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Take a 'Staycation' Right In Your Own Backyard

Weekly feature highlights our ideas for great 'Staycations'

Not everyone has the opportunity to take a vacation as often as one would like, so in the meantime why not take a ‘staycation’ right here in the area? There are plenty of opportunities to have all kinds of fun from amusement and water park activities, to hiking and swimming and more. Check out our list of Patch Picks for great “staycation” ideas.

Velocity 17 — 87 Route 17 North, Maywood — 201-994-1200 -  With a full slate of amazingly fun activities for kids and adults, Velocity 17 is like the amusement park in the backyard of Bergen County. Kart Racers zooms around a 2,000 foot racetrack at speeds up to 30 mph, kids and adults dart across a 4,000-square-feet of black-lighted Laser Tag course, and of course there's roller skating, air blasters and a kick-ass arcade to round out the adrenaline-soaked experience; by the time you're done at Velocity 17 you'll need a nap.

Bergen County Zoological Park — 216 Forest Ave, Paramus — 201-262-3771 - There's so much to do at this most-excellent of staycation destinations: The park features picnic areas, a baseball field, a softball field, basketball and tennis courts, a soccer field, playground, carousel and train rides. And we haven't even mentioned the zoo animals, yet. If you're planning a day at the park — maybe even stack a few repeat visits to make it a real staycation — make sure to visit the Spider Monkey Pavilion, a personal favorite here at Patch.

The Gravity Vault — 40 Watchung Avenue, Chatham or 107 Pleasant Avenue, Upper Saddle River — Rock climbing is a great exercise and tons of fun for the whole family that won't break the bank and will keep you close to home. Even if you're petrified at the thought of heights there's a type of climbing for you — no-ropes-required bouldering won't take you too far up the rock. Among New Jersey's best climbing gyms, The Gravity Vault, now features two locations providing equipment rentals, professional instruction, and thousands of routes. 

Bliss Spa - 225 River Street, Hoboken - 1-877-862-5477 - For those who want to relax visit Bliss spa in Hoboken where are sure to return home feeling as though you spent a week in a luxury spa. Get a signature blissage 75-minute head-to-toe massage or better yet go for the blissage 105 – it’s the 75-minute massage with an extra 30 minutes added on. You can spoil yourself with facial and body treatments too. To make this a truly special staycation be sure to have the double chocolate pedicure while you’re there – It’s a chocolate treat for the feet and you get to sip some hot cocoa too.

Palisades Interstate Park - Alpine - 201 768-1360- 
Those who love the nature and the outdoors can enjoy the Palisades Interstate Park just east of this part of the county in Alpine. The park has 30 miles of hiking trails, marinas, outdoor picnic areas, a scenic river drive. There are clifftop overlooks and a natural sanctuary. You can explore historic sites as well.

Flat Rock Brook Nature Center - 443 Van Nostrand Avenue, Englewood - 201-567-1265-The Flat Rock Brook Nature Center offers various programs in spring and fall that even the kids can enjoy such as a Wild Art program which features crafting and exploring. Remaining Wild Art sessions will take place Sundays, April 10 and May 1 from 3 to 4 p.m. Registration is required. Couples can also enjoy sunset hikes which are held every Tuesday in April and May from 6 to 7 p.m. Registration is not required for the Sunset Hikes.

YMCA of Greater Bergen County - 360 Main Street, Hackensack - 201-487-6600 - For those who love the water but don’t have a town pool club to join or won’t be getting down the shore in the immediate future, there is a chance to enjoy some refreshing wet summer fun at the YMCA of Greater Bergen County in Hackensack. The pool is open all year round so you don’t even have to wait until the summer months for that staycation. Visiting adults pay $16 and members of other YMCAs can be admitted at half price but must show their membership card.

Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey -400 Fred Wehran Drive, Teterboro - 201-288-6344 -Why not take the family site seeing at a local museum like the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey located in Teterboro. The museum features historic air and space equipment, artifacts, photographs, fine art and a collection of plane models. The museum was recently expanded and visitors can see a restored M.A.S.H. tent, a Convair 880 Jetliner Cockpit and a Grumman OV-1A Mohawk. Museum is open 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays.

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