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 summer 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.

The Skyscraper Museum: Where Kids Build on Their Love for NYC

Nestled in an intimate gallery space in Battery Park City, amid the soaring structures that comprise Lower Manhattan, the little-known Skyscraper Museum offers insight into the ever-evolving New York cityscape. While the technical information that accompanies its exhibits is geared toward adults, even the littlest urbanites can appreciate the engaging oversize photographs, historic maps, and detailed models of buildings in their world-famous backyard and beyond.

There are also STEM-inspired lessons and workshops for NYC kids as they learn what it takes to create one of those wow-worthy skyscrapers.

Our Favorite Toddler Playgrounds in Brooklyn

It's no secret that Brooklyn is one of the most family-friendly boroughs in New York City. More young families are discovering the rich culture and kid-friendly perks like indoor play cafes that make it a great place to raise your family. It's the reason why these days, strollers outnumber the hipsters in most Brooklyn neighborhoods. And one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful tree-lined blocks is to go for a walk with your tot in tow to visit some of the amazing playgrounds in the area.

We've already ranked the best playgrounds in Prospect Park and the top playgrounds for your big kids in Brooklyn, but now we're putting together a list of some of our favorite playgrounds sized for toddlers.

SoCal's Renaissance Pleasure Faire Offers Kids a Day Trip through Time

Hear ye, hear ye! There's more to Ye Olde Renaissance Faire than turkey legs, men in tights, and replacing all thy "yous" with thees and thous. So if you—or thou—art wondering whether or not it's worth venturing 45 minutes inland in search of a park full of people pretending wholeheartedly that Queen Elizabeth I is still on the throne, the answer is an unmitigated, "Huzzah!"

10 Great Stroller-Friendly Park Walks on Long Island

They might be too young for the playground, but Long Island babies (and their caregivers) can still enjoy our great parks.

Of course, not all parks are created equal, especially when it comes to taking your baby out for fresh air. Some parks are aesthetically beautiful, but the trails are rocky and covered in sand, making pushing a stroller nearly impossible. Others are smoothly paved, but have nothing for you and your little one to look at. From Nassau to Suffolk, here are our picks for Long Island walks with the best terrain and intriguing scenery—perfect for a day out with baby.

Check out these FREE attractions across Long Island for even more fun activities to do with your baby, or find more ways to meet new parents who, like yourself, might be eager to socialize. 

If you are looking to cool off after your walk, why not visit a nearby spray park

New NJ Play Space Genius Gems Sparkles with STEM Fun for Kids

"Goodness, have you ever seen so many Magna-Tiles?!" a mom exclaimed to her toddler on a recent day at Genius Gems, the brand-new STEM-based play space that opened in Millburn on May 3. It was an incredible sight: thousands of brightly colored magnetic tiles lay strewn about—in kaleidoscopic piles on the floor, in towering formations created by little builders, in geometric patterns on a giant magnetic wall—and the sunlight that poured in through the floor-to-ceiling windows set everything aglow. 

My first thought was that this was an amazing place; my second was, "I'm so glad I don't have to clean up all these tiles." 

Happily, my only job was to hang out in the bright, beautiful space and watch my 3-year-old play, occasionally jumping in to build alongside him. My son was engaged and entertained for a solid two hours, and I was impressed—not only with the clean, modern aesthetic of the place, but with the simple yet ingenius offerings on hand. Between Genius Gems and The Busy Bee, which opened in Millburn in March, Essex County parents now have two great indoor play space options, without having to schlep to Routes 10 or 22.

Red Hook with Kids: Parks, Play Spaces, Restaurants, Mini Golf

Flanked by family-friendly Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, Red Hook has long been considered "the next big thing" in Brooklyn. Fairway, Ikea, and local shops and eateries brought new life to the neighborhood, but the lack of easy public transportation means this waterfront gem maintains its refreshingly quiet vibe.

This awesome neighborhood is teeming with historic buildings and stellar seafood and is home to waterside parks, an Olympic-size outdoor pool, two mini-golf courses, FREE kayaking and movies in the summer, fun family restaurants, and an indoor play space for children of all abilities. Though it's not easily accessible by subway, visitors can arrive via ferry, bus or Citi Bike via the Brooklyn Greenway—follow the path from Brooklyn Bridge Park if you're feeling adventurous! 

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 dinosaurs. She likes gardens. She likes cars big; she likes cars small. She likes firemen and Julie Andrews. She likes birds; she likes planes; she likes Superman

Momma likes getting in free and being treated like royalty. She likes rockets in flight and stars on ice. (Also good: stars in the sky.)

But mostly she likes spending time with her kids. You get one weekend to call your own, Mommas: make it count!

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

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Chalk Walk, Brunch, Festivals

Moms, it's your weekend, and we want to start off by saying Happy (early) Mother's Day to you! It's no secret that the role of being a mom requires many different hats and is fulfilled in many different forms, and this weekend we want to celebrate each and every one of you who steps into that role and wears that title proudly. You are the best!

With summer right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to offer up some ideas and inspiration for some of those long, lazy days, like these preschool day camps for those weekdays where you find yourself needing a fun activity and these family-friendly festivals for any open weekends. We also rounded up 25 STEM activities you can do right at home with your preschoolers that are sure to turn an ordinary morning into an extraordinary one. 

Feeling low on inspiration or in need of a new activity? Head over to our event calendar for daily activities happening all around town or our May GoList for some of the most interesting activities happening throughout the month. Make sure you also sign up for our weekly newsletter to have everything delivered right to your inbox so you're always on top of what's happening both on our site and in our city.

We love to share family-friendly events, and work hard to make sure we highlight as many as possible, however, we'd love for you to help too! If you notice that your awesome event hasn't made it to our calendar yet, please submit your event to our calendar so we can get it published ASAP and share it with all of our readers. 

Now it's time to start thinking about the weekend, so let's check out what's happening around town!

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed