Summer is the perfect time to hit some amusement parks. Unfortunately, crowds + extreme heat = cranky kids and adults. The solution? An amusement park filled with gallons and gallons of water! New Jersey has some fantastic water parks to offer. From big name parks to boardwalk favorites to the first municipal water park in the state – here are six of New Jersey’s best water parks and a overview of what to expect from each one. And for more summer awesomeness, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
Summertime means swimming–the kids cool off, get exercise, and are entertained all at once–triple bonus! While NJ abounds with beaches and lakes, many of us prefer the plain old comfort of a chlorine-enhanced, lifeguard-protected swimming pool. For you, the pool-lover, we’ve assembled a list of NJ swimming pool options—some public, some private, summer-only, year-round, indoor, outdoor....take your pick—and then, take the plunge! And for more summer awesomeness, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.
The Jersey Shore may have a bad reality TV rap, but it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere. From a beachy national park to miles of boards to be strolled, to towering lighthouses – whether you’re planning a day trip or a long weekend, the summer possibilities are endless. Here are some highlights of NJ Shore beaches from north to south. Make your NJ kid a beach baby and head on “down the shore.” And for other Shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide.
Summer is here; let the festivals begin! There’s something on the calendar to please everyone this month, whether your family loves music, food, nature or a good old-fashioned carnival. Highlights include the Privateers & Pirates Festival at Tuckerton Seaport, Chatham’s Fishawack Festival and the Annual Blueberry Festival in Whitesbog Village. You can’t go wrong with any of these awesome activities. So grab the family, slap on some sunscreen and kick off summer at one of these 15 fab events. Visit our Events Calendar to find even more wonderful happenings this month.
Nothing says summer like a round of miniature golf. Growing up, I spent many a summer evening enjoying a game of putt-putt with my sisters. These days, I delight in the nostalgic feeling I get watching my kids fill out their scorecards with that tiny pencil. Whether you are headed down the shore, or are looking for a local activity, there is sure to be a great course nearby. New Jersey is home to more than 50 miniature golf courses, and we've highlighted a few of our favorites below. For more options, check out our original list of the Best Miniature Golf Courses in New Jersey.
What's more fun than visiting a playground or zoo on a warm, sunny day? How about a zoo within a playground? Get the best of both worlds at New Jersey parks that have awesome play areas plus farm animals or mini zoos. Even better, these zoos are all free. Visit some furry friends and spend the day without spending a dime on admission fees.
In oppressive heat, you may be yearning to bust open a fire hydrant, but before you do that – consider a water playground. Spice things up with your NJ kids this summer and check out some of these fun and fantastic water playgrounds in New Jersey. Note: These are Water Playgrounds or Splash Playgrounds, not Waterparks. For parks, visit our Best NJ Waterparks article! And for summertime fun of different varieties, check out our New Jersey Kids' Summer Activities Guide.
A few weeks ago I let my daughter bring a pair of binoculars on our weekly hike. She is not always the most enthusiastic hiker so I was pleasantly surprised when she immediately perked up. The next week I picked up a birding book and she started checking off all of the different birds we saw. Turns out, bird watching can instill a real appreciation of nature in children. New Jersey's wide variety of distinct habitats and location on the Atlantic Flyway make it a great place for bird watchers to enjoy over 400 different species of birds. Kids naturally gravitate toward nature when given the chance, so give them a pair of binoculars and open their eyes to the wonders of birding at one of these great birding spots and sanctuaries. For more outdoor fun, check out our post on family friendly hikes in Central New Jersey.
Did you know that New Jersey has eleven lighthouses open to the public? Whether your kids are old enough to climb them or not, there’s plenty to do and see on a lighthouse visit. Most are located near beaches or state parks full of family-friendly diversions so they make great destinations for day trips. This is an affordable – sometimes even free! – summer activity your whole family will love. And for more shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide.
Nothing will make your family hungrier than a day of fun in the sun at the beach. Whether you are taking your NJ kids on a day trip or for vacation – the Jersey Shore is a great place to visit for the whole family. Finding a kid-friendly place to dine can sometimes be a challenge, however, especially if you're not familiar with the area. Here are some of my personal favorite Jersey Shore eateries (including ice cream!) that are great for kids of all ages! And for more shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family 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?