and social events and trade shows, and to give some separation from the theme park,” Schwartz said. “With the addition of Warehouse 100 [a recently launched, 20,000- square-foot warehouse space], we have put the event center on the map for larger-scale events. There is really no other space in New Jersey quite like it.”
Featuring four banquet rooms some of them smaller suites, others chic cocktail lounges as well as several large gala venue spaces, iPlay’s social center is equipped with high-tech audio/video capabilities and has a full in house staff. Warehouse 100, a New York City-inspired loft style space with concrete floors and open, 17-foot ceilings, has hosted several weddings since its opening.
“We have over 45,000 square feet of fully customizable space, each venue full of endless possibilities,” noted Schwartz. “Our spaces are a clean slate; a company or social client can make the room what they want. Unlike a ballroom or a country club venue, we can use lighting to create the look that you are looking for. We also have projectors or LED screens in all of our rooms, and stock many upgrades, so you don’t have to go to an outside vendor to rent add-ons like lounge furniture, light-up bars, concert-grade lighting, and sound. You can rent directly from us and cut out the middle man. Additionally, we have ample free parking, which is a plus for many companies.”
According to Schwartz, iPlay specializes in all types of events, from corporate events to product launches. It also hosts proms, bar mitzvahs, and Sweet Sixteen parties. The Event Center at IPA is also the site of plenty of concerts and shows.
“We host many meet-and-greet events with sports and WWE superstars, as well as trade shows and concerts,” she said. “We also recently added a monthly dinner-show series, too, and if you’re an MMA fan, we feature live kickboxing and MMA fights monthly with our partner Dead Serious promotions. We have hosted many karate tournaments and dance competitions, too.”
Schwartz says there is a full lineup of exciting events slated for fall.
“World of Dance LIVE will perform on October 11,” she detailed. “Chef Carla Hall will appear on October 23; Linda Shields, the so-called ‘Jersey Shore Medium,’ will visit on November 14; and Pop 2000, hosted by Lance Bass of NSYNC fame, will be featured on November 17.” What’s more, iPlay recently announced the addition of adult parties in the theme park.
“Guests can take advantage of the fun in our theme park while having a reserved space in our restaurant or VIP suites, where full food and bar packages are available,” Schwartz added. “We will also launch our Block Party on October 5, during which only guests 21 and over are allowed in the building so the ‘grown-up kids’ can have fun in an all-adult environment. Guests will be able to walk freely in our arcade with their alcoholic drinks and listen to great music and play fun games. Additionally, the park is perfect for company outings and team-building events. We have many clients that host meetings or other events on the Event Center side of the property and then add a fun element at the end of their event. It really is a great space for any type of gathering, big or small.”
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