Yesterday, the kids had off from school and I had off of work. (Thanks, Martin Luther King, Jr.) We got together with some friends and decided to take the kids out for a play-date. In the winter, it’s typical to go to indoor playgrounds to let the kids run around, since it’s too unfriendly to do play outdoors after a wind and ice storm like we had this past Sunday. Our friends had recently been to a new place we’d never been to called Unbelieva-Bills, so we wanted to try it out. I can’t figure out when they opened for business, but based on what little information I could find, it looks like they’ve been open since mid-2004. The owner, William (Bill) Dubiel has been Unbelieva-Bill for some 25 years as a professional magician, though. I’m surprised that it took a year and a half for us to even find out about this place — needs some better marketing, perhaps? The website has the necessary information but the presentation could definitely use some work.
The picture to the right shows the innocuous little entrance to the gi-normous yellow cinderblock building. I mean, the building is huge, some 21,000 sq. ft. large and two stories tall! What’s strange is that I expected to see “Unbelieva-Bills” above the blue awning, or at least some kind of signage saying what this monstrous building was to the casual passer-by, but there wasn’t one. Luckily, we knew that the place was at 140 Hopper Ave., in Waldwick, NJ, off Wyckoff Ave. next to the Waldwick middle and high schools.
Once inside the place, you see the Enchanted Kingdom playset (see picture to the right). There’s an admission fee for hildren to play on it: the “Kingdom Pass Only” cost us $9.95 per child regardless of age, so we paid for both our five year old and our two year old. They do have a special discounted “Infant/Parent” pass but it’s not clear what age qualifies as an infant. Needless to say, this place isn’t cheap. They do entertainment shows, temporary tattoos, kiddie bowling and a sports simulation video game, and Laser Tag, but all of these things are extra costs on top of the $9.95 Kingdom Pass, unless you buy one of the more expensive admission passes. I’m sorry, for a 5 and a 2 year old, $10 had better buy enough entertainment for three hours. Sorry, Bill.
I would, however, like to take the kids there to see one of the live show performances, though. But, again, $6 per child for the 20 minute Wizardo’s Workshop Magic Show is steep. I’ll probably give it a try once to see if it’s worth the money, at least. Considering Bill’s long experience as a professional performer, I suspect the show’s going to be excellent. I really like live entertainment for the kids, especially if it’s interactive. Of course, you can’t really tell much about the show from the website, unfortunately.
One nice thing about the place is I believe I saw Bill walking around, helping out in the Hocus Pocus Pantry area where we sat and ate lunch. It’s a good sign that the owner’s around, watching what’s going on and personally involved in the business’s success. Maybe I’ll say “hi” and introduce myself next time I’m there with the kids — that wouldn’t be too strange, would it? Oh, and speaking of the food, it was better than I would have expected for fast food at a children’s indoor entertainment place. I had two grilled cheese sandwiches, my wife had a cheeseburger, my older daughter had chicken fingers, my younger daughter had a grilled cheese sandwich and we all shared some nachos with cheese. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the healthiest of meals but the food was fast, hot and tasty. The price for food wasn’t outrageous, either, which really surprised me. I definitely won’t mind taking the kids there to play at lunch time, that’s for sure.
Oh, another nice consideration: the bathrooms have step-stools at the sinks for the kids to step up on! You can’t believe the number of times I have to pick each of them up and hold them hovering by the sink so they can wash their hands after using the bathroom when I take them out to places. Argh! Well, at Unbelieva-Bills, they’ve done the right thing and solved that problems. Thank you!
Monday-Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm.
140 Hopper Avenue
Waldwick, NJ 07463
If you have any questions, leave them here in the comments or email me. If you’ve been to Unbelieva-Bills and want to share your experience, leave a comment here or email me, too.