Central Jersey

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. 

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.

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!

13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families in New Jersey

Adventures abound on the high and low seas of New Jersey with boat rides, tours, and cruises for families throughout the summer. Young pirates can dress up for a real pirate adventure; sailors can man the rigging aboard the historic A.J. Meerwald; and young naturalists will feel at home in the Meadowland marshes aboard specially rigged pontoon boats. Whalers will enjoy riding ships in search of whales and dolphins, and adventurers can always ride the wild white waters of the Delaware River either on rafts or tubes. Who knows when you may regain your land legs?

For more warm-weather fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

Hot-Air Balloons in NJ: Guide to the QuickChek Balloon Festival

The QuickChek Balloon Festival, one of New Jersey’s most highly anticipated family events of the summer, will take place Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28, 2019 at Solberg Airport in Whitehouse Station.

This summer festival fave has everything: beautiful hot-air balloon ascensions, top-notch performers, rides, freebies, great food, and a central New Jersey location. Here's what you need to know before you go.

Best Miniature Golf Courses for New Jersey Kids and Families

Whether you call it miniature golf or putt-putt, you'll find tons of places to play throughout New Jersey. The Garden State apparently has a thing for windmills and teeny-weeny pencils—there are at least 53 mini-golf courses in NJ!

We're highlighting nearly half of the courses in the state, from northern NJ to the Jersey Shore, with themes ranging from pirate shipwrecks and African safaris to NJ landmarks and a medieval castle. Read on to find the perfect putt-putt for you. And for more things to do this summer, from spray parks to amusement parks, don't miss our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids.

Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

One of the great joys of summer is a warm-off-the-tree peach, and New Jersey has pick-your-own farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking!

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found. And for more ways to enjoy the warm weather, don't miss our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids.

Where To Rent Paddleboats and Rowboats in New Jersey

Looking for a great summer outing that’ll float the family’s boat? A ride in a paddleboat (sometimes called a pedal boat) or rowboat offers panoramic views of New Jersey's scenic parks and lakes, and an opportunity for family time that may actually be peaceful. 

Paddleboat rentals are available throughout the state. Check the specific paddling locations for any age or weight restrictions, then sit back and enjoy the ride. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

Feeling more adventurous? Find the best places for tubing and rafting in and around NJ.

100 Things To Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up

Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times: "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in New Jersey.

From indoor play to awesome zoos, and from lush gardens to thrill-filled boardwalks and amusement parks, New Jersey offers tons of incredible sights and activities for families and kids. We have beautiful forests for hiking, Jersey Shore beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for great day trips with Jersey kids.

NEW: We have a free printable version with the best anytime NJ activities from this list. Print it out and stick it on your fridge to inspire you anytime you need an activity idea.

Read on for our 100 best things to do in NJ.

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