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!
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.
Due to a recent shift in my career path, I'm staying home with my kids this summer—all 10 weeks of it! There will be no camp to tire them out or nanny to occupy their time. Just one big SUMMER OF PLAY. And one thing that really works for summer play is water; those kids are going to want to get wet!
You may already be navigating your summer days using our SUMMER FUN LIST GENERATOR. Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep the kiddies busy. Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List. And many more are water-based, like the 25 cool and splishy-splashy water activities below.
A summer in New Jersey would not be complete without a trip to the Garden State's family-friendly, barrier island known as Long Beach Island. "The Island", as it is called by locals, is home to some of the best beaches on the east coast. When the family grows tired of playing in the sand, LBI is choc full of kid friendly destinations as well. From amusement parks to museums, Long Beach Island has something for everyone. Check out our list of "must-do" family attractions. For more barrier island fun, check out our posts on Seven Mile Island's small town, Stone Harbor.
Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, and not just because the local library gives out prizes (though we are big fans of prizes). Whether your kids are nose-in-book types or the sort that require a little literary nudge, our SUMMER OF PLAY has plenty of room for playing your way through some great kids' books. Check out my time-tested list of vintage classics, modern classics, and recent best sellers that inspire fun activities beyond their pages—and at very little cost. And if you snap any photos along the way, remember to share them as entries in our weekly SUMMER OF PLAY prize drawing!
Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose a favorite! With everything from county fairs to music and food festivals, there’s an activity to entertain every member of the family. Some highlights include the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival (yum!) and City of Water Day. Mark the calendar now and have a blast all month long. For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.
Take a mini break from the beach and the pool and enjoy some family-friendly live theater this summer. Sometimes we need a little nudge (here's your nudge...) to remind us about the creative power of live performances. There are some great shows playing in July and August--be sure to check one out and sing along! And for even more summer fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
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?