We sit through three meals a day, seven days a week. So sometimes we just need to shake it up a bit and do something out of the house that promises fun along with the food. From knights and horses to magicians to locomotives, from Northern NJ all the way down to the Shore, there are many ‘interactive’ dining experiences for the entire family. Bon appetit!
You just shelled out the big bucks for summer camps and back-to-school shopping. The countdown to Christmas has already begun. Money, money, money. Save a few bucks by selecting an offbeat night to eat at a fun restaurant with the kiddos. You can still enjoy a night out and you don’t have to pay a babysitter… Win-Win. And if you happen to be hauling the munchkins a bit farther south, check out our Kids Eat Free in Central New Jersey.
There's a chill in the air, the kids are back in school, and you know what all that means... That's right, it’s finally apple-picking time! Here are some of the best apple picking farms in New York and New Jersey that are fun for the whole family. And check back here at Mommy Poppins NJ often over the next few weeks for more Apple Info, such as organic apple picking farms, where to find the best apple pie in NJ, and apple recipes. Mmmmmm.
We've barely gotten through the back-to-school rush (doesn't August seems like a 1000 years ago?) but the air is getting crisp, the sun is setting a little earlier and the leaves are just starting to change from green to orange and yellow. Fall is upon us, friends, and that means I need a pumpkin on my porch VERY soon. Even if you aren't into Halloween, picking a pumpkin is an autumnal ritual for many, and the perfect excuse to get outside on a crisp afternoon. Fairfield County has more than a few great spots to seek out your jack-o-lantern-to-be, and most places offer activities like corn mazes and hayrides as well as cider donuts and other seasonal goodies. Check it out!
There really aren't too many “all-American” foods that my vegetarian family enjoys; you won’t see us sinking our teeth into hamburgers and fried chicken at barbecues. Even French fries are kind of take it or leave it (I know, crazy, right?) But if there’s one American staple that we would never, ever turn down, it’s PIE! The buttery crust, the tart and sweet filling and of course, a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream on the side. As luck would have it, New Jersey is a great place to find delicious versions of our favorite fall pies, with its bountiful farms and one-of-a-kind diners in almost every town. Any way you slice it (pun intended), New Jersey families have some awesome pumpkin and apple pies to choose from.
Apple picking is a favorite Fall activity with kids and Connecticut has dozens of wonderful apple picking orchards and farms that make a great day trip. If you’d like to stay in Fairfield County, you have only a small selection to choose from, which may be why all of the orchards get busy on the weekends. My kids and I like to head out first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. For even more orchards, be sure to check out our post on Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards in Western CT. No matter where you go, you'll find that apple picking is a great outing for toddlers especially when you combine it with cool activities like corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, and farm markets with fresh pressed cider, donuts and pies.
Keep in mind that crop conditions change from day-to-day, so it’s always a good idea to call a location or check the website before you head out. Some orchards are reporting a lighter than normal crop this year due to last year's long winter followed by heavy rains in the spring. You'll have to help your little one pick according to the rules of the farm, but you'll always find helpful, friendly farm workers willing to lend a hand and demonstrate the proper picking technique. Be prepared for a port-o-potty, since most locations don't have bathroom facilities out in the orchards. Make sure to dress in warm layers and wear comfortable shoes. And bring your appetites!
Diners are right up there with all of the things you’d expect to find in NJ, like boardwalks by the beach, saltwater taffy, shopping malls and great views of Manhattan. And it goes without saying that diners are probably some of the best joints to visit with kids – loud, crowded, cheap and charmingly unsophisticated. Plus, diverse menus mean that everyone can order exactly what they’re in the mood for (which basically means less complaining and whining for tired parents!)
So how do you distinguish a great diner from a so-so one? All of the joints below stand out from the pack for a number of reasons. Maybe they’re family-owned and operated (doing everything with just a little extra love), maybe they take the time to make everything from scratch or maybe the food is just that darn good! Read on for our pick of diner favorites for NJ families:
School is upon us. That means the Internet is drowning in after-school snack and breakfast recipes guaranteed to make most of us mere mortals feel inadequate. But my idea of the the perfect after-school snack recipe is one that I can whip up in under ten minutes and makes more than one day's worth (cause, let's face it, I'm not doing this every day, folks), not fruit skewers shaped like cute animals or pizzas on a stick. A wallop of protein is a plus to recharge their engines for after school activities. Oh yeah, and it's gotta be good on the go, since we always are.
Abandoning the Internet after becoming thoroughly discouraged by homemade owl crackers that probably teach your kids French, we headed to the kitchen and created this healthier rice crispies bar recipe. This protein boosted twist on the classic rice crispies treat are sure to be the perfect way to welcome a kid after a hard day at school. You could even serve them as a sweet breakfast bar on the go. And it's a great no-bake recipe that even little kids can help make.
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?