Adventureland plans to reopen its indoor arcade on March 26 and outdoor rides on April 9, in accordance with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement that indoor family entertainment centers and outdoor amusement parks may reopen with restrictions.
"It’s the light at the end of the tunnel that we’ve been waiting for," says Steve Gentile, co-owner and president of Adventureland in Farmingdale. "I can’t tell you enough how excited we are."
The park will debut its newest ride, the Sports Tower, which was supposed to be unveiled in 2020. "Nobody has ridden on it yet," Gentile says. Cars shaped like basketballs, tennis balls, soccer balls and golf balls sail 60 feet into the air. "It gives you a beautiful aerial view of the park."
Gentile says he expects all rides will be operating, including the Mystery Mansion haunted house, although they may have ridership limits and modifications of some parts of the attractions.
Other family entertainment venues are also gearing up to reopen. Urban Air Lake Grove plans to have a grand opening again on March 26 so families can return to the indoor family adventure park’s sky coaster, high ropes course, climbing walls, bumper cars, virtual reality games and more.
"It gives people a good opportunity to have an option to go out in a safe way, expend some energy and have some fun," says co-owner David Wolmetz. The venue had been closed since March 16, 2020, except for a brief five-week period in the fall.
Adventureland closed at the beginning of the pandemic and pivoted to offering outdoor concerts and drive-in movies in its parking lot. "The public supported us and enabled us to do what we did. I think we did it pretty darn good," Gentile says.
Adventureland is committed to producing the outdoor concerts it has scheduled for the spring, but after that, drive-in events will possibly be put on hold, Gentile says. "There may be something in the future, maybe not this year."
This year, it will be back to business not-quite-as-usual, as the park incorporates requirements regarding capacity, social distancing, mask-wearing and other safety measures. "We need Long Island to get back to normalcy," Gentile says. "The kids need normalcy as well. Hopefully, this will be an outlet as a meeting place for their friends."