When planning a family day trip, vineyards and wineries may not be the first destinations that come to mind. Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to relaxing and scenic vineyards that are family-friendly, and even pet-friendly! These vineyards offer outdoorsy fun that includes food truck events, music, farm activities, spacious fields, and of course, the Garden State’s homegrown wines. Not all local vineyards and wineries permit children on the premises, but raise your glass to these five that do. And be sure to check the policies on children in the tasting areas.
From zoos and aquariums to farms and parks with live animals, New Jersey is home to plenty of attractions for animal-loving families. While all of these great destinations are educational, one special zoo in Forked River takes things a step further by teaching visitors about compassion. Popcorn Park Zoo is made up entirely of animals that have been rescued. The zoo was established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for wildlife that were sick, elderly, abandoned, abused or injured, and could no longer survive in their natural habitat. As time went on, the zoo expanded to include domestic and exotic animals. My kids and I recently visited Popcorn Park. From lions, tigers and bears to parakeets, monkeys and peacocks, this little zoo's inhabitants were definitely worth the trip.
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!
Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries? Our family debate over which is the best berry may never be resolved, but that just may be because each time one of these berries is in season, it’s hard not to declare it the best. Our favorite this time of year? It’s the blueberry, by far. Blueberries just may be the easiest fruit to pick, prepare and serve. No peeling, no pitting, no coring, no cutting. Plus, they have few natural pests other than birds, so much is grown pesticide-free.
The pick-your-own blueberry season begins early July and continues through late August or early September. We’ve rounded up some farms in the Boston area which are beginning to open up for blueberry picking, plus we've included a few helpful tips. At the end of the post, you'll find a recipe for our favorite blueberry treat: the classic blueberry buckle.
Ah, the good ol' days. Remember roller-skating, ice cream sodas and drive-in theaters? These simple pleasures can still be found all over New Jersey. Relive your childhood while introducing your kids to some new-old activities this summer. We’ve rounded up 25 great ideas to get you started, everything from vintage train rides to living history farms. So put down that smartphone and step back in time. There’s plenty of old-fashioned fun to be had in NJ!
My kids love strawberries. No surprise there—strawberries are one of my favorites, too, and I've been serving the fruit to them since they first got teeth. Lucky for them, their grandmother grows strawberries in her backyard, so they've been part of the planting, growing and harvesting process since they were tots. They always get excited watching how the strawberry forms from the center of a pretty white flower, tiny and green, and eventually grows into a bright red, delicious fruit they can pluck and devour.
As much as they enjoy their grandmother's tiny patch, meandering through large fields of strawberries is also an awesome experience. It's not only a fun spring activity, but it also teaches kids about the farm-to-table and locavore movements, and encourages healthy eating habits. Luckily, we have a handful of strawberry picking farms in our area. We've rounded up pick-your-own strawberry places in the lower Hudson Valley where families can harvest their own batch of strawberry goodness. Although there aren't any PYO strawberry spots within Westchester's borders, we have located farms that are less than 90 minutes from central Westchester by car, close enough for a fun day trip.
The start of strawberry picking season is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner. Spending a day picking this sweet fruit at a local orchard or farm is a great activity for families. It teaches kids about their food sources, connects everyone with nature and makes for a fun outdoor experience.
We have compiled a list of farms in the Philadelphia area that offer strawberry picking, as well as a few activity-filled strawberry festivals. Read our tips before you go to help make your day at the farm even more enjoyable.
We're big fans of the abundance and availability of fresh food at this time of the year. Being able to pick our own fruits and vegetables at local farms makes the bounty taste even sweeter. Not only is it a fun family activity, it's also a great way to teach kids about where their food comes from.
Right now it's berry-picking season and happily, there are farms all over Connecticut offering lots of different varieties. We've rounded up 15 top spots to pick strawberries, blueberries and other fruits with your family. For more pick-your-own options in CT, check out our posts about strawberry picking in Hartford County and blueberry picking farms. Happy picking—and eating!
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?