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.
Ah, the good ol' days. Remember roller-skating, ice cream sodas and drive-in theaters? These simple pleasures can still be found all over New Jersey. Relive your childhood while introducing your kids to some new-old activities this summer. We’ve rounded up 25 great ideas to get you started, everything from vintage train rides to living history farms. So put down that smartphone and step back in time. There’s plenty of old-fashioned fun to be had in NJ!
How stressful is the end of the school year? Let us count the ways. Oh sure, there's the silver lining coming of not having to drive to school or argue about homework for 10 blissful weeks; but blissful loses its luster pretty quickly in the face of, "What are we going to do today?"—particularly when you know that what YOU have to do doesn't involve sprinklers, beaches or day trips. We know we should have figured out summer camp by now, really we do. So here's a list for us, um, slackers in NJ.
Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic; every one of the summer camps listed below still has space available as of this publish date. Some of the camps even allow families to book by the day, for ultimate spontaneity. After all, you have to leave time to try some of our 100 things to do with kids in New Jersey before they grow up, right?
Are you ready for summer, New Jersey? If you're like me, you've probably had the season on the brain since January. In a few short weeks, those dreams of beaches, swimming and festivals galore will finally become a reality. The celebrated Jersey Shore, among other warm-weather destinations, make the Garden State the place to be this summer. So get out your calendars, and take note of all the adventures that await your family in NJ this summer.
I love batik. Or I should say, I love the way batik looks, and I love the idea of making batik, but actual batik is really hard, meticulous and, frankly, kind of tedious to do. I've been looking for a simpler way to make batik and recently shared these batik-style card designs. I think they turned out great, but they are only paper simulations of batik.
But I finally found an easy batik method. Do you know Design Mom? Blogger Gabrielle Blair is one of those people who makes you wonder, "How does she do it?" She is somehow managing to raise six children, run her super website and make everything seem beautiful, graceful and balanced. Luckily for us, she has just wrapped all that beauty and wisdom into her new book, Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide.
What I love about this book is that it isn't just about home design. The lovely Gabby shares many of her family's traditions and ways they make living with kids work. These are my favorite parts of the book, and that's right where I found my easy batik technique.
I've adapted Gabrielle's method a bit to make it even simpler so that a little kid can do it. You can literally use this technique on any piece of cotton fabric; we did T-shirts and tote bags.
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?