For the past few months, on our way to my wife’s monthly social work duty with the Army National Guard in Groton, we’ve passed by Jordan’s Furniture, a huge new box at 40 Sargent Drive in New Haven. The huge neon sign facing Interstate 95 kept calling to us, along with radio commercials saying that Jordan’s would be an unforgettable experience.
We just never got there. Besides, my wife said we couldn’t afford any new furniture right now. But I started hearing from a few friends that this place wasn’t just a furniture store. It had some kind of unusual amusement park built right into the store. So I had to see for myself.
This past Sunday, my wife finished early, we had no other plans, so I suggested we stop at the store. She reluctantly agreed. And the place was indescribable. It was like a wonderland and is unlike any other furniture store we’ve experienced.
The journey begins just as you are approaching the entrance. Suddenly, this amazing space-odyssey-type music starts playing and it’s like something out of the 1990s movie, “ET.”
We were blown away by the main lobby, which had beautiful dining room set displays of all different types. My wife particularly liked the drawers in each of the tables, along with their informality. But the thought of parting with our French maple dining room table proved to be a reality check and we continued on.
The sleep lab was the next stop and it was staffed, literally, by men and women in official white lab coats. I certainly liked the concept and never once did we feel we were being pushed to buy.
These lab bunnies couldn’t have been more helpful, explaining the costs of various mattresses showing us examples of good buys and ways to economize.
Next we breezed through the area rug department — a vivid array of colors and patterns — and we decided we were ready to enter this true inner called “IT.” Suddenly, we were in this amazing, huge adventure park, flooded with multicolored lights and paths crisscrossing high above us. I think the word incredible would be too mild. The place was beyond belief.
According to Jordan’s web site, “visit IT, The world’s Largest Indoor adventure ropes course located INSIDE Jordan’s Furniture! Travel 60 feet into the air. Defy gravity walking across tight ropes, balance beams, try a 50-foot freefall or any of over 100 activities! Zip 50 feet in the air across Liquid Fire, our water show with over 1,000 water nozzles choreographed to state of the art music and lights!
Above us, adults and teens were navigating foot bridges and some were being dropped from high above to security folks waiting below.
Far across to the left side of this adventure village, we saw adults, teens and a few pre-teens harnessed safely and stepping off a tiny platform for an amazing ride across to the same areas where the foot bridge walkers were doing their thing.
Off to our left, was a pyramid of round climbing balls, which kids were scaling like little ants. I remarked that our new, little grandson, once settled after his long journey from China, would be a wonderful candidate the Adventureland place. And the neat thing is that there is even a harness ride specifically for little folk.
A terrific little ice cream store and a pizza place are also part of the landscape of “IT” and, as we witnessed last Sunday, birthday parties abound. We saw three cakes and one large group of kids at a table.
After spending nearly an hour in the “IT” adventure land with no interest in being harnessed up for a cable ride or a drop from the highest point, my wife and I moved along to take a closer look at the bedroom displays.
They were beautifully accented and we found ourselves gravitating toward the platform beds, because they had so much storage space underneath. A sales associate showed us how high the mattresses had become and said there really was no need for a box spring, because the mattress was so high.
When we walked out of Jordan’s nearly two hours later, almost euphoric, we started texting pictures of the “IT” Adventureland and telling friends with kids of all ages that we had truly discovered a summer day camp for them within a half hour of Fairfield. This place is absolutely amazing.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.