Michelle Vames's blog

May GoList: Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

May is bursting with springtime fun. It's the perfect month to fly a kite, celebrate moms, and check out the gazillion fairs and festivals happening across the state. You can celebrate New Jersey's amazing shore at Ocean Fun Days, or travel back in time to the Renaissance and the Wild West. When the weather's not cooperating, head indoors to see one of the many performances on NJ stages this month, including Alice in Wonderland, Annie, and Pete the Cat. It all culminates in Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of summer fun with the opening of many water parks and amusement parks, including the tot-friendly Land of Make Believe.

Also, don't forget that we're looking for your help, our Mommy Poppins readers and the most savvy parents we know, to pick New Jersey's BESTIES. Help us choose the best businesses in all categories, from pediatricians to play spaces. When you vote, you'll be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a luxurious NYC getaway including a suite credit from Suiteness and a custom itinerary designed by Mommy Poppins herself, Anna Fader, or a two night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. Vote today!

Read on to see our top picks for the merry month of May. For even more things to do, be sure to check out our Event Calendar, with new activities and events added daily, as well as our Spring Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids. Have a great May, NJ!

Storybook Land in New Jersey: A Magical Park for Preschoolers and Tots

If you’re looking for an enjoyable amusement park experience minus crazy thrill rides and super-sized crowds, take a day trip to Storybook Land in Egg Harbor. This charming spot, in operation since 1955, was created with younger children in mind—the rides and attractions are all geared toward the under-10 crowd, making it great for toddlers and big siblings alike.

Visiting is a bit like stepping into a fairy tale: as you walk through the wooded grounds, you encounter characters from nursery rhymes and classic children's stories, like Humpty Dumpty and Alice in Wonderland. Even if you didn't go there as a kid, as many New Jerseyans did, you're sure to fall under its nostalgia-laced spell. 

My husband and I recently visited for the first time with our two boys, ages 5 and 2, and we all loved it and will definitely go back. Storybook Land is No. 1 on our list of 30 Things to Do with NJ Preschoolers, with good reason. Read on for more about this sweet NJ gem.

April GoList: Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

Grab your umbrella and head to one of the many awesome events happening throughout New Jersey this month. 

April is packed with celebrations of spring, including Daffodil Day at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival in Newark, and the Hindu festival of Holi in Jersey City. Storybook Land will reopen for the season on April 1 (and that's no joke), and the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum will host the grand opening of its Stone House Nature Center on April 22—which happens to be, fittingly, Earth Day

There's also plenty of Easter fun happening across the state, from egg hunts and bunny brunches to Easter-themed train rides.

If an indoor day is in order, you can catch performances of Peter and the Wolf, The Rainbow Fish, and The House at Pooh Corner. Dino fanaticsbudding ballerinas, and train enthusiasts will find a lot to love this month, too.

Read on to learn more about our top 16 picks for April. As always, you can find even more options in our Event Calendar, with new activities added daily. 

Affordable Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

Summer camps in New Jersey vary wildly in price, so it’s important to choose a camp that’s right for your child AND your pocketbook. Many camps let you register by the week or even the day, so you don't have to commit to an entire summer. Other options, like three-day weeks and half-day camp, also allow you to keep costs down. The cost of certain camps can be applied against the child care tax credit for children of single parents/two working parents, and some camps offer financial assistance—especially ones that get money from donors. Here we've rounded up 15 affordable day camp options for NJ kids. To find more New Jersey summer camps, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

New Jersey Summer Camps for Preschoolers

Before they grow up and want to go to sleepaway camp with their BFFs, preschoolers can get a taste of summer camp in a program created just for them. New Jersey is home to some wonderful day camps for the under-5 crowd, and we've rounded up more than a dozen of our favorites. In addition to low camper-counselor ratios, these programs offer developmentally appropriate fun for every interest, whether you want your little one to experience the great outdoors, bounce and tumble at a cool indoor spot, or delve into subjects like robotics, film, and fashion. 

To learn about more New Jersey summer camp options, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings.

Summer Camp Open Houses Begin in New Jersey

One sure sign that winter is on its way out is when summer camps start hosting open houses. We've put together a list of more than a dozen upcoming events from our sponsors, including options for day and commuter camps, and even a weekday sleepaway camp. 

This is just the beginning. Whether you're looking for a STEM camp, preschool camp, art camp, or beyond, you can find many more New Jersey summer camps in our camp guide and full directory of listings

Happy hunting!

March GoList: The Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

There's a lot to love about March, including St. Patrick's Day, longer days, and other signs of spring. We've got a dozen more things to look forward to this month, from animal encounters and kid-friendly sporting events to live performances featuring Cinderella, Percy Jackson, and a grumpy dragon named Piff. You can make ooblek in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday or build an entire New Jersey town out of Lego. For a complete list of March happenings, be sure to check out our Event Calendar

19 STEM Summer Camps for NJ Kids

When you think "summer camp," you might picture canoeing on a lake, playing capture the flag, and eating s'mores by a campfire. But camp can also be about coding, constructing robots, and building with Lego. We've rounded up 19 New Jersey STEM camps that promise a summer of fun for budding scientists, engineers, and computer programmers. Find more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

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