When my girls were toddlers, I put a lot of time and energy into coming up with fun activities to keep them (and me) busy. And I soon discovered how many wonderful places and events New Jersey has to offer little ones. Now that my kids are entering kindergarten, the days of mommy-and-me classes, story times and playgrounds will be replaced by soccer games, dance lessons and homework. Take advantage of these great opportunities throughout New Jersey while your preschoolers are young enough to appreciate them. For more cant-miss Garden State destinations, check out 100 Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up.
Dining out should be a enjoyable, bonding experience for the family. However, kids and restaurants don’t always mix. Waiting for food or sitting still at the table can be a challenge for little ones. When crayons just don’t cut it, bring the gang to one of these family-friendly favorites on their scheduled “kid’s night”. From magicians to characters to balloon animals, the following restaurants offer fun entertainment and events for kids during the week. Also, check out restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials.
So we're a few weeks into the school year; how's lunch going? If you're packing a lunch from home, chances are you started off the year full of terrific ideas (perhaps from our Back-to-School Guide?), and chances are that by now you've had several of these healthy, well-packed lunches delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the end of the day. There should be a special name for the heartbreak one endures at the words "I told you I hate peanut-butter and jelly," when not only is this the first you're hearing of it, but you spent extra money on organic jelly and freshly ground peanut butter. Besides - if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 35 answers to that question!
Sometimes Mom and Dad's ideas for summertime play involve hopping in the car and getting out of Dodge. Many of us have fond childhood memories of family road trips taken with our own parents, but now that we're grown up, we sometimes forget how boring the backseat can be. A great summer of play should involve games that can be played inside, not just outside, and definitely within the confines of a car. So put away the electronics this road trip, and try some of these fun games that keep everyone in the car playing together.
Are the dog days of August starting to wear you down? As much I love summery outdoor fun, there are days when I need a break from chasing sweaty kids, globbing on lotion and cleaning sand from the car. If you need an escape from the August heat or rain, chill out indoors at these fun, air-conditioned events and activities. If your budget’s tight after camp and summer vacation, don’t sweat it. Everything on this list is free! And for more ideas to finish off the summer, check out the New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
No fancy vacations planned for this month? Not to worry, we've got you covered! New Jersey offers tons of great options for family outings close to home, whether you're looking for a beach adventure or want to visit a local farm or museum. Skip all the hassles involved with packing, crowded airports and sleepless hotel stays…your family can get their fill of summer fun right here at home in New Jersey. (And save you some money too.) Read on for our top 25 Staycation Ideas, and visit the Mommy Poppins NJ Summer Activity Guide for additional suggestions.
We loved Adventure Aquarium's KidZone back in the spring, but AA is all about the sharks this summer. Big ones. Scary ones. Prehistoric ones. 17 species call the aquarium home, more than anywhere on the east coast. And there’s a little bit of shark thrill for every age, from the cheerful, cartoony Great White sculpture that welcomes tiny tots to the impressive hammerheads. Here’s the lowdown on “Shark Fest”. Dive in!
The weeks of warm, lazy days are dwindling and before we know it, September and the start of school will be here. Rather than fret about the impending return of homework and schedules, I decided to come up with a list of both fun AND educational outings my family and I can take part in during these last few weeks of August. We’ll make some memories, get our brains back into learning mode and soak up what’s left of summer. Check out these ten great outings in NJ and for more end of summer fun, don't forget to check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
Now we are sharing play ideas using what today's kids are really into: technology! There are many creative ways to incorporate current technology into family playtime, and no, I don't mean handing the kids an iPad or iPhone and walking away while they play their millionth game of Angry Birds. Instead, harness the kids' interest in these devices and turn what often becomes a battleground for parents into a tool that can enhance family playtime.
Beat the summer heat at one of New Jersey’s spectacular water playgrounds, known as spraygrounds. On a hot summer day, my kids last 10 minutes on a conventional playground. Add some water play to the mix and we have a low-cost, low-maintenance day of fun. Spray parks and splash pads are popping up all over the state. Most of these water playgrounds are free or inexpensive and can be enjoyed by all ages. Get wet at these Central and Southern New Jersey spraygrounds, including some newcomers. For more water fun throughout the state, check out the Best Water Playgrounds in NJ and 6 Awesome New Jersey Water Parks.
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?