As busy mamas, we cherish those oh-so-rare moments when we have a few hours (if we're super lucky!) to do whatever we want; whether it's sleeping, shopping, taking a class, or hitting the gym for an intense workout. It can be tricky to squeeze in a spin class when you're in full-time mommy mode, but there are many gyms in New Jersey that offer babysitting options so you can get in shape while your children stay safe. Below is a list of gyms that offer on-location daycare for fitness-oriented mamas.
Choosing the right birthday party entertainment can be tricky. The ideal performer will keep kids happy and encourage participation, without overwhelming hesitant little ones. New Jersey is home to many wonderful clowns who can bring that extra spark to your child’s next party with magic, balloons, face painting and more. Read on for our picks of the state’s best entertainers, and for additional birthday party services, visit Mommy Poppins NJ’s Birthday Party Guide.
When you think of the fall, you think of crisp weather, vibrant colors, pumpkins and hay rides. If your child has a fall birthday, celebrate with all the best elements of the season at a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. New Jersey is home to great pumpkin farms throughout the state, and many offer party packages jam-packed with seasonal activities, such as hay rides and corn mazes. Pumpkin parties are typically offered September through November and tend to book up early. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, some pumpkin farms offer indoor options or date changes; see individual websites for rain policies. Enjoy all the fun of the fall at these Garden State pumpkin farms. And for all kinds of party ideas, visit Mommy Poppins NJ’s Birthday Party Guide.
You just shelled out the big bucks for summer camps and back-to-school shopping. The countdown to Christmas has already begun. Money, money, money. Save a few bucks by selecting an offbeat night to eat at a fun restaurant with the kiddos. You can still enjoy a night out and you don’t have to pay a babysitter… Win-Win. And if you happen to be hauling the munchkins a bit farther south, check out our Kids Eat Free in Central New Jersey.
There's a chill in the air, the kids are back in school, and you know what all that means... That's right, it’s finally apple-picking time! Here are some of the best apple picking farms in New York and New Jersey that are fun for the whole family. And check back here at Mommy Poppins NJ often over the next few weeks for more Apple Info, such as organic apple picking farms, where to find the best apple pie in NJ, and apple recipes. Mmmmmm.
There really aren't too many “all-American” foods that my vegetarian family enjoys; you won’t see us sinking our teeth into hamburgers and fried chicken at barbecues. Even French fries are kind of take it or leave it (I know, crazy, right?) But if there’s one American staple that we would never, ever turn down, it’s PIE! The buttery crust, the tart and sweet filling and of course, a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream on the side. As luck would have it, New Jersey is a great place to find delicious versions of our favorite fall pies, with its bountiful farms and one-of-a-kind diners in almost every town. Any way you slice it (pun intended), New Jersey families have some awesome pumpkin and apple pies to choose from.
Back to school means a return to classes, tests, homework and book reports. Stresses can mount when our kids struggle with the curriculum. With districts across the state adopting the common core, students are learning new concepts in math and language arts that parents aren't familiar with. If you are concerned about your kids falling behind academically, or just want to give them a leg up on the new school year, you are in luck. New Jersey is home to a bunch of great after school academic programs. Check out some of our top picks below. For some great tutoring options, check out our post on New Jersey Tutoring Centers.
Diners are right up there with all of the things you’d expect to find in NJ, like boardwalks by the beach, saltwater taffy, shopping malls and great views of Manhattan. And it goes without saying that diners are probably some of the best joints to visit with kids – loud, crowded, cheap and charmingly unsophisticated. Plus, diverse menus mean that everyone can order exactly what they’re in the mood for (which basically means less complaining and whining for tired parents!)
So how do you distinguish a great diner from a so-so one? All of the joints below stand out from the pack for a number of reasons. Maybe they’re family-owned and operated (doing everything with just a little extra love), maybe they take the time to make everything from scratch or maybe the food is just that darn good! Read on for our pick of diner favorites for NJ families:
Apple picking in New Jersey is a tradition that my newly transplanted family was excited to experience (South Florida is not exactly known for its fall fruit orchards). I could hardly wait to hop aboard a hay ride with our kiddos and spend the day picking juicy ripe organic apples. But after doing a little research, I was surprised to learn that the climate in New Jersey is not really conducive to large scale organic apple farming--it’s just too expensive and yields too little fruit--so almost all of our organic grocery store varieties hail from Washington State. But that doesn’t mean New Jersey farmers aren’t doing their best to reduce the use of pesticides. Check out these apple farms below, where New Jersey kids and their parents can experience a fun fall day while bringing home local, carefully farmed fruit.
It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is upon us and soon we’ll be picking out pumpkins and Halloween costumes. This is usually seen as summer’s last hurrah, before the back to school routine bogs us all down. Plan a getaway to celebrate the last unofficial weekend of summer and let your New Jersey kids soak up one last summer memory, while we still have great weather! And for more quick family outings, check out our NJ Day Trip 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?