New Jersey

Historic Villages in NJ That Are Fun for Kids and Families

Unplug and step back in time at one of New Jersey's historic villages, which offer families a taste of what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Located throughout the state, these historic villages feature blacksmith shops, working farms, gristmills, historic houses, general stores, and more, and many host family-friendly events throughout the year. Whether you're looking for an authentic historical outing or an afternoon of quaint shopping, these 11 spots make for a great family day trip.

For more historical day trip inspiration, check out our list of Revolutionary War Sites To Visit with Kids

Things To Do in Clinton, NJ: Small-Town Charm, History, and Culture

For many locals, one of the most picturesque spots in Hunterdon County is Clinton. This New Jersey town boasts lovely views of the Raritan River running through the historic downtown area, and a majestic red mill that's one of the most-photographed buildings in NJ. Clinton is just 1.5 square miles, but what it loses in size it makes up for in atmosphere—there are great nature spots for hiking, picnicking, and swimming, as well as museums and historic sites, holiday-themed festivals and parades, and family-friendly restaurants.

This charming small town makes for a picture-perfect family day trip all year round. Read on for the highlights.

Montclair Art Museum Is Perfect for a Kid-Size Culture Fix

The Montclair Art Museum is a great place to introduce kids to the visual arts. My 6-year-old daughter and I moved to Montclair last year, and when a Sunday afternoon opened up on our calendar recently, we finally got a chance to visit. Even my very active daughter, whose idea of culture is cheese (as in Chuck E.), was eager to go inside the big building she sees on our frequent trips to the Whole Foods right across the street.

To be honest, art museums plus kids doesn't always equal a successful day of art appreciation. For me, it's more about exposing my daughter to art and culture, even in small (or local) doses. That being said, the Montclair Art Museum absolutely did not disappoint! Plus, a visit to MAM makes a great post-brunch stop during a family-friendly day in Montclair.

Read on for our day—well, 90 minutes—at this awesome Northern NJ museum.

Things To Do in NJ this Weekend: Halloween Events, Cranberry Festival

It's a boo-tiful pre-Halloween weekend in New Jersey, with a full roster of celebratory festivities. It's never to early to start collecting goodies at trick-or-treat events like Boo at the Boardwalk and Boo at Cohanzick Zoo. Get in the Halloween spirit at a local bash, including Westfield's Addamsfest and the Cape May Halloween Parade. Or celebrate in a unique way on the Halloween Express or at Allaire's haunted village.

Halloween is not the only cause for celebration this weekend. Revel in the season at harvest events like the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival, Hoboken Harvest Festival, and Thompson Park Day.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids and our Halloween Events and Guide for NJ Kids for more options, including the Ultimate Halloween Guide for NJ Kids. And look to our October GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Easy Halloween Treats for Kids and Classroom Parties

Candy bars aren't the only Halloween treats to hand out this October 31. School kids across the country are getting ready to celebrate with Halloween parades and classroom parties, meaning you might be on the hook for homemade Halloween treats.

But there's no need to fear the sign-up email headed your way. I've planned more than a few Halloween parties and have put together a list of easy Halloween treats to help parents skip the last-minute scramble. These tried-and-true spooky snacks transform pretzel sticks into ghouls, mandarins into pumpkins, and make enough Monster Mash Brownies that will turn the entire class into sugar monsters.

Best Places To Trick-or-Treat in New Jersey

If you're looking to up your Halloween game this year, we've got the scoop on the best places to trick-or-treat throughout New Jersey. These Halloween-obsessed towns and neighborhoods deck out their homes every year with fabulous decorations that delight trick-or-treaters big and small. Others turn their streets into festive Halloween block parties.

Where can you join in the fun near your home? We’ve compiled a list of more than 30 NJ towns and neighborhoods that are worth a visit. Those who make the trip can expect lots of treats—not to mention some prime photo ops.

Find more fun in our New Jersey Halloween Guide, including pumpkin patches and the best FREE Halloween events for local kids.

100 Things To Do in California with Kids Before They Leave The Nest

Whether your kids are leaving the nest in one year or in ten years, there are at least 100 things to do in California worthy of any family's bucket list. From San Diego to Crescent City and every town in between, there are amusement parks, great hikes, drives to the mountains, adventure activities, and so much more!

Did you know that California has 58 counties? Okay, maybe your bucket list doesn't need to cover all 58, but we have awesome family excursions covering over 30 counties across California's 163,696 square miles. How many have your kids experienced?

Polar Express and Christmas Trains for New Jersey Kids

Every year, New Jersey's railroads get decked out in their holiday best to offer special Christmas train rides for the whole family. Wait—Christmas? We know, it's a bit early to start hauling out the holly, but these Christmas trains are a popular holiday tradition, and they sell out fast!

Though these trains don't go all the way to the North Pole, most include a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with treats, caroling, and stories. The popular Polar Express in Whippany invites kids to wear their pajamas and hear a classic Christmas story read aloud on the rails, while another ferries passengers to a Christmas tree farm.

Read on to find out where to take a Christmas train ride with Santa, and book your tickets as soon as possible. Then you can put Christmas aside for a while and get back to your fall fun.

Things to Do in New Jersey on Columbus Day Weekend

Columbus Day weekend is jam-packed with three busy days of festivities! Have a thrilling time at theme parks that are decked out for Halloween and fall, like Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest, Diggerland's Diggerfest, iPlay's Trick or Treat Around the Park, and Storybook Land's Happy Hayrides

Go festival-hopping throughout the state this weekend at events that celebrate kites, pumpkins, the harvest, books, and even garlic! Little truckers can explore vehicles at Touch a Truck and the Millburn Fire Department Open House on Saturday. Plus, enjoy theatrical productions of Pinkalicious and Paw Patrol Live.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including 75+ Free Things to Do with New Jersey Kids in October. And look to our October GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Easy Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Ideas for Halloween

If your family pulled out the Halloween decorations well before the first pumpkin spice latte sip of 2019, then we're sure you're looking for great pumpkin carving ideas now, too.

The cornerstone of any great Halloween display—the jack-o-lantern—is always one of our favorite things to do with kids in the fall, right after the apple picking and pumpkin patch outing, of course. Pumpkin carving is one of those rare activities that every member of the family can enjoy equally. Little kids love the mess, big kids love the chance to wield a knife, and parents love to show off our creative skills.

We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite pumpkin carving stencils, all of which include a link to the FREE pumpkin carving design. With a little practice and plenty of options, we're sure you'll find the pumpkin design that captures your family's Halloween vibe, from Baby's First Halloween sweetness to Cyclops to superhero character themes. So read on to step up your Halloween fun (and game).

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