The Jersey Shore may best be known for pristine beaches, bustling boardwalks and easy access to New York and Philadelphia. That's why so many of us choose to set down our roots in this area. So what is there for families to do when they want to break free from their routines? To get started, we've found these four spots that local families love.

Ice Skating Does your family want to participate in a family activity that encourages both fun and fitness? Well, ice-skating is just what the doctor ordered. Howell Ice Arena in Farmingdale hosts a safe, positive, and fun venue to skate all throughout the year. Boasting a full size and half size rink, café, private party rooms and pro-shop, this arena has everything families need for an afternoon of fun. A public skate schedule has daily hours available, while private rooms make hosting kids birthday parties a cinch for parents.

Howell Ice Arena 269 Squankum Road Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Theme Parks Find yourself transported to an adventure when you step into this 145,000-square-foot indoor theme park. Free to enter, iPlay America features go-karts, bumper cars, a two-story laser tag arena, mini bowling, a roller coaster and the largest high-ropes course in New Jersey. Add to that a boardwalk complete with restaurants, candy stores, and shops, there's fun to be had around every corner. iPlay After Dark gives a special deeply discounted pass featuring unlimited rides, go karts, and coasters every Friday at 7pm. Complete with music, light show and live DJ, iPlay America guarantees a Friday night filled with fun for all ages.

iPlay America 110 Schanck Road Freehold, NJ 07728

Parks, Nature Centers, and Playgrounds When the family needs fresh air, Monmouth County Park System features more than 30 parks for your exploration. Boasting 137 miles of hiking and biking trails, ten playgrounds, and two environmental centers, there's something for everyone in the family to love. History buffs can step back into time at Historic Longstreet Farm or Historic Walnford's historic industrial village, while gardeners will love the greenhouse at Deep Cut Gardens. Kids will be sure to get a kick out of the hands-on adventures at the environmental centers or the selection of playgrounds. Check the website for weekend events to get the family out of the house for a few hours.

Monmouth County Park System Monmouth County, NJ 07738

Bowling Whether you need to beat the heat or escape the cold, Brunswick Zone in Hazlet has everything your family needs to get away. Featuring 32 bowling lanes, an on-site pro shop, arcade, lounge area and sports bar, the options are endless for fun-filled afternoons or evenings. There are specials featured for each night of the week, from early bird discounts to unlimited late nights, and locals agree Brunswick Zone Hazlet is the best family bowling spot in town.

Brunswick Zone Hazlet Lanes 1400 Route Number 36 Hazlet, NJ 07730

What about you? Let us know what your family's favorite Monmouth County destination throughout the year! Join the conversation on Facebook