The Regatta Playground in West Orange has been on my to-do list since it opened in 2014. Now that my family and I have visited the nautical-themed romping spot, I can confirm it's not just your run-of-the-mill playground. Located at Cherry Lane, the Regatta Playground is the newest addition to the South Mountain Recreation Complex, which also includes the Turtle Back Zoo, the Essex County Treetop Adventure Course, Codey Arena and MiniGolf Safari. With all those attractions, the complex is a pleasant day trip, although the Regatta Playground is a destination unto itself.
A new sport is gaining momentum in the United States. Rhythmic Gymnastics is the number one sport for girls in Europe, and now it's making its way through New Jersey! According to Liliya Downs of Randolph's Freedom Academy, Rhythmic Gymnastics is "a very elegant and graceful Olympic Sport that combines the art of ballet and gymnastics, and moves from various dances such as classic and modern." What makes this discipline unique is that when performing a Rhythmic Gymnastics routine, the gymnast is also holding an apparatus such as a rope, hoop, ball or ribbon. We've rounded up places in NJ that offer Rhythmic Gymnastics classes for kids:
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.
If you’ve got a little one under the age of four, you know that toddlers and preschoolers are an energetic, curious and spirited bunch! After a long winter cooped up indoors, it’s time to get our wee ones out of the house for some fun and learning. Lace up your sneakers, pack some snacks and get ready to make great family memories by trying one (or more!) of these awesome outdoor activities in New Jersey. For more seasonal fun, don't forget to check out our list of 25 Things We Can't Wait to Do with Kids This Spring in NJ.
"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!
Earth Day isn’t just a celebration of all things green; it’s a movement. By fostering awareness and supporting environmental protection, Earth Day is helping to shape a green generation. From hiking beautiful New Jersey trails to visiting local farmers' markets, our little ones appreciate Mother Earth for all she has to offer. We've rounded up fun and eco-friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day this spring.
While socialization comes naturally to some kids, others may need help developing the skills necessary to make and keep friends. If you’re concerned about your child’s ability to socialize with peers, you may want to consider a social skills group which fosters self-confidence through activities such as role-playing, cooperative games and group interactions. They’ll learn important skills such as sharing, taking turns and resolving conflict, and most importantly, they’ll have fun doing it! And for more enrichment opportunities, check out our Enrichment Programs, Classes and Activities Guide for NJ Kids.
Do you have an emerging star at home with a long summer vacation? Try one of the many theater camps New Jersey has to offer! If you have a shy newbie who just wants to build social skills, a Streep-wannabe who's looking for basics like Acting Technique or Musical Theater, or a junior Olivier who wants a whole lot more, such as Playwriting, Improv or Shakespeare, there are a myriad of acting choices in the Garden State. Break a leg, New Jersey. And to find out all the day camp options in NJ, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.
So "summer camp" means being outdoors, right? But what if you don't want to spend your entire paycheck on sunblock and floppy hats? Maybe your kid would rather dance, bounce,create or paint in lovely, reliable air-conditioning. These indoor summer camps are big on creativity, fitness and fun and easy on your wallet so check them out and maybe you can save the swimming and horseback riding for another summer. And to find out about all the summer camp options in NJ, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.
If you'd like to introduce your kids to the magic of theater, check out the 20+ performances and theater-related activities that are part of New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival. With over 120 performances, workshops, classes, and camp samplers offered throughout New Jersey free or at low cost, The Stages Festival is the perfect introduction to professional theatre for children of all ages. All events are produced by the professional theaters of New Jersey.
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?