New Jersey

Weekend Fun: Seafarers, Chocolate & Vanilla Fest, Free Movies

As August comes to a close, make the most of summery weekend fun throughout New Jersey, from festivals to free movies on the beach.

Whet your appetite at tasty food festivals like the Chocolate & Vanilla Family Festival and Warinanco Food Festival. Go back in time at historical-themed celebrations this weekend, including Industrial Crafts Day and Seafarers' Weekend at Historic Cold Springs Village.

Young stuffed-animal fanatics will enjoy Teddy Bear Day at Space Farms, while music lovers of all ages won't want to miss the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival.

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including 25 Ways to Beat the Heat with New Jersey Kids in August. And look to our August GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

35 Things To Do with Tweens in New Jersey

Your tweens may be too big for bouncy houses and tea parties, yet too young for solo outings with friends. But they still love family fun (even if they won't always admit it). When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing things to do with tweens in New Jersey. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling and mini golf, tackling the fast slides at a water park, or seeing a play or concert together.

Read on for 30 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

Easy Waterfall Hikes for Families in Northern NJ

There's a lot more to East Coast waterfalls than the iconic Niagara Falls in Upstate New York. New Jersey has plenty of beautiful waterfalls—many of them accessible via an easy hike or walk. From the roaring Paterson Great Falls—the second-most-powerful waterfall east of the Mississippi—to the charming Hemlock Falls in the South Mountain Reservation, we've rounded up a handful of waterfall hikes in northern NJ that you can tackle with even the littlest trekkers. 

Waterfall hikes are great for goal-oriented kids and anyone who needs a reminder that sometimes the best adventures are in our own backyards. Read on for our picks.

Swim Lessons and Classes for New Jersey Kids

Looking for a way to introduce your child to the pool? Parent-child swim classes are a great way to help kids develop a love of swimming and instill confidence around the water. These programs teach water skills in a safe and age-appropriate way, and most allow children as young as 6 months to participate. Once your little one gets the hang of it, you can take the family to the pool, beach, or water park with confidence. And most programs continue to offer lessons for kids up to age 12 and beyond.

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs.

Weekend Fun: Passaic County Fair, Summer Festivals, Olde Freehold Day

With a full roster of summer fairs and freebies, this weekend's calendar proves that summer is far from over. Have old-fashioned fun at Olde Freehold Day and Fire Muster & Fire Fighter's Family Day. Enjoy several hours of live music at Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival.

Save your change for treats and lemonade, and take advantage of free admission at the Passaic County Fair, 2nd Annual Summer Fun Festival, and Summit Summer Street Festival. And don't miss the last weekend of Alstede's Peach Harvest Festival.

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including our End-of-Summer Bucket List. And look to our event calendar and August GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Top Mommy-and-Me Classes for NJ Babies and Toddlers

Parent-and-child classes can be some of the most wonderful bonding activities during those early years (and months)—plus it's a great excuse to get out of the house! These interactive mommy-and-me classes throughout New Jersey help babies, toddlers, and preschoolers forge new friendships with others, sample a host of playthings, and test out new skills. 

The choices seem to multiply every year: in music, gymnastics, dance, languages, swimming, and more. And don’t expect these sessions to be filled with just moms—dads, nannies, grandparents, and all types of caregivers can join in the fun. Some classes offer independent play for toddlers, or even options where siblings can attend.

Read on for a sampling of the best baby classes around New Jersey. Find even more options in our NJ Classes Guide and Directory of Listings.

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah—tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic highlights below.

25 Fun Ways To Beat the Heat with NJ Kids in August

If you're suffering from hot-weather burnout, don't sweat it: New Jersey has tons of cool activities to help the whole family chill out when the temperatures soar. From beaches and splash parks to blissfully air-conditioned bowling alleys and arcades, we've got the best ways to beat the heat during the sizzling second half of summer. 

Check out even more refreshing activities in our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide. Stay cool, NJ!

Deals and Special Offers on New Jersey Kids Classes

If it feels like kids activities are really busting your budget, you're in luck! Some of New Jersey's much-loved children's programs have offered to extend special money-saving offers to Mommy Poppins readers just in time for fall. Read on to find deals on academic enrichment courses, theater and dance classes, swimming lessons, kids cooking classes, and so much more.

Don't dilly-dally, because these deals will literally disappear as they expire. If you don't see a deal listed below it means the offer is no longer available. If you're looking for even more kids classes, visit our New Jersey Classes Guide, or you can even search our Directory by location and age!

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