I had no doubt that taking some of our grandchildren to the new TurtleBoo emporium in Spring Valley would afford us the opportunity to experience its entertainment and hopefully appreciate all it has to offer families. I was not wrong. From the moment we entered, our grandchildren could not—would not—stay still, as every inch of space in the facility was fashioned with children in mind. The play space was built to ensure that children can have a fun time in a safe, beautiful environment. The color scheme of bright purple and green definitely adds to the atmosphere.
Owner Shimmy Singer, the father of three young children, dreamed for a long time of opening a facility to which families in the Northern New Jersey and Rockland County areas could easily bring their children without concerns about parking and safety. He spent countless hours studying information regarding exactly which of the equipment was the most modern and safest on the market.
During the process he needed to receive permits from at least six different state and local government bodies, including the Office of Homeland Security. Why Homeland Security? One of the requirements for investing in such a project is ensuring that there is a plan of escape and requisite staff training for emergencies.
The facility’s soft play area is a huge three-story structure of pure fun. Tunnels, a worm cage, slides (open slide, drop slide, spiral slide), gravity tunnels, ropes and a rock wall connect and intersect to form an exciting maze in which to jump, crawl and bounce. For “relaxation,” there is the ball pit and cozy clubhouse, where children can be found lying in the balls. There is a separate soft play area for toddlers, where children under 2 can bounce around with age-appropriate equipment.
The virtual game area appeared to attract children of different ages. Children can tap with their feet on the floor in order to play interactive life-sized games. There is an assortment of 25 fun activities, including piano playing, that get changed every two hours enabling young ones to stay entertained for an unending amount of time.
Three great rides delight little riders, and some parents, especially when there is limitless entry to each of them all day long. Our little Akiva would have been happy to stay on one of them for the entire day. The train roller coaster appeared to be a lot of fun, as well as the airport with airplanes that hover in the air, giving riders a bird’s-eye view of TurtleBoo. The Himalaya, a fast, twisting ride, attracted many thrill seekers as it goes backwards and forwards in circles of fun.
The arcade features a collection of games for kids of all ages. The most popular game seemed to be the tractor that digs up kosher treats for the kids to collect. The head-bopping one seemed pretty high on the list as well. A full assortment of other games allows the kids to win tickets and prizes. The best part of the arcade for parents is that the cost of tokens is a quarter each, and most games do not take more than two tokens. At the redemption center a wide array of prizes await the excited children, including kosher treats, umbrellas with the purple and green TurtleBoo insignia on them and large TurtleBoo balloons.
There is no need to worry about what the children will eat while having a great time. A dairy food area, under the hashgacha of Rabbi Yechiel Steinmetz, has a delicious menu of pizza, fries, slush in six different flavors, packaged cookies and danishes, as well as salads, coffee and hot food for the adults.
175 E Route 59, Spring Valley,
Sunday and non-school days:
$15; two adults free per family
One of the best things about TurtleBoo was the enthusiasm of the staff. Akiva Degroen, the hands-on manager, is constantly on site to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that the children have the very best time.
Equally exciting are TurtleBoo’s birthday party packages; they are full of surprises and perks for guests. There are three different packages available, with rooms set aside to make the event special for the birthday child. The rooms are equipped with speakers that can connect to music via Bluetooth. Rumor has it that strobe lights will soon be installed. No need to bring the cake or the food as everything is taken care of by the TurtleBoo staff. Each party room can accommodate between 25 to 60 guests, and another larger party room will soon be available with a capacity of 120 people. With so many options, there is a party for every taste and budget.
Amazingly, many days of Chanukah have already been reserved by families as a special treat for close and extended family members. Additionally, with the expectation that Chol Hamoed Sukkot will be overwhelmingly busy, a decision will soon be made about taking reservations in advance for those specific days.
The facility also boasts a comfortable family area with lush purple and green chairs and phone chargers, offering adult guests a slight reprieve from the excitement of the kids playing.
In the words of our 3 ½-year-old grandson Akiva Eisenberg, “This is the funnest place in the whole city.” On his recommendation alone we suggest you give TurtleBoo a visit soon.
By Nina Glick