When my girls were toddlers, I put a lot of time and energy into coming up with fun activities to keep them (and me) busy. And I soon discovered how many wonderful places and events New Jersey has to offer little ones. Now that my kids are entering kindergarten, the days of mommy-and-me classes, story times and playgrounds will be replaced by soccer games, dance lessons and homework. Take advantage of these great opportunities throughout New Jersey while your preschoolers are young enough to appreciate them. For more cant-miss Garden State destinations, check out 100 Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up.
Here at Mommy Poppins, we enjoyed spending quality time with our kids during our SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE, and we're thrilled that it resonated with our readers, too. Hundred of parents from across the country shared photos of their playtime adventures with us on social media. We loved seeing so many pics inspired by the ideas in our SUMMER OF PLAY GUIDE; some folks transformed old cardboard boxes into really nifty playtime items, like the cool plane in our photo gallery. Other families played dress-up, fashioned and flew kites, made a mess and buried each other in the sand. We also saw some ideas we're going to have to try next year, like sticking snowballs in our freezers in the winter and then breaking them out on a hot summer day (our NYC editor Raven thought of that one, but it takes advance planning). Click through the pics above to see some of our favorite SUMMER OF PLAY moments. You can see all of the awesome photos submitted throughout the season on our Facebook page.
Dining out should be a enjoyable, bonding experience for the family. However, kids and restaurants don’t always mix. Waiting for food or sitting still at the table can be a challenge for little ones. When crayons just don’t cut it, bring the gang to one of these family-friendly favorites on their scheduled “kid’s night”. From magicians to characters to balloon animals, the following restaurants offer fun entertainment and events for kids during the week. Also, check out restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials.
A party's not really a party unless there is some type of music, right? New Jersey is home to many professional DJs who bring on the rhythm and the fun. Music makes or breaks a party, so when planning a birthday party for your kids, at home or in a private party room, consider booking one of these local DJs. And for more party fun, check out our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Ideas Guide.
Summer days are dwindling and although we may be preoccupied getting the kiddos ready for a new school year, there’s no reason not to take advantage of these last few August weekends. For big family fun, get your tickets to ride the Dinosaur Train at the Delaware River Railroad Excursions or jam out at the Kid’s Rock Weekend at the New Jersey State Theatre. You can also get those minds back into learning mode with a story time & craft at the NJ State Museum, the For Goodness Snakes outdoor adventure at Tenafly Nature Center or the historic Antique Auto Show at Allaire Village. 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!
Summertime is the season of outdoor adventures and imaginative play. Making a simple pair of toy binoculars can inspire a backyard safari, a game of eye-spy or endless imaginative adventures. They're easy to make, super customizable, and provide hours of creative play.
Imagine an overnight camping adventure without the worries of bugs and bad weather. Our list of camp-in destinations offers memorable adventures that are sure to please the entire family. From sleeping with sharks to bunking on a real battleship, these overnight getaways will create memories that will last a lifetime. For even more nearby camp-in destinations, check out our post on Museum Sleepovers in Long Island.
Sometimes Mom and Dad's ideas for summertime play involve hopping in the car and getting out of Dodge. Many of us have fond childhood memories of family road trips taken with our own parents, but now that we're grown up, we sometimes forget how boring the backseat can be. A great SUMMER OF PLAY should involve games that can be played inside, not just outside, and definitely within the confines of a car. So put away the electronics this road trip, and try some of these fun games that keep everyone in the car playing together.
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?