Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

Animal Farms and Petting Zoos for Boston Kids

Living in or near the city means most kids today don’t have a lot of access to farm animals. But many children absolutely love cows, chickens, pigs, goats, and sheep. If your little one warms to barnyard creatures, they'll have a blast at one of these local farms or zoos, where they can interact with some favorite furry creatures. 

How to Deal with the Trickiest, Stickiest, Messiest New Parent Problems

Protecting your little one is probably at the top of every parent's to do list, but between the sleep deprivation and the fact that you seem to be missing the instruction manual to your new bundle of joy, a little guidance goes a really long way. After all, parenthood hurls a lot of tough stuff at you in the first year—sometimes literally—and you don't have the time to desperately search for solutions. You barely even have time to shower.

Splash Pads Around Houston

There's no denying that when the first heat wave of summer hits Houston, it hits hard. And as every Houstonian knows, once it comes it's here for the long haul - sometimes well into "fall." This means it becomes crucial to find fun ways to keep the kids cool without locking them indoors. Luckily, there is no shortage of splash pads here, and we rounded up splash pads and spray parks that span all of Houston and its surrounding communities.

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged outdoor water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for families in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey, including beachside spots, and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

Find more rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide, including indoor water parks for those rainy or cold days.

Family Friendly Waterfront Dining in Fairfield County

It took me a long to admit this to myself, but since we're among friends I'll just come out and say it: I do not enjoy eating in restaurants with my children. Or, at least I didn't. Now my kids are older and reasonable and do not have temper tantrums if their grilled cheeses are cut into quarters instead of halves--or at any rate they don't do it often. Even though, for a long time, my idea of "family friendly waterfront dining" was grabbing a blanket, some drinks, and those precisely cut grilled cheese sandwiches and heading to my town beach, I have recently branched out to actual restaurants where I leave the picnic basket at home. In the warmer months, there's nothing quite like a meal with a waterfront view, and the options in Fairfield County do not disappoint. Here are some of our favorites.

Newport Green Park: An Urban Oasis and Playground in Jersey City

Nestled between two urban downtowns is a gem of a play area known as Newport Green Park. Created in 2012 as part of Jersey City’s revitalization, this peaceful oasis boasts an imaginative playground, the Hudson River’s only man-made beach, and a walkway to Hoboken, all with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. This day trip–worthy park is also home to a carousel and splash pad.

Best Broadway Shows for Kids and Families

Whether you're visiting NYC or live here year-round, seeing a Broadway show is a special family experience. Kids are sure to remember it vividly, and chances are parents won't soon forget the credit card bill. That's why it's so important to pick a production wisely, especially when bringing young children to their first Broadway performance.

While Disney juggernauts The Lion King and Aladdin are popular options, there are other kid-friendly choices that aren't as obvious. We've rounded up our 10 best Broadway musicals for families and organized them by age appropriateness. As a bonus, we've also got the scoop on how to save big bucks on tickets thanks to various deals.

Find more upcoming NYC shows in our event calendar, or read reviews of current family productions to find the one that best suits your children.

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