FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

A Day at Nickelodeon Universe

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

May 25, 2022

© Courtesy of American Dream


If your family travel brings you to the greater New York City region, opt for a taste of nostalgia (or the grown-ups and fun and imagination for the kids at American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe. Since I don’t have children, I recruited my best friend and her 6-year-old twins, Declan and Delaney, to help me check out the Nickelodeon-themed theme park and all the ways it brings to life favorite characters from cartoons both past and present, like Rugrats!, which I watched as a child, and Spongebob Square Pants, which is more Declan’s speed.


Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream — which also includes a wide range of shopping, an indoor ice skating ring, the Dream Wheel, Dreamworks Water Park and much more (emphasis on more) — is the Western Hemisphere’s biggest indoor theme park. With that superlative said, though, it’s not overwhelming; it’s a manageable size, especially for kids around that 6–9 age range; easy to navigate; and bright and light-filled. It’s not just for little kids — the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed Shellraiser rollercoaster had my heart fluttering as I watched it and I love a good rollercoaster. Families with children ranging in age could easily entertain all at Nickelodeon Universe and its indoor location means you can have fun year-round, no matter the weather outside.


Coming from Pennsylvania, we planned our visit for this year’s Primary Election Day. The kids were off school, but New Jersey schools weren’t closed. The park wasn’t crowded, and it often felt like we had the whole place to ourselves!


We started with a round of mini golf at Angry Birds Mini Golf, located nearby the park’s entrance. We grabbed our wristbands right after Nickelodeon Universe’s noon opening time (open until 7 p.m., there’s also discounted Twilight Admission for the last two hours of the day) and went on our way.


Nickelodeon comes to life here, with each attraction thoughtfully crafted to bring visitors into the hearts of their favorite cartoons — right down to the Slime Stage. We rode a great deal of rides together, including Bikini Bottom Crosstown Express, Blue’s Skidoo, Butterbean’s Sweet Spin, Dora’s Sky Railway, Fairly Odd Airways, Pup Pup & Away, Rugrats Reptar Go-Round and Shimmer & Shine Jumping Genies, and the kids enjoyed playing in the Paw Patrol Adventure Bay. Declan and Delaney didn’t meet the height requirement yet for some rides, but older kids can enjoy rides like Kraang Prime Pandemonium!, Sandy’s Blasting Bronco, Skyline Scream, Spongebob’s Jellyfish Jam and The Shredder. Declan and Delaney even got a chance to meet Michelangelo and Rafael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora from Dora the Explorer!


Food and drink aren’t sold in Nickelodeon Universe, so after a few hours of rides, we ventured to the mall’s food court for lunch, followed by a bit of souvenir shopping. Our day at Nickelodeon Universe couldn’t have been more perfect, and it is sure to delight all the Nickelodeon fans in your family.


Nickelodeon Universe also boasts a Mall of America location.


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