Outdoors

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Walden Pond With Kids

Walden Pond was made famous by Henry David Thoreau, who lived at the site from 1845-1847 and wrote the book Walden based on his experience. Today, Walden is known locally for being a beautiful, pristine recreation area. It’s one of our favorite places to visit year-round, but we especially love to go in the summer. There’s so much to do with kids at Walden and it provides a great alternative to heading to the beach on a hot day. Here’s our advice on how to make the most of your visit.

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

When the heat becomes unbearable with the kids this summer, you might be yearning to bust open a fire hydrant. Before you do, consider one of New Jersey's splash pads and sprinkler parks, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, organized by region. Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park!); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

Splash Parks, Sprinklers, and Water Playgrounds in Orange County Parks

A rainy winter has erased many drought restrictions, and families are looking for water, water everywhere in the summer. There's hanging at the beach or playing in a pool, but fun places with splash pads and water features rank pretty high on a summer bucket list. Little kids, bigger kids, and even the occasional parent (yes, you!) can cool off on a hot day without tons of planning or tons of waste. Let's face it: playing in the water is just plain fun—and if you keep an extra towel handy, you're always ready.

Check out some of these free water play parks and sprinklers around Orange County. Most are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, though we recommend calling to confirm before heading out, as water conservation efforts may still be in effect.

Fairfield County Letterbox Trails for Kids

So maybe you've heard about it but you're still not really sure. What is letterboxing anyway? Well to start, it is really like the ultimate scavenger hunt. You are given a set of clues and then you head out into the woods and go on a hunt in search of secret hidden stamps in the forest. Sound fun? That's because it is! Even my three year old is a letterboxing-enthusiast.

This fun family adventure is great for all ages and for all cities located across the country. There are about 90,000 active letterboxes hidden in North America alone. So what exactly is a letterbox? Letterboxes are small weatherproof boxes that typically contain a hand-carved rubber stamp, a log-book to keep a record of visitors, and occasionally an ink pad. Letterboxer's will leave an imprint of their own personal stamp in the letterbox's log book. We've rounded up six kid-friendly letterbox trails in Fairfield County. Happy Trails.

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