A summer in New Jersey would not be complete without a trip to the Garden State's family-friendly, barrier island known as Long Beach Island. "The Island", as it is called by locals, is home to some of the best beaches on the east coast. When the family grows tired of playing in the sand, LBI is choc full of kid friendly destinations as well. From amusement parks to museums, Long Beach Island has something for everyone. Check out our list of "must-do" family attractions. For more barrier island fun, check out our posts on Seven Mile Island's small town, Stone Harbor.
Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s tasty, easily accessible and comes in varieties that’ll satisfy the pickiest palates. Pizza night at your favorite pizzeria makes for a fun and inexpensive family outing. With tomato sauce and perhaps a veggie topping, you can even count it as somewhat nutritious (I do). The following are family-friendly pizza joints in Central New Jersey. Aside from yummy pies, these places offer child-friendly options like kid portions, quick service or gimmicky fun, without noise being a factor. Grab a slice and enjoy!
Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, and not just because the local library gives out prizes (though we are big fans of prizes). Whether your kids are nose-in-book types or the sort that require a little literary nudge, our SUMMER OF PLAY has plenty of room for playing your way through some great kids' books. Check out my time-tested list of vintage classics, modern classics, and recent best sellers that inspire fun activities beyond their pages—and at very little cost. And if you snap any photos along the way, remember to share them as entries in our weekly SUMMER OF PLAY prize drawing!
What's better than a cool dip on a hot day? New Jersey is known for its outstanding beaches, but it also has some of the best lakes for swimming in the Northeast. This summer, if you're sick of the pounding waves, dive into the calm waters of one of these beautiful New Jersey lakes. For even more fun swimming alternatives, check out our post on Secret Natural Swimming Holes in New Jersey and for more water (and dry) summer fun, check out our NJ Kids Summer Activities Guide.
This season, we're partnering with KaBOOM! to promote a SUMMER OF PLAY. A few months back, KaBOOM!, the nonprofit dedicated to bringing play to all children, held a nationwide contest with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to find America's Most Playful Family. Families all over the country shared the different ways they like to play, often illustrating that you don't need lots of toys or organized activities to have a great time. Play ideas can come from people of all ages, even caring adults who ensure kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.
You can't help but be inspired by America's Most Playful Family contest winners, the Thomases from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Even though they don't have playgrounds in their community or fancy playthings, they invent games that incorporate cultural traditions and all three generations of family. Watch the video family portrait that won them the title, and then read about some of their fun games that you can try at home—no batteries needed.
Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose a favorite! With everything from county fairs to music and food festivals, there’s an activity to entertain every member of the family. Some highlights include the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival (yum!) and City of Water Day. Mark the calendar now and have a blast all month long. For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.
Take a mini break from the beach and the pool and enjoy some family-friendly live theater this summer. Sometimes we need a little nudge (here's your nudge...) to remind us about the creative power of live performances. There are some great shows playing in July and August--be sure to check one out and sing along! And for even more summer fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
Let's face it, "free fun" and "New Jersey" are not often uttered in the same breath. But truth be told, the Garden State has many offerings that families can enjoy without breaking the bank! From movies to concerts to festivals with a couple of zoos, nature centers and museums thrown in, there is much fun that will only cost you some gas to get there. Have an inexpensive and wonderful summer, New Jersey! And don't forget to check out all kinds of summer fun in The New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
Can’t wait for vacation? Kids bored with the same park every day? Take a mini-trip without even leaving the state! Hop in the car and head to one of these great NJ day trip destinations. Pick fresh fruit and let the kids pet some barnyard animals; check out a national monument; visit NJ's own Victorian seaside town; head to a giant lake water park; or visit the beach, boardwalk and aquarium all in one day. Enjoy our list of fun day trips for this summer! Looking for more summer fun? Check out our Ultimate Summer Play List!
Yesterday we kicked off our SUMMER OF PLAY, a season-long initiative to get families up and playing throughout the school break. To help get you started, we've come up with the ultimate summer play list: 100 (mostly) FREE ways you can pack more play into your day. These ideas aren't just for the kids—they're fun and engaging activities for the whole family. After all, grown-ups need time to play, too.
Check out our roundup of creative games, crafts, experiments and other activities, and then add your favorites to your summer fun list generator so you remember to break them out at your next play date or family gathering. We've included classics, fresh takes on old standards and offbeat play ideas that may inspire variations of your own.
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?