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2013 Best of the Best: Lifestyle

by Erica Bauwens, Colleen Patrice Clark, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter and Peter Proko; Select photography by Jeff Fusco

It’s been a year since we last brought you our annual Best of the Best issue, but the wait is finally over. And trust us when we say that we’ve been busy these past 12 months, working extremely hard to make sure this roundup of the greatest people and places in South Jersey is our best effort to date. From the stellar meals we enjoyed to the punishing exercise classes we endured, this list represents South Jersey’s cream of the crop.
Why else would we call it the Best of the Best?

UNIQUE WEDDING VENUE
Camden County Boathouse
For those looking to skip the traditional banquet setting for their nuptials, this picturesque venue overlooking the Cooper River offers a nautical escape for up to 200 of your closest friends and family. When folks aren’t two-stepping on the dance floor, chances are they’ll be on the second floor’s wrap-around balcony enjoying a view you just can’t get in the buffet line. Pennsauken, (856) 661-3188, CamdenCountyBoathouse.com

THEATER GROUP
Ritz Theatre Company
Classic stage shows presented in a classic venue—the theater is on the National Register of Historic Places. The marquee is lit year-round with shows that cost less and entertain more. A mix of youth programming rounds out the playbill, but make no mistake, the theater’s adaptations of Broadway’s finest works deserve a resounding “Bravo!” Haddon Township, (856) 858-5230, RitzTheatreCo.org

AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Katz JCC
Keeping children occupied in the afternoon can be an overwhelming task. That is, unless you put them in the hands of Katz JCC. They’ll help with homework, immerse kids in arts and culture, and play sports to keep them active. And depending on your district, they’ll even scoop a child up from school so you know they’re safe. Cherry Hill, (856) 424-4444, KatzJCC.org

NIGHT AT THE MOVIES
AMC Marlton 8
For years, this multiplex was in need of a major facelift. But when they finally got it, boy did they become the hottest ticket in town. Movie-going has never been the same since we sat in their new plush red leather recliners with our feet up. We don’t even mind if the previews run long. Marlton, (856) 596-8787

PLAYSPACE FOR KIDS
Funplex
The tikes can ride the roller coaster, play laser tag, get behind the wheel of a go-kart, or try not to lose their lunch inside a motion simulator. In the summer, you may even want to invest in a season pass so the kids can cool down in the water park playground. Mount Laurel, (856) 273-9666, FunplexMountLaurel.com

FUN COUPLES’ NIGHT OUT
Sarcasm Comedy Club
Tucked inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, this comedy club is like having an Improv right in Cherry Hill. Established acts share the stage with new talent and the laughs keep on coming. You never know who may pop in; past performers have featured the likes of Robert Klein, Gilbert Gottfried and even former Flyer Dave Schultz. Cherry Hill, (856) 382-6253, SarcasmComedy.com

FAMILY NIGHT OUT
First Night Haddonfield
This annual celebration is all about safe, family enjoyment and is one of the best ways to usher in the new year. Live music and entertainment is sprinkled throughout town, and shuttles take visitors around so they can catch all the action. There’s also plenty to see in the street, culminating in the always breathtaking fireworks display. FirstNightHaddonfield.org

FINE ART GALLERY
Perkins Center for the Arts
With two galleries, one in Collingswood and one in Moorestown, the Perkins Center is the place in South Jersey to get up close and personal with mediums ranging from photography to paintings. Rotating exhibitions showcase the talented local scene and have given the area a much-needed boost when it comes to art appreciation. Collingswood, (856) 833-0009; Moorestown, (856) 235-6488, PerkinsCenter.org

KARAOKE
Filomena Cucina Rustica Italiana
You’ve watched enough episodes of The Voice to know that you don’t have what it takes to land a record contact, but the singer inside you just can’t be contained by your shower curtain. Well, on Thursday nights, this restaurant turns into a stage for those looking to belt their heart out in front of a more forgiving audience. And don’t worry, it’s more about being in the moment than being in tune. West Berlin, (856) 753-3540, FilomenasBerlin.com

READER'S CHOICE
2013 Best of the Best: Lifestyle

RECEPTION VENUE
The Mansion on Main Street
Voorhees

SWEET 16 SPOT
E Lounge
Cherry Hill

GYM FOR THE FAMILY
YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties
Mount Laurel

To find the rest of 2013’s Best of the Best, click on the following links:

For 2013 Best of the Best: Food & Drink, click here

For 2013 Best of the Best: Retail, click here

For 2013 Best of the Best: Health & Beauty, click here

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July, 2013).
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