Great Amusement Parks for Preschoolers and Toddlers in New Jersey

Looking for a place to take your little ones for gentle thrills and kid-friendly amusements? We've rounded up 14 NJ amusement parks that are perfect for the younger set. Some, like Storybook Land and Land of Make Believe, are geared exclusively toward small children, while others, like Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Boardwalk, offer a solid selection of kiddie rides in addition to bigger thrills. 

We've limited our list of amusement parks to those located in New Jersey—to search for more tot-friendly spots in surrounding areas, check out the Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC.

10 Easy New York State Park Hikes for Families

Late spring is the perfect season for hiking, before the sweltering summer heat takes hold. The beautiful Hudson Valley is home to 18 New York State Parks that offer tree-lined trails, stunning panoramic views, and lots of special features like waterfalls, swimming lakes, and sandy beaches. With so many parks and trails to choose from, it's hard to know where to start!

To help, we've picked 10 of of our favorite kid-friendly hikes in the Hudson Valley. In addition to opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife, some of these parks—like Bear Mountain and Franklin D. Roosevelt—boast additional attractions such as a zoo, playgrounds, pedal boats, and even a giant swimming pool. Best of all, these hikes are just a quick day trip away from NYC or southern Westchester.

Cirque du Soleil's Jaw-Dropping LUZIA Opens Under the Big Top

One of the reasons my family and I love going to Cirque du Soleil spectacles is we never know what to expect. Sure, there will always be world-class circus artists performing jaw-dropping feats, but what sets the company apart from other troupes are the eye-popping environments it creates through sumptuous design. We know we're going to be transported, but to where? For Cirque's latest extravaganza, LUZIA, currently running at Citi Field in Queens, the destination is a fantastical imagining of Mexico filled with oversize puppet animals; cascading walls of water; mariachi-tinged music; colorful projections; and, of course, gorgeously outfitted acrobats, aerialists, and other athletic performers who seem to defy the laws of physics.

With two jaded teens in tow who've seen many a circus, I worried they might pull a been there, seen that 'tude. Heck, I figured I might feel that way, too, because I've been attending Cirque shows since before I became a mom. But at 13, 16, and even my advanced age, we were all as wide-eyed with wonder as the youngsters sitting behind us, because LUZIA is one of the most breathtaking Cirque creations in years.

Awesome Amusement Parks on Long Island

Feeling the need for speed and splash? Long Island amusement parks are ready for you and your thrill-seeking family. If your kids are eager to check out the latest rides and attractions, or you can’t wait to make new memories with your family at parks you enjoyed as a child, now is the perfect time to explore these local amusement centers.

For more entertainment inspiration, see our guide to Long Island amusement and water parks or our roundup of children's sports centers and fun zones in Nassau and Suffolk. Our guide to family fun on Long Island is loaded with reviews of local and regional destinations sure to delight your child.

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers around Philadelphia

It's hard to imagine a more thrilling summer day for a preschooler than riding bumper cars, spinning teacups and a miniature locomotive. Fortunately, there are many amusement parks within a day's drive from Philadelphia that offer fun for the younger set. While some on our list are super-sized theme parks with sectioned areas for little kids, others are designed especially with preschoolers in mind.

Be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide which is filled with amazing summertime activities for little ones.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: 35 Top Things to Do with Kids

There is no shortage of warm weather family activities in Brooklyn, but I find myself continuously making the trip to Brooklyn Bridge Park throughout the spring and summer months. Spanning 1.3 miles along the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre waterfront space promising recreation, sustainability, and environmental exploration. Where else can you fish, roller skatekayak, barbecue, hit some of the city's most innovative playzones, catch the ferry to Governors Island, see FREE outdoor movies and concerts, explore a sensory labyrinth or an environmental education center, and get a free dose of cool public art? Plus, the Lower Manhattan skyline views never fail to impress.

We've rounded up our favorite things to do to help you explore the park with your little ones, including some of the exciting new offerings in one of the city's most fascinating parks

10 Great Picnic Spots for Families in Northern New Jersey

Picnics are simple pleasures that kids of all ages can enjoy, so grab a blanket and your favorite goodies and head out to one of North Jersey's best spots for family gatherings. From majestic views and wooded trails to tranquil lakes and shady playgrounds, these parkland treasures are worth a visit. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, planning a family reunion, or just heading out for an afternoon of fun, New Jersey's parks will not disappoint.

For even more warm-weather activities, check out our spring fun guide, featuring our top picks for family campgrounds and more.

Cool Party Places to Celebrate Your Tween's Birthday

By the time you've hit the tween years, you've been to enough birthday parties to feel like you've seen it all. Looking for a new celebratory experience worthy of increasingly grown-up interests for your 10 to 13 year-old? We've rounded up 13 too-cool party spots to celebrate your tween's next big birthday. With party packages this out of the ordinary, you'll be able to please even the pickiest tween with unique fetes like zombie laser tag, DIY chocolate or ice cream, and jewelry making with semi-precious stones.

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Fire Service Day, Rocket Launch, and Gibbons

It's Mother's Day, and Momma wants something good. Something unique. Maybe something handmade. Most likely something handmade.

For the record, Momma is well-rounded. She likes apes, and she likes butterflies. She likes gardens. She likes big cars; she likes fast skates. She likes firemen and men in tiaras. She likes to drink the tea.

Momma likes rockets in flight and stars on ice. She likes getting in free and being treated like the queen she is

But mostly she likes spending time with her kids. We get one weekend to call our own, Mommas; make it count!

Keep reading for our best suggestions for a Mother of a weekend! 

Weekend Fun for DC Kids: Wizards, Spring Festivals, & Mother's Day May 11-12, 2019

From science to sports, tots to tennis, the DC area is offering a lot for families this weekend. For the science fans in your crew, head over to Joint Base Andrews for the weekend's air show as the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels take the skies. Kids can join in the Spartan fun at Nationals Park by climbing, crawling, and running through the obstacle course. 

Looking to add a bit of magic to your weekend? Then head to the Wizarding World Film Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which is airing all eight of the Harry Potter movies plus the two Fantastic Beasts films.

Check out our favorite picks for Saturday and Sunday below. Need more ideas? Head over to our events calendar and find the perfect fit for your family this weekend.

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