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food & drink · attractions & tours ·

Published February 14, 2024

10 Can't-Miss Attractions at American Dream

Plan the perfect mini vacation less than 30 minutes from the city! 🎢 🛍

by New York Bucket List


Do you ever want to escape the city, but the thought of getting on a plane or taking an hours-long road trip is less than appealing—or feasible? Whether you’re looking for something to do with the kids during their mid-winter recess or are simply tired of the long winter days and cold temps outside, sometimes you just need a change of scenery and a break in routine to keep you from going stir-crazy.

Lucky for you, American Dream has all the hallmarks of an extended vacation—upscale restaurants, thrilling rides, immersive experiences, and world-class shopping—and it’s only a short drive or bus ride from the city. We rounded up 10 of our favorite must-do activities and attractions at American Dream Mall so you can rally the family, text the group chat, and be on your way to a mini vacation in 30 minutes or less!


The Best Things to Do and See at American Dream

Nickelodeon Universe

Dive into the world of Nickelodeon with the largest indoor theme park in North America. From SpongeBob SquarePants to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this park offers rides and attractions inspired by your favorite Nickelodeon characters. You'll find family-friendly classics like Aang's Air Gliders and Butterbean's Sweet Spin, along with more adventurous rides like The Shredder—the tallest and longest free-spinning coaster in the world. 😱


Big Snow

Who knew the closest ski slopes to NYC were in East Rutherford New Jersey? Experience the thrill of skiing and snowboarding year-round at Big Snow, North America's first indoor snow park. With real snow, slopes for all skill levels, and professional instructors, it's the perfect place for some winter sporting fun, regardless of the season.


DreamWorks Water Park

There's truly nowhere else in the world like the DreamWorks Water Park, featuring over 40 water slides and attractions themed around DreamWorks Animation's most beloved films, including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar. Bring the kids for a fun day in the water, or plan a day with friends and brave the giant slides together. If you’re going with a group, make sure to check out the poolside cabanas for some extra privacy and room to spread out.


The Rink at American Dream

Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at The Rink, an NHL-regulation-sized ice skating rink. Whether you're a seasoned skater or a beginner, it's a fun activity for the whole family. Skate rentals are included in the price of admission, and ice buddies are available to help beginners find their balance.


SEA LIFE Aquarium

Delve into the depths of the ocean at SEA LIFE Aquarium, where you can marvel at over 3,000 creatures, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles. Interactive exhibits and educational presentations make it fun and engaging for visitors of all ages. Our favorite part? The 10+ exhibits inspired by New York City’s most iconic landmarks and experiences!


Angry Birds Mini Golf

Putt your way through 18 holes of themed mini-golf inspired by the popular Angry Birds franchise. With vibrant designs, challenging obstacles, and 3D features from the iconic game brought to life, it's sure to test your skills and bring out your competitive side.


LEGOLAND Discovery Center

If you have LEGO-obsessed kids (honestly, aren’t they all?), they’ll love LEGOLAND Discovery Center, where they can explore themed play areas, ride on interactive attractions, meet LEGO characters, and marvel at impressive LEGO creations. Best for ages 3 to 10.


Luxury Shopping

Indulge in some retail therapy at American Dream's luxury shopping destination, The Avenue, featuring a curated selection of high-end stores and designer boutiques like Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Hermès, Ferrari, and more—all in one place!


Dine Around the World

All good shopping sprees need adequate the form of gourmet food and drinks, obviously. Satisfy your cravings with a culinary journey around the world. You'll find a diverse selection of dining options, from handmade pasta to flavorful dumplings to spicy Cajun dishes and more. Whether you want to grab a quick bite or sit down and unwind for a while, you have options.


Live Entertainment

After you've ridden the rides, slid down the slides, and shopped til you dropped, it's time to settle in for a show. You can catch live entertainment ranging from concerts and theatrical performances to comedy shows and family-friendly spectacles. Upcoming events include School of Rock Carlstadt on February 19, Laugh Live! Featuring Corey B on February 24, and Lunar New Year Events all throughout February!


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