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.
I am constantly telling my kids how lucky they are to live so close to New York City—especially in the summer. From beautiful parks and beaches to a variety of attractions and entertainment, all five boroughs are family-friendly stops, whether it’s for a day, weekend or extended trip. And our sponsor NYC & Company is "spreading the news" on everything the area has to offer for parents and kids.
We’re at that halfway point of summer and hopefully you’ve filled your days with some quality family time, both indoors and out! If you’ve still got a bucket list full of summer must dos, New Jersey has some great events going on this weekend. Treat your little train lover to a railroad ride during A Day Out with Thomas, stuff yourself silly with sweets at the NJ State Ice Cream Festival in Toms River or set sail along the beautiful Palisades during a Rock’n River Sail excursion. And if you’re looking to take in some awesome summer theater with the kiddos, get tickets to see Aladdin at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman or the pirate adventure Treasure Island at the Somerset Playhouse. 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!
Kids love to role-play and act out stories and, the truth is, they don't need fancy toys or puppets to do it. The beauty of kids' imaginations is that they can be sparked by anything and the stories just seem to flow from inside of them. These simple puppets facilitate that because they put the focus on your child's imagination, not store bought puppets that are confined to preconceived roles.
This upcycled clothespin puppet craft is a perfect rainy day activity or summertime activity and can be whipped up with whatever you have lying around the house. searching for the images or drawing your own is half the fun. The whole family can even get involved in making sweet puppets for storytelling fun.
Summer is upon us, and while the younger kids are off at camp, our tweens and young teens are often looking for ways to earn a few dollars. It's the perfect time for them to launch their own babysitting business and take advantage of the many moms and dads who are looking for a summer babysitter or mother's helper to keep their little guys happy. There are some great local babysitting courses available that will guarantee that your kids are prepared to handle any situation. Whether your son or daughter is ready to start their own babysitting business, or if you just want to make sure they are confident when keeping an eye on their younger siblings, these courses are worth checking out. If you happen to be looking for a new sitter, check out our post on organizing a babysitting co-op in your own neighborhood.
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?