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This winter, I got a little taste of summer, Jersey-style. That is: a crowded room of shouting and running young’uns, calmly strolling middles, and smiling, photo-snapping oldies; the beeping-bloop sounds of electronic toys; and the sweet smell of sugar whipped into a pink, puffy cloud.

Sadly (and thankfully), the Homemade Arcade, created by the talented young-uns and staff of KidsArts! Multicultural Afterschool and Summer Program, did not offer cotton candy. What it lacked in kill-you-quick sugar, though, it more than made up for in creative, homegrown fun.

Phoebe at Homemade Arcade

What to do on a snowy winter’s afternoon? Walk on over to KidsArts for . . .

. . . some Whacky Watermelon Minigolf.

Watermelon mini golf

Navigating a field of strawberries . . .

Strawberry minefield

and avocado pits . . .

Avacado traps

and a tricky pineapple-windmill.

Windmill pineapple

Play some . . .


Skee-ball 3

Toss a tiny basketball.

David plays tiny basketball

Dance, dance, the revolution.


Play Pac-Man . . .

Pac Man

. . . pinball . . .

Ben sets up pinball

And foosball!


This arcade really hit all the boardwalk standards, and with none of the wood splinters, dank carpet-smell, or dropped hotdogs. I’d say that’s a win.