Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do With NJ Kids This Weekend March 14-15: St. Patrick's Day, Train Show, & More!

Ahhh! Feel that, New Jersey? Those milder temps and the sun shining down have everyone in the mood to get out and about! For a dose of fresh, early spring air, head to Manasquan Environmental Center for their Monarch Butterflies program, take a Winter Weekend Scavenger Hunt at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum or lace up your sneakers for a Family Woodland Hike at NJ Botanical Gardens. And of course, St. Patrick’s Day festivities are in full swing! Check out annual parades in Atlantic City, Morris County and Bergen County. For even more weekend fun, check out the full list of weekend activities in our Event Calendar.

Summer Camp Open Houses and Tours at LA Day Camps

At this time of year we get loads of email from parents looking for guidance in finding the right summer camp for their kids. Of course, our LA Camp Guide is always a great place to find our recommendations for all sorts of camps; and browsing the listings in our camp directory also yields oodles of ideas and opportunities. But sometimes it helps to narrow down, to just look at a few—preferably a few you can look at or talk to in person. Below is a list of open houses offered by some of our camp sponsors in the coming weeks; these are great opportunities to talk to the people who would be spending the day with your kids. Click on a camp name to get more information about the camp's programs.

Best New Summer Day Camps for NYC Kids 2015

Every camp-planning season, we here at Mommy Poppins scour the city looking for enriching new summer programs for our been-there, done-that kids. To help you make an informed decision about the new camps on the block, we've rounded up nine of the most promising programs set to debut this summer. Some are brand-new, others are places that are significantly expanding their already awesome offerings.

In addition to these newbies, it's good to check out our best new camp roundups from 2014, 2013 and 2012. Most of those programs are still going on and continue to offer top-notch programming. You can also browse our Summer Camp Guide for additional options or use our Camp Directory to search for programs by interest, age and location.

17 Events Celebrating St. Patrick's Day for Philly Families

This post is currently being updated.

With a St. Patrick's Day parade that has been held continuously since 1771, Philadelphia certainly has experience celebrating Irish culture in the month of March. It's not all about pub crawls either. We have found plenty of family-friendly events throughout the Philly area, including stage performances, story-telling, nature centers, crafts and of course parades. 

So, whether you're Irish or not, you can get on your green and read on for our list of kid-friendly fun around town for St. Patrick's Day.

Brain Week NYC: Free Neuroscience Activities for Kids & Grown-ups

We're big fans of kid-friendly STEM activities and anything FREE. So put them together and you've got an event that we want to shout about. New York City's Brain Week 2015 kicks off today and offers neuroscience programs throughout March. Most of the kid-friendly ones take place this week and next, and include family favorites like the BioBus (of Ultimate Science Street Fair fame), and educational expos such as the NYU Brain Fair. Programming occurs in various locations (mostly Manhattan), and while almost all events are FREE, preregistration is often required. We've got the scoop on the top Brain Week events for families.

Coney Island with Kids: Luna Park, the Mermaid Parade & Other Family Fun

The shores at Coney Island and Brighton Beach open for the season Memorial Day weekend, and boardwalk staples like the New York Aquarium and Luna Park are already going strong. Sounds like it's time for a Brooklyn daycation!

Coney has almost completely bounced back from the damage it sustained during Hurricane Sandy, though the Aquarium is still only partially open and all of the businesses could really use your patronage. From the new-in-2014 Thunderbolt roller coaster to old favorites like Deno's Wonder Wheel, the recently restored B&B Carousell, Nathan's hot dogs and more, here are the best things to do in Coney Island with kids this season.

Jenkinson's Aquarium: An NJ Favorite

As a mom of a 10 and 7 year old, I have been to Jenkinson's Aquarium more than a few times. While not nearly as grandiose as Camden's Adventure Aquarium, this little aquarium on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant is certainly worth a few hours of your time. What it lacks in size, Jenkinson's makes up for in charm, accessibility and overall kid-friendliness. Perfect for families with small children, Jenkinson's Aquarium houses a variety of ocean creatures, eye-catching tanks and educational displays. Whether you are looking for an air-conditioned escape during a day at the beach or a warm, indoor activity on a winter day (that's right, it's open year round), Jenkinson's is sure to please.

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