We ate the meals, shopped the stores and pampered ourselves over the past 12 months with one sole purpose in mind—to bring you the absolute Best of the Best in South Jersey. To show you we are serious, we combed through every town in the tri-county region in search of standout stars and hidden gems that help make our area so exciting. But to make sure we didn’t hog all the fun, we asked our loyal readers to go online and vote for their favorite places as well. Now, without further ado, we present this year’s winners—everything from facials to French fries. It’s the result of a lot of hard work, but by now you should know that no one does it better than us.
Fire & Ice, Mount Holly
An ice carving festival and a chili cook-off may seem like an unlikely pair, but it’s a recipe for success in Mount Holly, where they celebrate every year with amateur ice carvers taking to the streets and some of Burlington County’s best chili cooks serving up their fiery eats, along with plenty of family-friendly entertainment to round out the day.
KIDS’ PARTY VENUE
With amusements, a pool, mini-golf and more outside, plus a bowling alley, go-karts and laser tag inside, this place a is a no-brainer. It’s a huge stress-relief to have party planning off your shoulders to begin with, so why not have a little fun yourself while you’re at it?
Mount Laurel, (856) 273-9666, FunplexMountLaurel.com
Broadway Theatre of Pitman
Broadway Theatre is one of the few vaudeville-style theaters left in the area, complete with crystal chandeliers, original molding and balcony boxes. It hasn’t lost its charm due to a major rebirth that began with new owners in 2006; and fortunately, thanks to a packed schedule of both mainstage and children’s productions, there are plenty of reasons to visit.
Pitman, (856) 384-8381, TheBroadwayTheatre.org
Pleasant Valley Miniature Golf Club
With a retro vibe, a few challenging holes and the promise of fun for the whole family, Pleasant Valley is a prime spot to take the children or act like a kid again yourself. End the night with a Caddy Snacks Homemade Water Ice, with flavors like On the Green Cookies-N-Cream or In the Rough Root Beer.
Voorhees, (856) 767-2167, PVMiniGolf.com
Big Swing Golf Center
Featuring more than 150 grass and mat hitting stalls, reasonable prices and an on-site instructor in Sean Driscoll, Big Swing is the perfect spot to refine your swing before heading out for a round of golf. For those golfers who like to play all year long, they have the convenience of 10 heated stalls as well.
Washington Township, (856) 553-6723, BigSwingGolfCenter.com
Adventure Aquarium’s Hippo Haven
Want to come face to face with a Nile hippo that weighs two tons? South Jersey’s Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world where you can, with protective glass in between, of course. You’ll meet Button and Genny and learn all about their natural environment.
Camden, (856) 365-3300, AdventureAquarium.com
Carmike Cinemas Ritz 16
The Carmike has long been known as the theater for the true movie lover, with comfortable seating and a selection that includes small indie films as well as studio blockbusters. For a real treat, head over on Wednesdays, when ticket prices are just $5 all day long. At that rate, you’ll be able to afford the large popcorn, too.
Voorhees, (856) 669-3291, Carmike.com
Katz JCC embraces “community” in every sense of the word. Camp programs for kids, fitness classes for parents and wellness programs for seniors are just a fraction of everything available at their world-class facility. Every member of the family will find something, all under one roof.
Cherry Hill, (856) 424-4444, KatzJCC.org
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4 July, 2014).
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