2017 New Jersey Bestie Guide: Family Fun Winners

New Jersey families, you have spoken! We asked you all to weigh in on New Jersey's Besties—the best family businesses and resources in categories that range from best restaurants, parties, activities, and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources in New Jersey, it was hard to choose just 23, but you were up to the task! Each winner was selected from a competitive crop of 10 nominees in each category.

A special thank you to the Bestie Sponsors, and congratulations to the four lucky voters who were picked at random to enjoy some amazing prizes!

We've grouped the winners into three winning categories: Parenting Resources, Enrichment Programs, and Family Fun

Without further ado, here is your guide to the best of family-friendly New Jersey, the 2017 New Jersey Besties!

Best Parenting Resources Winners Best Enrichment Programs Winners

2017 New Jersey Bestie Guide: Enrichment Program Winners

New Jersey families, you have spoken! We asked you all to weigh in on New Jersey's Besties—the best family businesses and resources in categories that range from best theme parks, restaurants, parties, activities, preschools, and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources in New Jersey, it was hard to choose just 23, but you were up to the task! Each winner was selected from a competitive crop of 10 nominees in each category.

A special thank you to the Bestie Sponsors, and congratulations to the four lucky voters who were picked at random to enjoy some amazing prizes!

We've grouped the winners into three winning categories: Parenting Resources, Enrichment Programs, and Family Fun

Without further ado, here is your guide to the best of family-friendly New Jersey, the 2017 New Jersey Besties! 

Best Parenting Resources Winners | Best Family Fun Winners

Adventures at Governors Island: Zip, Climb, and Get Lost (for Fun!)

Every summer, the activity-packed Governors Island seems to become even more of a family fun zone. Its latest kid-centric destination is Adventures at Governors Island, a trio of thrilling outdoor attractions that debuted over the Memorial Day holiday. My tween and her friends were so excited to check out the 300-foot zip line, the 25-foot climbing tower, and the 3,600-square-foot maze that we decided to brave opening weekend. Overall we had an awesome experience (yes, even the parents), but we have some important tips to help your family get the most out of your Adventures.

Raring to ready, set...summer? Make the most of these sunny, warm days with our Summer Fun Guide and Parks & Playgrounds Guide!

Free Summer Outdoor Concerts for Boston Families

Summertime is jam time, whether your genre of choice is kindie rock, roots, jazz, blues, world, or classical music. Boston neighborhoods and surrounding towns feature lots of popular local musicians in their summer outdoor music series, and some concerts are aimed specifically at kids. With our roundup of summer music series as your guide, you could take your kids to a community concert almost every day this season. Best of all, the performances are all free!
Editor's note: Be sure to check back often through June for updates, as concert dates are still being added and websites updated.

Philly Area Beer Gardens That Are Kid-Friendly

Al fresco dining and drinking is a natural match for parents who enjoy getting out and having a semi-adult evening without having to call a babysitter. Which is why beer gardens are such a draw for parents. The outdoor space is perfect for kids who may be a bit on the loud side (speaking from personal experience), and beer gardens often include games that kids enjoy. Not to mention all the other kids that are there who they can play with. But not all beer gardens are created equal, or are quite as welcoming to parents with kids in tow (understandably so). So here is your go-to list for which beer gardens are the best for families.

16 Houston Parks With Lots of Shade

Being outside pretty much tops our to-do list every day, and we're constantly going from one activity to the next, be it to a neighborhood splashpad, a nearby playground or a park with plenty of trails for biking. Basically, staying inside all day isn't an option; we would all go stir crazy! With summer upon us, I'm not willing to sacrifice that time outside as the temperatures start steadily climbing, but I am more aware of which places offer some shade so we can beat the heat... even if only for a few minutes. Here are some great parks in Houston that offer at least a moderate respite from the brutal summer temps.

Free Things to Do This Summer with Kids in the Hartford Area

100 days of summer go by fast and parents spend most of their children's summer vacation looking for ways to keep them active, engaged, and entertained. We know you will likely spend time relaxing at the beach, discovering new playgrounds or best selling books, checking out the latest museum exhibits, or lounging by a pool in a backyard or at an amusement park. For all the other moments when children declare that there is nothing to do, here are a few ways to prove them wrong. And even better -- most of the summer activities and events are FREE! Enjoy the sunshine, time with your children, and the savings. 

Strawberry Festivals Around Boston This Summer

Strawberry picking is a nice, low-key summer activity to enjoy with the kids, but sometimes you want to kick it up a notch. These Boston-area farms, markets and restaurants are doing exactly that with June festivals featuring hayrides, bouncy houses, live entertainment and fun for kids. There's also plenty of strawberry shortcake to try, plus other delightful treats, too.

So bring your kids and your appetite: It's time to celebrate strawberry season!

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