Whether you have an aspiring Ina Garten at home, or you're just looking for something different to do with the kids, consider signing up for a fun, hands-on cooking class. We’ve rounded up several places throughout NJ that offer wonderful programs for children of all ages. Cooking classes not only teach culinary technique, they’re also a great way to try new foods, master hand-eye coordination, and practice social skills like sharing and following directions. For more enrichment ideas, visit our guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for New Jersey Kids.
Bambino Chef – Jersey City
Located on Newark Avenue in downtown Jersey City, this warm and inviting cooking school offers a variety of programs for kids of all ages. Current class options include Vegan Kitchen, Sensory Mini Bambino, and Dinner Club. There's also a free, weekly drop-in event called Lunch & Play. Bambino Chef is a popular choice for kids’ birthday parties, too.
Chef It Up – Nutley, Budd Lake
At Chef It Up, kids learn to prepare basic recipes in a fun-filled environment. Mommy & Me classes are available for younger children, while older kids can partake in sessions such as “A Healthy Start” and “Dinner is Served.” The facility can be reserved for birthday parties, field trips, and adult nights, too.
Classic Thyme Cooking School – Westfield
Children can learn to cook breakfast, dinner, dessert, and more! “Parent & Me” classes for kids ages 2 and up are offered both weekdays and weekends. Drop-off classes for ages 5-10, as well as a Friday night cooking club for ages 10 and up, are also available.
Ridgewood Culinary Studio – Ridgewood
Children’s classes for ages 3 and up are offered year-round at this fully equipped cooking studio. Options range from easy recipes for younger children to more advanced techniques for older kids. Students will learn about kitchen safety and nutrition in addition to preparing delicious meals each week.
Splurge Bakery – Millburn
Famous for its yummy desserts and personalized cookies, Splurge also hosts classes and parties at its adorable bakery on Main Street. Class offerings vary but tend to focus on the sweeter side, with options such as “Cake Pop Class” for 5-8 years and “Basic Cake Decorating” for 12 years and up.
Kitchen Kapers – Moorestown
Hands-on instruction for kids ages 6 and up includes classes on pancakes, sushi, and guacamole, as well as seasonal sessions like Fall in Love with Fall Flavors for tweens and teens, and The Art of Caking: Halloween Edition for ages 8 and up.
P.E.P. Club Kids' Cuisine – Warren
Kids ages 3–12 can make delicious dishes using easy-to-follow recipes for meals such as mac & cheese with fruit flowers, quesadillas, and strawberry and banana–stuffed French toast. Drop in for one class, or sign up for a full 12-week session. Kids' Fun Days, for ages 3–7, include arts & crafts, cooking lessons, science experiments, and obstacle course fun.
Taste & Technique Cooking Studio – Fair Haven
Themed cooking classes for kids ages 7 and up include Sweet & Savory Schooltime Snacks and Halloween Party, featuring ghoulish treats like haunted haystacks and bloody finger food sandwiches. Participants get to sample the dishes at the end of class and get a recipe packet to take home.
Young Chefs Academy – Marlboro
Young Chefs offers new classes each week, all structured around a monthly theme. For instance, Leftover Takeover is all about finding creative ways to turn leftover ingredients into tasty meals. Classes include KinderCooks (ages 3–6 with adult), JuniorChefs (7–12), and Senior Chefs (13–18).
The Chocolate Belles – Brick
Kids can skip straight to dessert with classes in cupcake decorating, candy making, and more at this longtime Jersey Shore sweet shop.
Kitchen 19 – Hammonton
This creative culinary spot offers Saturday kids' classes in everything from Korean BBQ to pumpkin pancakes. Age ranges include 4–7, 5–8, and 9–13.
Sugar Plum Studio – Cherry Hill
Kids ages 5 and up can make a variety of sweet treats including cookie fidget spinners, spaghetti and meatball cupcakes, and pizza cakes. Parents are welcome to stay and help younger children.
Carlo's Bakery – Morristown, Jersey City, Ridgewood, Red Bank
Aspiring pastry chefs can learn to decorate cakes like the Cake Boss himself in these classes for ages 10 through adult. Participants under 18 must have a legal guardian enrolled in the class, so parents can join in the fun.
ShopRite – Statewide
ShopRite offers a variety of culinary workshops for kids and adults alike. Kids can create a full menu of tasty, healthy dishes like shredded chicken arepas, acai bowls, veggie wontons, and turkey croquettes. Check your local ShopRite for schedule.
Sur la Table – Lawrenceville and Marlton
Kids' classes are offered primarily during the summer in cooking camps, but you can catch a family workshop on Saturday, September 4 at both locations. Family Fun: Back to School is for kids ages 6 and up plus an adult—participants will create a menu that includes homemade Pop Tarts, antipasto skewers, and ham and cheese frittatas. Yum!
Originally published 2013; updated for 2017.
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