Looking for Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids?
Review of Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes
“Avengers, assemble!” Marvel Universe LIVE! is a live-action packed show featuring beloved Marvel Super Heroes – Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor battling their arch nemesis villains – Black Cat, Green Goblin and Loki.
On Friday, March 16 2018, I got the chance to take my 4 year old son, Blake, to see this classic tale of good versus evil. Ironically enough, it seemed that the real battle started days before the event…”Which character should he go as? He has nothing to wear! What are his friends going as? He can’t wear the same costume as his friend! Can he wear an Iron Man costume with a Hulk mask and bring a Thor hammer? Now he wants to wear the same costume as his friend! Where is Iron Man’s glove? Can Mommy dress up too?” After numerous costume changes, he ultimately decided on Captain America (as did I).
Our friends picked us up at 4pm and we drove to Newark, NJ from Marlboro, NJ arriving at our dinner destination about 51 minutes later. Not sure what to expect in Newark on a Friday night (on top of it being the same weekend as St.Patrick’s Day and March Madness), we made a reservation for 9 people at Ainsworth Newark. The adults had a chance to watch some basketball and enjoy some cocktails and food before the show started while the kids got to decompress and split some mac and cheese and corn dogs. The service was extremely slow for an empty restaurant and the food was nothing to write home about but it was fine considering we were traveling with 5 kids under 6 and it was a 2 minute walk to the Prudential Center.
As soon as you enter the Prudential Center you are surrounded by merchandise booths, food stands, face painting areas and green screen photo zones. Lucky for us (and shockingly enough), the majority of our group was more excited to get in the arena than they were buying swords, t-shirts or special watches. As we made our way to the seats, you could see super hero boys and girls of all ages. Our seats were center stage, 4 rows back and fantastic. The kids had perfect views of all the action. The show started promptly at 7pm. I have been to Disney on Ice, Paw Patrol Live and many other kid friendly shows so I didn’t know what to expect from Marvel Universe LIVE!. To my surprise, I was pleasantly entertained. The show had a ton of energy with innovative special effects, martial arts, motorcycles, pyrotechnics, stunts and so much more!
More importantly, you could follow along without knowing much about Marvel characters and their back stories. The storyline unites The Avengers with Spider Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy to recover the Wand of Watoomb and take down Loki and ultimately save the world from the most threatening villains in the universe.
The fight scenes kept the boys (and the parents) on the edge of our seats. Aerial stunts and video projections are featured during this incredible adventure (please be aware that there are also flashes, loud noises, fire and strobe lights throughout the night). The show was 90 minutes long including an intermission. Intermission lasted approximately 25 minutes or so and was a bit too long in my opinion. The boys got antsy and with multiple vendors walking around selling Captain America boomerangs, light up swords, ices, popcorn and lemonade we had to shell over quite a bit of money to keep them happy.
The finale battle was the ultimate culmination of the night as it brings out all the heroes and villains to fight on the main stage and also provides us with the opportunity to see Banner turn into the Hulk. Overall, I thought the show was fantastic. My son loved watching Captain America motorcycle around the arena, Hulk smash and Spider Man swing. Super hero fans of all ages will be truly immersed in the Marvel Universe, it is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Are you looking for things to do in New Jersey with kids? If so, look no further.