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.
Even though summer is halfway over you still have plenty of time to frolic in a cool water theme park before school starts. While there are no full-fledged water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 12 of our favorites for kids in the tri-state area, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and all less than a two-hour drive from midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.
Before you hop in the car, make sure to check the water parks' official websites to confirm hours and check prices (sometimes you'll even find online-only ticket specials). Also, if you plan to visit a particular park more than once during the summer, consider buying seasonal passes as that may be more economical. For more refreshing fun, be sure to check our Water Fun Guide, where you'll also find a roundup of indoor water parks that are open year-round.
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.
Can’t wait for vacation? Kids bored with the same park every day? Take a mini-trip without even leaving the state! Hop in the car and head to one of these great NJ day trip destinations. Pick fresh fruit and let the kids pet some barnyard animals; check out a national monument; visit NJ's own Victorian seaside town; head to a giant lake water park; or visit the beach, boardwalk and aquarium all in one day. Enjoy our list of fun day trips for this summer! Looking for more summer fun? Check out our Ultimate Summer Play List!
My husband and I are big fans of Lancaster County's family amusement park Dutch Wonderland, and dread the day our nine-year-old outgrows this sweet Kingdom for Kids. We take at least one road trip here every summer but this year we were invited to visit on opening weekend to check out the park's brand-new dinosaur attraction, Exploration Island.
With so many other animatronic dinosaur spots around, like the Bronx Zoo's Dinosaur Safari and New Jersey's Field Station: Dinosaurs, plus the show Walking with Dinosaurs set to stomp into Brooklyn's Barclays Center this July, you might think my son would have soured on the saurs. But he's as fascinated by the prehistoric creatures as ever. And since the rest of Dutch Wonderland's 43 bucolic acres features a nice variety of safe and clean family rides, live shows and strolling performers, it makes for a great weekend getaway.
A brand-new theme park opens this Saturday in West Berlin, NJ but it's not like anything you've ever seen before. That's because it's the first-ever construction-themed amusement park in all of the US! Inspired by (but not affiliated with) the four Diggerland parks in the United Kingdom and located right next to popular indoor water park Sahara Sam's Oasis, Diggerland USA features a variety of rides made from real-life construction equipment. If your child is fascinated by construction sites, a trip to Diggerland is a no-brainer. But you don't need to be obsessed with bulldozers and tractors and dump trucks to have a blast at this unique theme park.
My two sons and I were recently invited to a media preview to experience what Diggerland USA has to offer families. And considering the older one is a typical hard-to-please tween, I can attest that Diggerland USA isn't just for preschoolers going through that inevitable Bob the Builder phase.
The Jersey Shore may have a bad reality TV rap, but it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere. From a beachy national park to miles of boards to be strolled, to towering lighthouses – whether you’re planning a day trip or a long weekend, the summer possibilities are endless. Here are some highlights of NJ Shore beaches from north to south. Make your NJ kid a beach baby and head on “down the shore.” And for other Shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family 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?