There are certain experiences you need to leave Manhattan to find, whether it's heading upstate to go apple picking amidst the brilliant fall foliage, or hitting the wild to hunt the most brilliant of game -- apples! Shrinking the list by one, Carnival, opening Friday.
On the 5th floor above Bowlmor, Carnival's a cavernous, adultified take on the traditional chaotic fairground, with big top tent-evoking strips of red/yellow/black fabric soaring over a dual-sided bar featuring giant spinning pinwheels; a spacious main room w/ wall-to-wall game booths; and a soundproof "Fun House" dance room (with candy colored bottle service booths and constantly changing LED floor tiles) accessed through the mouth of an enormous crazed clown. When not staring at the slew of stilt walkers, magicians, and other various circus performers, prize-incentivized entertainment comes courtesy of standbys including a 20 ft tall hammer slam, a dunk tank manned by comedians and bikini'd babes, BB gun target practice, the balloon-popping Who Darted, and a ring toss called Put A Ring On It, which is easier said than done as carnies are such Beautiful Liars. To properly sustain such a vigorous workout, kitchen bites includes mini corn dogs, five slider platters, build-your-own 'zas, and handful of burgers and sammys, but there's also midway staples like hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, ice cream sandwiches, and candy by the pound served from a concession stand, finally forcing you to make your own concession and go with elastic waist pants.
Because such madness requires booze, the 20-strong beer list (Circus Boy, Coney Island Lager...) is abetted by everything from alcoholic snow cones to themed cocktails, the most outlandish being the 2 gallon Absolut/Malibu/Beefeater/fruit juice Dunk Tank -- buy one for yourself, and prepare to once again be forced to leave Manhattan.