Whether you're a mom, a dad, a guardian, or a babysitter, one thing's for certain--it can be hard to meet other caretakers in a comfortable social setting. Suddenly, you turn shy and wonder if you're saying the wrong things; it feels like high school all over again! I've been there. When my daughter was born, I hesitated to make new mom friends because I was scared they'd judge me. I ended up meeting some wonderful local parents, and you will too! Below is a helpful listing of parenting groups for all new and not-so-new parents out there in New Jersey.
Folks across the Nation fell in love with the majestic sport of horse racing when American Pharoah clinched the Triple Crown earlier this spring. Home to three race tracks, the Garden State draws racing fans from around the world and one arena has come up with a great way to teach horse-loving kids about life at the track. Monmouth Park's Dawn Patrol is an early morning, behind-the-scenes tour of one of the states most beautiful racing venues. Offered on weekends in July and August, this FREE event provides a great opportunity for families to learn all about the world of thoroughbred horse racing. I recently enjoyed the tour with my daughter's girl scout troop. Read on to learn why this special event is worth getting up early for.
If bad weather strikes on your beach vacation, don't despair. We have a list of great things to do to keep you from climbing the walls of your condo. From Atlantic City to Cape May, there are plenty of fun places to go at the shore with the kids besides the beach. So whether the rain is spoiling your beach day, you need a day out of the sun or just a change from the sand and surf, we have you covered.
Get ready, get set, get wet at New Jersey’s newest spraygrounds! Water playgrounds have been making a splash in the Garden State over the past several years, providing cheap (or free), refreshing summer fun. As spraygrounds and splash pads grow in popularity, new ones have been popping up throughout the state. Check out these newcomers in the New Jersey splash pads scene. Best part of all -- every destination on this list is free!
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!
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.
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?