The Best Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in NJ

From ice fishing and tubing to skiing and snowboarding, families can make the best of the frigid temperatures: try ice skating! There are many indoor ice skating rinks located across the great Garden State, many with skating lessons. Take a lesson, play some hockey or just have some fun skating during a public session. Here’s a listing of indoor rinks by county for NJ families, and if you're looking for something a bit chillier, check out our Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in NJ. For all wintry sports, check out our Ski & Snow Guide.

Yummy Kids' Birthday Party Ideas in Fairfield County

Parties center around food anyway, so why not let the kids cook and bake?! The birthday boy or girl with their posse of sous chefs will get their hands in the mix, cooking up all flavors of fun. Some options are solely for sweet tooths, others provide full-course meals. All of them take the mess off your hands, whether it's held in your home or on site in Fairfield County.  Best of all, this kind of party suits any age -- everyone's gotta eat! For even more fun party ideas check out our Party Guide!

Catch Some Air at These Nearby Snowboarding Parks

Snowboarding is no longer skiing's little sister as millions hit the mountain by board every year from teens to middle school kids to millennial and Gen. X parents. Families in the greater New York City and Philadelphia areas have nearly a dozen snowboard terrain parks and board-friendly mountains close enough for a day trip.

We rounded up nine local ski resorts where families will find boarding lessons for beginners and acres of freestyle terrain for your kids who are ready to move on and looking for jibs, kickers, handrails and more freestyle fun.

Need recommendations on where to take the kids for downhill or cross-country skiing? Or another winter sport? Check out our Ski & Snow Sports Guide covering New England, the greater New York area and California.

Ice Skating Lessons in Fairfield County

I grew up in Florida, but when I settled in Connecticut with my family, I harbored fantasies about the New England winters we would spend skating on frozen ponds and whiling away the afternoons under crisp blue skies. My son inherited a sturdy pair of skates which we eagerly strapped on. How hard could it be? In a few minutes he was cold and frustrated from falling and falling and falling. I knew it was time to call in the professionals. Thankfully, there is no shortage of professional coaching available in Fairfield County in everything from figure skating to hockey to ice dancing and even ice theater. For even more winter fun check out our CT Winter Fun Guide.

Giocare Play Spot: New Kid Playroom Opens in South Park Slope

We love checking out NYC's newest and coolest indoor play areas, so we couldn't wait to drop in to the recently opened Giocare Play Spot in South Park Slope, Brooklyn. Catering to infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Giocare offers drop-in play sessions, classes, storytimes and more.

We've got the scoop on Giocare and everything you need to know before you go—just in time for an NYC winter when we're all looking for new boredom-busting play ideas.

Best STEM classes in Central New Jersey

An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM refers to the increased focus on these subjects in school.  Beginning as early as kindergarten, kids are using technology in their classrooms and learning new ways to solve problems.  If your son or daughter enjoys math and science, they would probably love an extracurricular activity that incorporates STEM in fun and creative ways.  Check out some of the great places in central New Jersey that offer classes on robotics, computers and science.  For days when you are home with your budding engineer, check out our list of great toys that teach STEM skills through play.

Fun for LA Kids this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend, Jan 16 - 18

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" This weekend, families can join together to answer that question, by participating in the MLK Day of Service. (We have some great suggestions for kid-friendly volunteer opportunities to get you started!) A day spent giving back is just one way to honor Dr. King's memory. There are parades, celebrations, and concerts throughout the weekend to bring our families and communities together in honor of his legacy.

Little ones can learn from Dr. King's example as well, with a number of events this weekend particularly geared toward young children. Kids can listen to stories, celebrate the diversity our world has to offer, and share their dreams for a better world.

Inspiration can be found on other fronts as well, with Ben Franklin, Mary Poppins, and Pinocchio all serving as examples of what one can achieve. Whether you're hoping to achieve a cleaner environment, a succulent crepe, or the maddest tea party, it's all good when it means quality time spent with your kids. (Or without them. We don't judge.)

Keep reading for some of our most inspired picks for this weekend.

MLK Jr. Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Tributes, Ben Franklin's Birthday and OrKID Days

The kids have a long weekend, an extra day off from school. However, this day off means more than just 'no homework.' This day honors an important man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar has many ways to celebrate his legacy. Many museums are hosting family activities. There are a multitude of service opportunities, concerts and crafts that commemorate Dr. King's life. We also have a roundup of school's out day camps if you are still looking for care for your child.

After observing the holiday, check our January GoList for something to do. Visit Historic Philadelphia to celebrate Ben Franklin's birthday, or see the orchids at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. Whatever you do, make the most of this day off from school.

Be sure to sign up to receive our Weekend Round up every Thursday and our Weekday Picks every Sunday delivered directly to your inbox. Have a great weekend!

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