american dream
General Business

Exploring the ‘American Dream’

To say a place that spans 3 million square feet is a “hidden” gem sounds like a contradiction in terms, but there is no other way for me to describe American Dream in East Rutherford.

Home to Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest indoor theme park, and DreamWorks, the nation’s largest indoor waterpark, this sprawling multi-billion-dollar retail, dining and entertainment complex also boasts the world’s largest indoor surfing wave pool, an ice rink, and the Big Snow indoor ski slope. Other attractions include the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, the SeaLife aquarium, mini-golf, the Legoland Discovery Center, and a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel with views of the Manhattan skyline.

In short, this is not your parents’ shopping mall. Unfortunately, just a few short months after American Dream opened, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, keeping people at home and keeping New Jersey’s undiscovered gem off potential visitors’ radar. Now with the pandemic finally behind us, the crowds are returning to American Dream, and more stores, restaurants and attractions are opening.

Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Kirkos and American Dream’s SVP of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Amy Herbold recently invited me to American Dream as part of NJBIA’s Year of the Business Owner tour of New Jersey businesses. My visit coincided with spring break, and the excitement was palpable as families with children filled the theme park, waterpark, and other attractions.

Word is getting out about American Dream and NJBIA wants to help spread the news. Today, there are nearly 200 retailers and restaurants open at American Dream and that number will swell to almost 250 before year’s end. Visitors have their choice of fast-casual dining favorites and world-class sit-down restaurants. Luxury shopping experiences include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermès, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferrari and more. New incoming attractions include The Game Room Powered by Hasbro and Skip Barber Racing Go-Kart Academy.

American Dream is also a premier destination for business gatherings – from team building to professional conferences to red-carpet galas and more. Dream Live at American Dream offers 30,000 square feet of customizable space, with a standing room capacity of 900 guests, and infinite seating configurations. An art deco lobby can be booked separately or with the Exhibit Hall.

The burgeoning activity at American Dream is great news for its developer Triple Five, the businesses opening there, and our economy. If you’re planning a summer outing with your children or grandchildren – or if you’re looking for an exciting destination for your next family reunion or business gathering – please check out this unexplored gem in the Meadowlands. Learn more at

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