New Jersey

June GoList: Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

The school year is winding down, and summer fun is heating up. Most of NJ's amusement and water parks are now open for the season, and Jersey Shore beaches are ready for summer revelers.

June also brings a fresh crop of fairs and festivals, along with strawberry picking, Father's Day fun, and the start of free summer movies. You can camp out by a lake, celebrate fireflies and fairies, and step back in time to the Italian Renaissance and the American Civil War.

Of course, you can always find more fun in our daily Event Calendar.

Read on for more of our favorite family events of the month. Enjoy the start of summer, and happy June!

Weekday Fun for NJ Kids: Memorial Day, Storytimes, Pet's Night Out

Kick off this last week of the month on a festive note, with Memorial Day activities that include the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival and Memorial Day Weekend at Diggerland. May transitions into June with a bunch of fun freebies, such as Preschool Story and Music Time, Mommy & Me Storytime, First Friday Storytime, Let’s Fly a Kite, and Otto the Auto. And bring your furry family member to Friday's night free event, Pet's Night Out.

Read on for our best children's events the week of May 29 – June 2, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and Spring Fun Guide for even more late-spring fun.

New Discovery at Sea Brings Science and Nature Themes to Princess Cruises

Cruises are fun. How can you beat a giant floating resort with entertainment, amusements, unlimited food, and fun at every turn? And that’s just on the ship. My favorite part of a cruise is waking up in a new location to explore.

Now, Princess Cruises is bringing more joy of discovery to your next vacation at sea with a new partnership. Teaming up with Discovery Channel, new Discovery At Sea excursions and on-ship programming bring to life the nature, wildlife, and history of each destination. We were hosted on the Grand Princess, sailing year round from San Francisco, and the first ship to offer the new Discovery at Sea programming.

Great Amusement Parks for Preschoolers and Toddlers in New Jersey

Looking for a place to take your little ones for gentle thrills and kid-friendly amusements? We've rounded up 15 NJ amusement parks that are perfect for the younger set. Some, like Storybook Land, are geared exclusively toward small children, while others, like Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Boardwalk, offer a solid selection of kiddie rides in addition to bigger thrills. 

We've limited our list of amusement parks to those located in New Jersey—to search for more tot-friendly spots in surrounding areas, check out the Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC.

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

When the heat becomes unbearable with the kids this summer, you might be yearning to bust open a fire hydrant. Before you do, consider one of New Jersey's splash pads and sprinkler parks, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, organized by region. Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park!); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

Memorial Day Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Water Parks, Parades, Beach

The unofficial start to the summer is here, New Jersey, and that means plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends! If you're planning to stick around town, there's fun to be had in every corner of our state. This weekend marks the season opening of Jersey Shore beaches, and amusement parks and attractions, including the Land of Make BelieveField Station Dinosaurs, and most of the outdoor water parks, including Raging Waters at Morey's Piers. It's also the start of strawberry picking season at many area farms.

Truck lovers will want to check out Memorial Day Weekend at Diggerland, and thrill seekers may want to take part in Your First Mud Run in Garfield. Round out your long weekend with the Fit & Fun Festival at Camden Children's Garden, the Wildwoods International Kite Festival, or the Woodland Park Street Fair. Stay up for the fireworks at Asbury Park Beach on Sunday.

For additional Memorial Day weekend options, take a look at our full Event Calendar, or peruse our Day Trips Guide to explore a new-to-you playground, park, or even a cute New Jersey town.

Also, this is the last weekend to cast your vote for the New Jersey Besties! When you vote you'll be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a luxurious NYC getaway including a suite credit from Suiteness and a custom itinerary designed by Mommy Poppins herself, Anna Fader, or a two-night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. The contest ends May 28, so vote today!  

Weekday Fun for NJ Kids: Kite Festival, Farm Animals, Crafty Kids

Springtime is the perfect time to spend with farm animals. This week, meet some farm friends at Abma's Barnyard Visits, and learn more about farm inhabitants at Terhune Orchards’ Read & Pick with a farm theme. Zoo animals are in the spotlight as well at Turtle Back Zoo's Night Moves. Plus, go fly a kite or watch them soar through the sky, as the holiday weekend kicks off at Wildwoods International Kite Festival.

Read on for our best children's events the week of May 22–26, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and May GoList for even more May fun.

Also, this is the last week to cast your vote for the New Jersey Besties! When you vote you'll be entered to win one of two terrific prizes: a luxurious NYC getaway including a suite credit from Suiteness and a custom itinerary designed by Mommy Poppins herself, Anna Fader, or a two-night stay for four at the Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains. The contest ends May 28, so vote today!  

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.

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.

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