A recent study estimates that the average adult spends about an hour a day waiting for something—the bathroom, the cashier, the bus, you name it. But parents seem to wait around even more than that. Plus we get the added bonus of hearing our kids whine, "I'm bored!" and beg incessantly for our smartphones.
But waiting with your kids doesn't have to be dull. You can turn that downtime into quality family time by finding ways to play together (and no, we're not talking about Candy Crush). Inspired by our series of SUMMER OF PLAY posts, here are 10 no-tech activities to try when you're stuck waiting somewhere—hopefully you won't be there long enough blow through all of them in one go!
Named for its location at the top of the Watchung Mountains, the town of Summit, NJ is definitely worth the climb. The six square miles that make up this great town offer the perfect mix of city chic and outdoor fun. Summit boasts an eclectic downtown that is home to more than 200 unique boutiques and restaurants. In addition, the town's great parks, recreational facilities and unique outdoor attractions make for a fun day trip for the entire family. Check out some of our favorite Summit destinations below. For even more great North Jersey towns check out our Guide to Great Small Towns in Northern NJ or our posts on Bernardsville and Chester.
Last weekend, Mommy Poppins sponsored a preschool fair in New York City where families were able to meet dozens of directors from neighborhood preschool programs. Parents said it was immensely helpful to talk to NYC preschool directors in person because it demystified the often fraught admissions process. It’s understandable that applying to preschool is nerve-racking: It’s one of the first decisions you make for your child’s education. But at Mommy Poppins, we believe that applying to preschool can be a sane experience, and we want to do what we can to dispel some of the anxiety. So we're sharing the inside scoop from our preschool fair, including expert tips from directors about the admissions process. After all, who knows it better than the people who make the decisions?
We sit through three meals a day, seven days a week. So sometimes we just need to shake it up a bit and do something out of the house that promises fun along with the food. From knights and horses to magicians to locomotives, from Northern NJ all the way down to the Shore, there are many ‘interactive’ dining experiences for the entire family. Bon appetit!
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.
The kids are excitedly preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes and pumpkins dancing in their heads. New Jersey is home to many wonderful pumpkin-themed events this season, everything from elaborate pumpkin exhibits to carving competitions to good old-fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating. Read on for our top picks and check out the Mommy Poppins NJ Halloween Guide for more fun events.
There’s a sudden crispness to the air, the kids have gone back to school and our thoughts have turned to Fall, a beautiful time to get out and about in New Jersey. Looking for some autumnal activities? How about pumpkin picking? Hey, they don’t call this the Garden State for nothing! There are plenty of fantastic farms in NJ with activities from hay rides to corn mazes to pumpkin painting to birthday parties. Here’s a list of our favorite New Jersey pumpkin picking farms. Looking for other fall fun? Try our post on Fun Fall Harvest Festivals in NJ
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.
One of the biggest pleasures of fall is watching the leaves turn a variety of vibrant colors. While you can see gorgeous fall foliage all over the Northeast, from New York City to New Jersey and beyond, the Delaware Water Gap is one of the best spots around for hue-filled hikes for families.
Located on the border of NJ and Pennsylvania, the Delaware Water Gap is less than a two-hour drive from NYC so it's close enough to make a great autumn daycation. To find the best family-friendly hiking trails in the area, we turned to the experts: local parents Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert, who regularly blog about their excursions at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Kids Outdoors New York City, a FREE online community for families featuring alfresco activities in the tri-state area. The trees should start changing any day now so keep these outings in mind for the upcoming school holidays like Columbus Day weekend.
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.
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?