Spring Activities

Governors Island: Playgrounds, Camping, and More 2018 Highlights

Governors Island opens to the public on May 1 this year and its season, which runs through October 31, promises plenty of family-friendly fun, plus some spectacular overnight accommodations that give you even more time to play on the island!.

The opening of Governors Island is an event we anticipate annually as the island seemingly reinvents itself with new attractions and old favorites return. The aforementioned glamping accommodations are sure to be a big draw; while the adventure playground gets a new name, The Yard, plus Adventures at Governors Island returns with a larger footprint plus new mini golf, and the island's events calendar is, as always, jam-packed with family-friendly events like our favorite, the Figment arts fest.

Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island with kids, plus important visitor tips, such as ferry schedules and where to score free biking and kayaking. 

Family-Friendly Mother's Day Brunch Spots in Northern New Jersey

Celebrate Mother's Day in style this year with an indulgent family brunch prepared by someone other than mom. Restaurants throughout Northern New Jersey are cooking up some fabulous luncheons full of breakfast delights, salads, carving stations, and desserts. Some of these eateries offer discounts for children, and others are FREE for young kids. Holiday brunches book up quickly though, and many require reservations.

If you're down the shore, explore these wonderful Mother's Day options.

Where to See Cherry Blossoms and More Blooms on Long Island

After what felt like an extra-long winter, spring arrives and colors burst all over Long Island. These are perfect days to explore some of the Island’s family-friendly gardens and state parks, where displays of vibrant, eye-popping cherry blossoms—along with a host of other springtime trees and flowers—are in full bloom.

From the the Arbor Day Family Festival (April 28) at Planting Fields Arboretum to the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (May 6) at Stony Brook University, your kids get to experience the natural beauty of the season, explore the outdoors, and even learn about different cultures. 

Lush Arboretums and Gardens To Explore with New Jersey Kids

New Jersey is teeming with amazing outdoor places to take active kids—everything from nature centers to Jersey Shore lighthouses offer a multitude of fun events for little ones. But our beautiful state arboretums and gardens are often overlooked. These fabulous green spaces offer a great opportunity for children to see nature up close. Many locations also host educational and engaging programs, featuring activities such as gardening, hiking, and scavenger hunts.

As spring shifts into high gear, gather the kids and head to these beautiful local gardens. We're not known as the Garden State for nothing!

Grunion Runs: That SoCal Thing When Thousands of Fish Crawl up the Beach at Midnight

Every once in a while we parents get an opportunity to re-experience a treasured childhood memory with our own kids. If you grew up here in Southern California, odds are that you made it to a grunion run at least once when you were a child. If you're from elsewhere, chances are that you thought this was total urban folklore. Well, it's no myth; there really are SoCal fish that jump out of the ocean at midnight and slither up the beach when the moon is full. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro has been hosting grunion runs with a front row seat for this peculiar phenomenon since 1964. I remember cooking out on the beach with friends and family, bundled up and waiting for those squirmy silver fish to appear. The hot dogs were usually a bit burnt, and the sand was wet and cold, but it was a night of adventure and marine biology that I never forgot.

Adventure Playground on Gov. Island Debuts 2018 Schedule and Name

We were instant fans of the adventure playground on Governors Island when it debuted in 2016 and are pleased to report the free-play haven returns for a third season, opening its gates to the public on Saturday, May 5 under a new moniker: The Yard.

The Yard will be open for FREE play every weekend during Governors Island's public operating season. Governors Island officially opens on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 and its season runs through Halloween.

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Jersey Shore: 12 Great Family-Friendly Restaurants

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and moms everywhere will be celebrating with a fabulous brunch. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or you prefer something fancy-shmancy, the Jersey Shore has plenty of delicious options to choose from. Check out one of these local favorites for a wonderful meal the whole family will love, no cooking or clean-up required. Relax, enjoy yourself, and have a very happy Mother’s Day! 

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