New Jersey earns its "Garden State" nickname with an abundance of pick your own fruit and veggies available throughout the summer months. Whether berries, peaches or even flowers strike your fancy, there are plenty of wonderful places to take the kids for a fun hands-on activity. Picking their own produce is the perfect opportunity for children to see where food comes from, eat locally and have a great time too. The NJ picking season starts at the end of May and runs through the fall months. Read on for the skinny on seven pick-your-own locations. And remember to always call ahead before visiting to check availability. Happy picking!
As far as holidays go, the 4th of July is pretty hard to beat! No big turkey to cook or presents to wrap, just sticky sweet watermelon, some relaxed outdoor cooking and time with friends and family. If you’re still undecided about where to watch fireworks, you can check out two awesome displays down the shore – Oceanfest in Long Branch and the 4th of July Fireworks Show in Asbury Park. Or head to Liberty State Park for Jersey City’s Freedom & Fireworks Festival overlooking the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. And for more laid back family fun, head to the last weekend of the NJ State Fair or work off some of that holiday BBQ indulgence with a guided walk at Tenafly Nature Center.
Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorite (or two). With everything from county fairs to music and food festivals, there’s something to entertain every member of the family. Mark the calendar now and have a blast all month long. For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.
During the summer, New Jersey parents are constantly on the lookout for day trips that are both entertaining and educational. The Garden State's great zoos and aquariums are always lots of fun, but if you're looking for a unique experience for your wildlife-loving kids, consider a trip to the Raptor Trust. Located in Millington, the Raptor Trust is primarily a medical facility for injured birds; however, it's also a permanent home for birds that cannot be safely returned to the wild. Visitors are given the opportunity observe these gorgeous creatures up close. I recently took my two children, ages 11 and 7, on a tour. Read on to see what this special destination has to offer.
Let's face it: "free fun" and "New Jersey" are rarely uttered in the same sentence. But, truth be told, the Garden State has many offerings that families can enjoy without breaking the bank. No-cost movies, concerts and festivals abound, and a couple of zoos, nature centers and museums offer regular free admission hours—all you have to do is pay for the gas to drive to these destinations. So have a fabulous and inexpensive season, New Jersey! And don't forget to check out our Summer Fun Guide for more cool (and cheap!) ideas.
The bad news: Macy’s is keeping its July 4th fireworks on the East River, which means no views for New Jersey. The good news: NJ is hosting several of its own amazing pyrotechnic spectaculars, including a beloved one right over the Hudson River: Jersey City's Freedom and Fireworks Festival. In honor of Independence Day, we've rounded up the biggest and best 4th of July fireworks throughout the Garden State. And for more ideas to keep little ones entertained over the long 4th of July holiday weekend, check out our Summer Fun Guide.
Not only is watching movies under the stars a wonderful way for the family to bond, but how cool is it to watch your favorite flicks outside at no cost? Below is a list of parks in New Jersey that show outdoor movies all summer long. So bring your own chairs, munchies and blankets, and savor the magic of FREE alfresco films. For more summer awesomeness, check out our Summer Fun Guide.
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.
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?