If you were raising your kids in, say, Utah—or any other place that doesn't have a Mommy Poppins daily calendar to point you in fun directions—you'd have to work a lot harder to keep your summer days playful. Our SUMMER OF PLAY partner, KaBOOM!, works with community leaders around the country to create more spaces and ways for kids to enjoy balanced and active play. Mother of three and registered nurse, Cyndalynn Tilley, is one of these community leaders in Woods Cross, Utah, and she's shared some of her favorite ideas for finding opportunities to play while doing ordinary daily activities. Backyard games are great when you have the time and space, but what about when you have to bring kids along to do chores like shopping and laundry? Even then grown-ups can help kids get the play they need to thrive.
Airborne! Trampolines are so beloved by many kids--they're not only fun and a great way to stay active, but feeling the body rise off the ground is exciting. Plus, let's face it--kids just love to jump. New Jersey has a number of trampoline venues and below is a listing of ones you should check out this summer with the whole family. And if you're looking for more summer fun in NJ, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
Planning a birthday party is no easy task these days. From choosing a theme to finding a venue, the checklist seems endless. One way to lighten the load is by finding a great bakery to customize the cake. Cakes and cupcakes have become the centerpiece of most parties. If you really want to make your guests smile, a fun, tasty cake is the way to do it. Whether you are looking for that perfect themed cake, or some outstanding cupcakes, we've got you covered. Check out our list of great bakeries in Central NJ. For even more information on throwing the perfect party, check out our NJ Kid's Birthday Party Ideas Guide.
It's no surprise that the Washingtonian named Avalon the "chicest beach in the Mid-Atlantic". Occupying the North end of Seven Mile Island in Cape May County, Avalon is known for its quiet, upscale atmosphere. Perfect for families, Avalon and the entire barrier island sit a mile seaward than any other shore towns, making it the perfect place to enjoy cool ocean breezes on those hot summer days. Below we have highlighted a few great reasons to visit this beautiful small town. For more small towns on the Jersey Shore, check out our posts on Stone Harbor and Cape May.
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!
Ever notice how when folks talk about summers back in the day they say things like, “We just went outside and played and we survived.” Yes, surviving is a great achievement, but we can set our sights a little higher, can’t we? We’re sharing our SUMMER OF PLAY with hundreds of ideas for playtime with your kids. So Red Rover those neighborhood kids right on over and teach the whole crew a few of those games that used to occupy the Brady brood in their AstroTurf backyard, and do more than survive this summer. Play!
With all the crazy thrill rides found in theme parks these days, there’s something magical about taking a spin on an old-fashioned carousel. Carousels are often a child’s first ride and provide fun for all ages. New Jersey is home to both traditional and sophisticated carousels, and you don’t have to trek to a theme park to find one. Hop on a carousel at one of the area malls for a year-round shopping distraction, or catch views of the Atlantic from a Jersey shore carousel. We’ve rounded up some of the state’s best and most unique carousels, so come give it a whirl.
I am constantly telling my kids how lucky they are to live so close to New York City—especially in the summer. From beautiful parks and beaches to a variety of attractions and entertainment, all five boroughs are family-friendly stops, whether it’s for a day, weekend or extended trip. And our sponsor NYC & Company is "spreading the news" on everything the area has to offer for parents and kids.
Due to a recent shift in my career path, I'm staying home with my kids this summer—all 10 weeks of it! There will be no camp to tire them out or nanny to occupy their time. Just one big SUMMER OF PLAY. And one thing that really works for summer play is water; those kids are going to want to get wet!
You may already be navigating your summer days using our SUMMER FUN LIST GENERATOR. Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep the kiddies busy. Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List. And many more are water-based, like the 25 cool and splishy-splashy water activities below.
New Jersey is home to many wonderful farms, perfect spots for a family-friendly outing anytime of year. But a few special locations offer visitors the unique opportunity to step back in time and experience farm life just as it existed many years ago. These Living History farms give kids the chance to try their hand at everything from bottle-feeding lambs and gathering honey to collecting sap and harvesting ice. If you're looking for a fun, educational experience for the entire family, historic farms are a great choice. Read on for the details on four terrific NJ spots that bring history to life. And for more unique day trip ideas, check out our post Unique NJ: Unusual Activities & Day Trips for Families.
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?