My six year old son is a thrill seeker. I cringe at the playground watching him climb to the tippy top of the jungle gym. When we go hiking he is always the first to suggest trying the more difficult trail. While I admire his adventurous spirit, as a mom it's hard to not imagine the worst case scenario. That's why I'm so happy that I found some safe local activities that will satisfy both his need for thrills and my need to protect him. Check out our list below for some great activities for your adventurous child. If you have little ones, be sure to read our post 25 Things To Do With Preschoolers Before They Turn 5, and for October fun for the whole family make sure you check out our New Jersey Halloween Guide.
Number 46 on our list of 100 Things To Do In New Jersey With Kids Before They Grow Up is the outdoor family gem, Grounds For Sculpture. The 42+ acre sculpture park and arts center is part museum, part open-air adventure and whether you're an art expert or novice, you will be enchanted from the get go. For a great summer day trip, check out our tips on GFS and other sweet art parks in the tristate area.
Did you know that New Jersey has eleven lighthouses open to the public? Whether your kids are old enough to climb them or not, there’s plenty to do and see on a lighthouse visit. Most are located near beaches or state parks full of family-friendly diversions so they make great destinations for day trips. This is an affordable – sometimes even free! – summer activity your whole family will love. And for more shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide.
Even if your mini paleontologists have memorized every nook and cranny of the American Natural History Museum, you've never experienced dinosaurs quite the way you do at Field Stations: Dinosaurs, the open-air dino spot in Secaucus, New Jersey that opened in 2012. Home to more than 30 animatronic dinosaurs, this educational attraction really lived up to my family's expectations—our two kids were particularly impressed.
Located just nine minutes by train from NYC, the prehistoric-themed park is a great day trip. The park also offers lovely views of the NYC skyline (the T.rex and the Empire State Building make for quite a contrast). We visited on opening day and I’m thrilled to be able to tell you all about this completely unique family adventure.
Is your family the adventurous type? Like to live on the edge (literally)? Love the outdoors from approximately 1000 feet above sea level and at a speed of upwards of 40mph? Then maybe ziplining is for you. My husband and I recently experienced the exhilarating rush of ziplining at Zoom Ziplines in Mountain Creek, NJ; read on for all the details of this very extreme sport in our fair state!
If you’re looking for a break from the oppressive heat, nature centers can be a great option for a summer day. Located in parks throughout the state, these educational facilities combine both indoor and outdoor fun for kids of all ages. Spend some time exploring nature, then duck inside to cool off with hands-on exhibits and activities that tie it all together. Read on for our overview of seven nature centers in New Jersey that offer wonderful programs all year long.
Watchung Reservation, the largest park in Union County, is home to many wonderful kid-friendly activities, making it the perfect day-trip destination for any time of year. Numerous hiking trails, an interactive nature center and a fabulous playground provide both indoor and outdoor fun for NJ families. Whether you’re planning to visit for just a few hours or bring along lunch and stay all day, Watchung is a great place to relax, have fun and spend some time enjoying nature.
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