Thanksgiving dinner is a big undertaking. There’s the turkey, the stuffing and all that dessert! And let’s not forget about the massive after-dinner cleanup. It’s hard enough to be a mom, work and take care of the kids -- let alone get a complex and time-consuming holiday dinner on the table. Luckily, you don’t have to! Be thankful, because there are lots of restaurants open in NJ on Turkey Day. So, sit back and enjoy the party… don’t worry, they won’t make you do the dishes. Of course, if you’d rather be home, but don’t want the hassle of cooking, try out some of these Thanksgiving crafts with the family and order up some turkey takeout. And to always be "in the know" about great family-friendly activities in NJ, subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.
Thanksgiving may be a day to relax with family and watch football but let's face it - it's also a heck of a lot of cooking, cleaning and organizing. So if the thought of playing host or hostess is just a tad bit overwhelming, why not get a little help in the cooking department this year? You could eat out but you could also set the table, do a little light cleaning and then pick up a fully cooked, delicious Thanksgiving meal at one of these local joints.
These recipes are imagined by Mommy Poppins, but sponsored by The Laughing Cow® cheese.
Pinterest is packed with adorable snack ideas for kids, but let’s get real—ain’t nobody got time for that. And while it’s true that kids fall for presentation, that doesn’t mean you have to make everything look like an adorable panda/Minion/Star Wars icon to get them to eat it. The truth is, children love to feel grown-up, and it’s super easy to make kid-friendly snacks look like fancy party foods in a matter of seconds. Any afternoon can feel like a special occasion with these easy ideas that don’t just look and taste yummy, but can inspire even your pickiest eater to try something new.
What to do with all those apples… Whether I’ve brought home a bushel or two from an apple picking excursion or been tempted by one of those handy tote bags full of of fresh apples from the grocery store, there comes a time each fall when I feel like I’ll never make a dent in our apple harvest.
So each year, we go in search of a new apple recipe in hopes of adding to our list of favorites. This year's find—inside out caramel apples—definitely makes the list. Instructions for these and some of our other favorite apple concoctions follow. Kids can even help with some of them; just be careful with the sharp knives.
Across Litchfield and Fairfield counties, several family-owned farms and orchards offer pick your own fruit opportunities. Most offer many other attractions, as well: other kinds of fruits or vegetables, a neat, little farm store stocked with delicious goodies, farm animals, playgrounds or a variety of farm-themed programs. Some are especially good if you have toddlers in tow. Whichever place you choose to visit, you are guaranteed to find tasty, fresh fruit and memorable experiences appealing to everyone in the family.
If you have children, you know the hours between 4pm and 6pm are particularly difficult. Referred to as "the witching hours" by many parents, this stretch of time (after naptime, but before dinner and bath time) can be hard to fill, leading to bored, whiny kids and grouchy moms and dads. If you're tired of wracking your brain for late afternoon activities, it might be time to take advantage of your local eateries Happy Hour specials. Enjoy a cocktail and some kid-friendly appetizers with a few friends. The kids will love the change of scenery and parents will enjoy the discounted treats and time to socialize. We've put together a great list of family-friendly restaurants where you can turn the "witching hour" into a happy hour for the entire family.
New Jersey has fairs and festivals galore this August. Flutter over to Pennington for a Butterfly Festival, hang out with the firefighters in Manasquan or indulge in carnival rides and games at a classic county fair. With so many options, the family calendar will be super packed all month long. Read on for our top picks, and squeeze in as many as possible—Labor Day is just around the corner! For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.
What kids eat is very important and having the right snack can actually improve a child's ability to learn. Our school occupational therapy consultant, Casey Halper, put together a list of sensory smart snacks just in time for back to school. That means that they are snacks that help kids stay alert and focused in school without making them hyper and restless. These are great snack ideas for children in school, but would be equally great snack choices for toddlers too. Some of the themes for healthy sensory snacks are:
Crunchy and chewy foods help make kids more alert by engaging their senses.
Sipping or sucking can help organize and calm children.
And of course fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and calcium rich foods make them healthy overall.
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?