Planning a birthday party is no easy task these days. From choosing a theme to finding a venue, the checklist seems endless. One way to lighten the load is by finding a great bakery to customize the cake. Cakes and cupcakes have become the centerpiece of most parties. If you really want to make your guests smile, a fun, tasty cake is the way to do it. Whether you are looking for that perfect themed cake, or some outstanding cupcakes, we've got you covered. Check out our list of great bakeries in Central NJ. For even more information on throwing the perfect party, check out our NJ Kid's Birthday Party Ideas Guide.
If you are taking a vacation that involves fishing this summer, fish printing is a great way to preserve a couple of fun family vacation memories. Fish Printing, or Gyotaku, is a traditional Japanese art dating from the mid-1800s. Think of it like a pre-Instagram way of recording the size of your catch. In these days of digital media; however, it has evolved into a bit more of an art form. We had the good fortune to learn a bit more about it on vacation in Cape Cod. I wasn't sure how my 2.5 year old daughter would react to painting a fish, but she loved it. Luckily, if she hadn't we had a fake fish on hand to work with too. You can also use this method to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts, a great DIY vacation souvenirs ( I mean, who needs another tie-dye shirt!)
New Jersey offers up plenty of reasons to get going and get outdoors this July weekend! Check out the spectacular QuikCheck Festival of Ballooning with hot air balloons filling the sky, sample delicious Italian eats (zeppole anyone?) at the St. Ann’s Italian Festival in Hoboken, get up close and personal with insects during A Bug’s Life at Tenafly Nature Center or explore historical train models during Railroad Days at Historic Cold Spring Village. And if you’re up for a nighttime adventure, reserve your spot for an Evening Campfire & Hike at Valley Crest Preserve – s’mores included! Also, you can check out the full list of weekend activities on our Event Calendar and don't miss our Summer of Play Guide with 100s of ideas for a fun, playful, and tech-free summer!
It's no surprise that the Washingtonian named Avalon the "chicest beach in the Mid-Atlantic". Occupying the North end of Seven Mile Island in Cape May County, Avalon is known for its quiet, upscale atmosphere. Perfect for families, Avalon and the entire barrier island sit a mile seaward than any other shore towns, making it the perfect place to enjoy cool ocean breezes on those hot summer days. Below we have highlighted a few great reasons to visit this beautiful small town. For more small towns on the Jersey Shore, check out our posts on Stone Harbor and Cape May.
New Jersey earns its "Garden State" nickname with an abundance of pick your own fruit and veggies available throughout the summer months. Whether berries, peaches or even flowers strike your fancy, there are plenty of wonderful places to take the kids for a fun hands-on activity. Picking their own produce is the perfect opportunity for children to see where food comes from, eat locally and have a great time too. The NJ picking season starts at the end of May and runs through the fall months. Read on for the skinny on seven pick-your-own locations. And remember to always call ahead before visiting to check availability. Happy picking!
Ever notice how when folks talk about summers back in the day they say things like, “We just went outside and played and we survived.” Yes, surviving is a great achievement, but we can set our sights a little higher, can’t we? We’re sharing our SUMMER OF PLAY with hundreds of ideas for playtime with your kids. So Red Rover those neighborhood kids right on over and teach the whole crew a few of those games that used to occupy the Brady brood in their AstroTurf backyard, and do more than survive this summer. Play!
When Walking with Dinosaurs first roared into NYC in 2009, there was nothing else like it around. But since then, animatronic dinosaur attractions have been popping up everywhere, from the Bronx Zoo's Dinosaur Safari to Secaucus, New Jersey's Field Station: Dinosaurs to Dutch Wonderland's recently-opened Exploration Island. So, with all of those other dinos vying for your kid's attention and your hard-earned dollars, does Walking with Dinosaurs still hold up?
Absolutely. In terms of sheer spectacle and scale, Walking with Dinosaurs is in a class by itself. Its extinct stars are life-size and incredibly lifelike—right down to blinking eyes and loud farts (my son loved that part). And unlike the creatures at the outdoor parks, these guys don't just move their heads and arms, they actually walk around—and eat, and snort and fight.
With all the crazy thrill rides found in theme parks these days, there’s something magical about taking a spin on an old-fashioned carousel. Carousels are often a child’s first ride and provide fun for all ages. New Jersey is home to both traditional and sophisticated carousels, and you don’t have to trek to a theme park to find one. Hop on a carousel at one of the area malls for a year-round shopping distraction, or catch views of the Atlantic from a Jersey shore carousel. We’ve rounded up some of the state’s best and most unique carousels, so come give it a whirl.
Welcome to Mommy Poppins New Jersey! The free online resource for parents and kids where you’ll get the scoop on what’s fun, unique, outdoorsy, indoorsy, artsy, bouncy, sassy and splashy in the Garden State. Come play with us, won’t you?