New Jersey

Easy Spring Break Getaways for New Jersey Families

Spring break means sunshine and outdoor fun. But if a trip to Florida or the Caribbean is not in your family's plan this season, a low-key getaway that's closer to home is an ideal way to welcome warmer weather.

From New Jersey beach towns to campgrounds and indoor water parks and resorts, we've found the best options for fun family destinations right here in the Garden State. And if you're looking for a shorter jaunt minus the overnight stay, check out our guide to New Jersey family day trips. But don't forget we just profiled some pretty cool family travel deals too!

Largest Indoor Water Park in the US Opens at Kalahari Poconos

It’s official. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains is now home to the country’s largest indoor water park.

In early March the African-themed resort completed a more-than-100,000-square-foot addition to its existing indoor water park, bringing the total to 220,000 square feet, more than double its largest competitor in the Poconos vacation region, and besting the record-holder, its own Kalahari resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

The news arrives just before school kids head off for spring break, making it likely welcome news for families looking for a quick water-themed getaway, or even a day trip as Kalahari allows day-pass entry to its water park.

New Escape Room Center Opens in Bridgewater, New Jersey

Think a recipe for fun includes locking yourself and your kids inside a small room for an hour? That's the idea behind escape room adventure games, an activity that's become a worldwide phenomenon over the last year or so. New Jerseyans now have a new option for escape room fun: one of the state's largest facilities, the Escape Room Center, just opened in Bridgewater, and it makes for an exciting and memorable outing for families with older children, tweens, and teens. 

10 Tips to Organize a Community Easter Egg Hunt

When my son was nearly two, I was excited to start new traditions, especially around the holidays. And while it was easy to come up with activities for us, like decorating Easter eggs, I had a hard time finding an Easter Egg Hunt that I felt would be age appropriate for him. I knew he wouldn’t quite get the point of the hunt, and might even possibly be trampled by older kids. I also wanted a tradition that we could count on year after year, creating a lasting and memorable experience.

I didn’t grow up with local Easter traditions, and occasionally times like the holidays make it harder to feel connected. So I decided to do something about it. I organized a neighborhood hunt for my son and the other toddling tots I've grown to know and love from neighborhood mommy meet-ups. The egg hunt has been such a hit that we have repeated it every year, and each year we've found more ways to make it special and grow the participation into a true neighborhood event where we all make new friends, build memories, and enjoy some true village parenting.

So, here are my 10 tips and tricks for organizing a great, easy community Easter egg hunt!

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Dinosaurs, Paw Patrol, Makers Day

It’s the first full weekend of spring! Easter is just a hop around the corner, so get into the spirit with an Easter bunny breakfast at the Freehold YMCA or an egg hunt at Kierson Farm. Dinosaurs are also big this weekend: your dino-lover can decorate dinosaur cookies at a sweet workshop hosted by Hoboken’s Sugarsuckle or see the prehistoric creatures come to life in Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live at the Count Basie Theater. Preschoolers' favorite rescue dogs take to the stage at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in PAW Patrol Live!. And Saturday marks the third annual NJ Makers Day, a statewide celebration of curiosity, invention, and creativity, with a cool lineup of events all day long. For more, be sure to check out our March Go List and Events Calendar, with fun new activities added daily.

Affordable Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

Summer camps in New Jersey vary wildly in price, so it’s important to choose a camp that’s right for your child AND your pocketbook. Many camps let you register by the week or even the day, so you don't have to commit to an entire summer. Other options, like three-day weeks and half-day camp, also allow you to keep costs down. The cost of certain camps can be applied against the child care tax credit for children of single parents/two working parents, and some camps offer financial assistance—especially ones that get money from donors. Here we've rounded up 15 affordable day camp options for NJ kids. To find more New Jersey summer camps, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Weekday Fun for NJ Kids: Storytimes, Fishing Clinic, Makers Day

Spring has sprung, and Mommy Poppins is on board with a week full of seasonal activities. Spend time outdoors at events that include Playtime at the Zoo, Growing in the Garden, and Fishing Clinic for Kids. It’s also a big week for free fun, with Art at the Library, Story & Craft Hour, Kids Music Go Round, and NJ Makers Day.

Read on for the best children's events the week of March 20–24, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and March GoList for even more early spring fun.

Amazing Water Park Deals for Spring Break or Family Summer Vacation

Spring break and summer vacation deals have stormed in like a March blizzard, and there are big discounts to be had for family travel.

Awesome water parks like Atlantis, the new Nickelodeon resort in Punta Cana, and Beaches Turks & Caicos are slashing prices on trips booked in March. Plus resorts in Orlando, Punta Cana, Vegas, and Hawaii are a few more bargain options on tap for early spring. If you prefer your water fun indoors, all Great Wolf Lodge properties are promoting legitimate spring savings. We even threw in a few East Coast spring ski resort bargains.

Read on for our roundup of family getaway deals, but act fast; these offers will be gone faster than a melting snowman on a hot spring day.

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