Central New Jersey Summer Art Camps

Summer is the perfect time of year for artists to express themselves. Summer art camps allow children the opportunity to build confidence, enhance creativity and have fun.  With its close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, central New Jersey is home to a wealth of talented artists hoping to educate and inspire children of all ages.  Here are a few summer camp options for parents looking to inspire their little Da Vinci during the long hot days of summer vacation. And to find out all the day camp options in NJ, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.

Weekday Picks: Frozen on Ice and Four Free Things, January 4-8

Apparently many kids are not heading straight back to school on Monday; some have another entire week. Others, like my children, return on Wednesday. As soon as I get used to having them back in school, it will be time for the weekend. We weathered two weeks of influenza in my house, so I am grateful for the extra days, and I fully intend to take advantage of good health with some of the free stuff this city has to offer. Free is always good after the excesses of the holidays.

While it is hard not to be a bit sick of the mall, chances are you are heading there anyhow for sales or exchanges. The South Bay Galleria has free juggling at its kids club this week. The LEGO lovers in your household may have cleaned up during the holidays, but the first week of the month means a free monthly mini model build. Plus there is a free admission day at the Huntington; showers are anticipated, but if that doesn't pan out, this week could be a last chance to enjoy those gardens before El Niño's deluge later in the month.

Disney on Ice’s Frozen in Long Beach is not free, but for fans who want to squeeze in one last winter celebration before school starts this one is worth doing. And speaking of frozen things in Long Beach, this is the last week to catch CHILL at the Queen Mary.

Weekday Event Picks for NJ Kids: National Spaghetti Day, Music Together, January 4-8

As we wind down from the craziness of the holiday season, simple and budget-friendly activities are on tap this first full week of the year. An assortment of fun library freebies include National Spaghetti Day Craft, a complimentary Music Together Demo Class, Afternoon Lego Club and Old & New Video Games. Start the new year on an active note with Baby & Me Hike and Yoga Storytime. And don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more options!

Weekday Picks for LI Kids: Holiday Train Display, Creation Station, January 4-8

The holidays might be over and school is back in session, but there is still one last bit of seasonal fun to soak in this week. Check out the holiday train display at the Cradle of Aviation and the holiday lights in Long Beach. There's also fun for toddlers, with bouncing in Syosset and arts and crafts in Center Moriches.

For even more activities, check out our Long Island Events Calendar, which is updated daily. You can also get the best events of the week sent directly to your inbox each week if you sign up for our newsletter.

Things to Do for Train-Loving Kids in New Jersey

If Thomas, Percy and James are a part of your daily conversations, take advantage of the many New Jersey train and railroad attractions. Located throughout the garden state, each location offers a different experience, but will surely put a smile on any train lovers face. If you're looking for the Easter Express, the Polar Express, or just a basic train-lovin' experience, these are the hot spots, guaranteed.

10 Cool New Party Places for NYC Kids

If you're looking for a new celebratory experience, we've found 10 fresh party packages at venues new and old, all of which are sure to be a hit at your child's next birthday (or heck, even their un-birthday.) With party packages this cool, its a shame to celebrate but once a year. You'll be able to please even the pickiest tween with unique fetes like zombie laser tag and jewelry making with semi-precious stones. Find more awesome kids' birthday ideas in our jam-packed Party Guide.

Weekday Fun: Family Astronomy, Puppet Show, Free Children's Museum Hours

Although this week means back to school for most NYC kids, families can still carve out a little time for fun or some final seasonal celebrations, like Wednesday's Three Kings Day Parade. Other highlights for the week include Thomas the Tank Engine at the New York Botanical Garden Train Show, a sensory-themed puppet production at the Morris Park branch of the NYPL, FREE admission to CMOM and a family astronomy program at AMNH.

Families can also explore one of our favorite kid spots that opened last year, take a peak at what NYC parents can expect in 2016 or plan out the entire month with the help of our newly minted and jam-packed January Go List.

As always, more family activities can be found in our Event Calendar.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Three Kings Day, Fashion Arts, STEAM, Jan. 4-8

Happy new year! As we return from the holidays to our usual routines, so do the types of events on tap for Westchester families. While a couple holiday events are cropping up—such as Three Kings Day Celebration and New Year’s Firework Painting—there’s also a departure from holiday fare with novelties like 19th Century Tin-Punch Decoration.

Regardless, we understand the need to keep the kids occupied and have compiled our top picks below. One added perk: They're all FREE! If one of your new year’s resolutions is to plan ahead and identify more enriching opportunities for your kids, look no further than our January GoList and our Event Calendar!

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