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!
Since its inception almost 50 years ago, the Great Hudson River Revival (aka the Clearwater Festival) has grown from a small nomadic folk gathering into the country’s largest annual environmental celebration. Founded in 1966 by Toshi and Pete Seeger, the Clearwater Festival draws thousands of visitors to the shores of the Hudson River for a family-friendly weekend of music, dance, storytelling, theater, hands-on learning, water activities, arts and environmental education in Croton-on-Hudson's Croton Point Park. All proceeds from this groundbreaking festival—which made our June GoList—go directly to protecting, preserving and sustaining the river through the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. nonprofit organization. The 2015 fest is coming up the weekend of June 20-21, and it's a great way to teach kids about protecting our planet while having a lot of fun.
Looking for creative ways to celebrate Father’s Day this year? There are tons of family-friendly activities happening all over the state, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top ten picks. There’s something to suit every type of father, so whether he's a sports fiend, outdoorsy, a train fanatic or just wants to relax with a glass of wine, we’ve got him covered. Happy Father’s Day to all of NJ’s wonderful dads! For more ways to have fun with fathers throughout the month, check out our Event Calendar and our roundup of family festivals.
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!
The East End of Long Island is ripe with places where you can pick your own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we've handpicked a few of our favorites. Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, it connects you to where your food comes from and supports locals farmers. It also allows you to experience food at its freshest, right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties, and tend to have a shorter shelf life. Be sure to call ahead or check the farms' websites to confirm that the fields are open and the strawberries are ripe.
For more places where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables in the tri-state area, check out our Farm Guide.
"Pink petals passing, scents above so high, painted porcelain perfection, blossoms caress the sky." Wow. Reminds you of... Newark? Hey, stop snickering! Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ is home to the largest Cherry Blossom Festival on the East Coast and one of the most famous in the country. With events like the Cherry Blossom 10K Race, Cherry Blossom Challenge Bike Race, Family Day and Bloomfest, this is a spring extravaganza that you don't want to miss!
Now that spring is (finally!) in the air, we can't wait to make the most of milder temps and sunshine-filled days. All winter long (as we played with every toy in the house and exhausted every possibility in our arts and crafts bin), we've been dreaming of April, fresh flowers, birds chipping and, more than anything, open space to play and run! Our great state is filled with nature centers that make exploring the outdoors both educational and fun in any season. Usher in spring with these awesome festivals and classes at New Jersey nature centers:
Baby, it’s cold outside! The winter months can be tough, especially when it’s just too frigid to play outdoors. The kiddos are probably going stir-crazy and there are only so many craft projects they can do and movies they can watch. We’re here to help with 20 fabulous activities to keep the family busy all winter long. With everything from story times to music events to fun with animals, kids will have a blast all season long. And go ahead and supplement your idea list with our Indoor Activities: 25 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in NJ.
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?