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Family-Friendly Happy Hours in New Jersey

If you have children, you know the hours between 4pm and 6pm are particularly difficult. Referred to as "the witching hours" by many parents, this stretch of time (after naptime, but before dinner and bath time) can be hard to fill, leading to bored, whiny kids and grouchy moms and dads. If you're tired of wracking your brain for late afternoon activities, it might be time to take advantage of your local eateries Happy Hour specials. Enjoy a cocktail and some kid-friendly appetizers with a few friends. The kids will love the change of scenery and parents will enjoy the discounted treats and time to socialize. We've put together a great list of family-friendly restaurants where you can turn the "witching hour" into a happy hour for the entire family.

7 NJ Spraygrounds & Splash Pads You Probably Haven't Visited Yet

Get ready, get set, get wet at New Jersey’s newest spraygrounds! Water playgrounds have been making a splash in the Garden State over the past several years, providing cheap (or free), refreshing summer fun. As spraygrounds and splash pads grow in popularity, new ones have been popping up throughout the state. Check out these newcomers in the New Jersey splash pads scene. Best part of all -- every destination on this list is free!

25 Things to Do Outdoors with NJ Toddlers & Preschoolers

If you’ve got a little one under the age of four, you know that toddlers and preschoolers are an energetic, curious and spirited bunch! After a long winter cooped up indoors, it’s time to get our wee ones out of the house for some fun and learning. Lace up your sneakers, pack some snacks and get ready to make great family memories by trying one (or more!) of these awesome outdoor activities in New Jersey. For more seasonal fun, don't forget to check out our list of 25 Things We Can't Wait to Do with Kids This Spring in NJ.

Made for Mom: Where to Make Your Own Mother’s Day Crafts with NJ Kids

When it comes to Mother's Day, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to giving presents. Some moms prefer a massage at the spa ("I need some alone time!"), while others want to go out for a big family brunch ("I don’t want to cook!"). But if there's one thing we mamas are all suckers for, it's a handmade gift from our kiddos. Don't worry if you're not the artsy type who can whip up something awesome at home on your own. Check out these places in NJ where kids can get creative, have fun and give mom a truly one-of-a-kind gift come Mother's Day morning.

Spring into Nature: Kids' Classes & Festivals at NJ Nature Centers

Now that spring is (finally!) in the air, we can't wait to make the most of milder temps and sunshine-filled days. All winter long (as we played with every toy in the house and exhausted every possibility in our arts and crafts bin), we've been dreaming of April, fresh flowers, birds chipping and, more than anything, open space to play and run! Our great state is filled with nature centers that make exploring the outdoors both educational and fun in any season. Usher in spring with these awesome festivals and classes at New Jersey nature centers:

A Breath of Fresh Air: 5 Restaurants with Outside Dining in NJ

Eating outside in the summer months is peaceful, warm, great for people-watching, and an event that really makes summer feel like, well, summer! These last few weeks of 'lazy days' are a great time for the whole family to enjoy some outdoor dining, whether it be low-key like pizza or fancy-shmancy lobster-on-the-terrace. Check out these venues, and let us know your faves!

 

Celebrate Outdoors! Kids' Birthday Parties at New Jersey Parks

It’s pretty easy for both kids and parents to get swept up with birthday party fever when that special day rolls around each year. And why not? Birthdays are an excuse for gooey cake, fun food, family & friends. But some of these so-called kids’ parties can get out of hand pretty quickly. By the time you book a venue, hire entertainers and maybe even have the food catered, these little get-togethers have turned into over-the-top extravaganzas. I still recall the look on my husband’s face when I told him the cost of hosting an equestrian-themed party complete with pony rides!

10 Ways To Turn a Winter in NJ into Virtual Summer

Now that New Jersey's in a deep freeze, is anyone itching for warm weather, beaches and swimming? While there are plenty of fun winter activities, I can’t help feeling like Olaf and dreaming of everything summer. Don’t let the cold keep you indoors and stop you from doing those summer activities you love. With warm clothing and a little imagination, there are ways to experience summer-type fun in the winter. So get out your bathing suit (perhaps covered with your winter coat), and pretend it’s summer in January.

Top 20 Things To Do With Thrill-Seeking NJ Kids

My six year old son is a thrill seeker. I cringe at the playground watching him climb to the tippy top of the jungle gym. When we go hiking he is always the first to suggest trying the more difficult trail. While I admire his adventurous spirit, as a mom it's hard to not imagine the worst case scenario. That's why I'm so happy that I found some safe local activities that will satisfy both his need for thrills and my need to protect him. Check out our list below for some great activities for your adventurous child. If you have little ones, be sure to read our post 25 Things To Do With Preschoolers Before They Turn 5, and for October fun for the whole family make sure you check out our New Jersey Halloween Guide.

Camps & Activities for the NJ Teachers' Convention on November 6 & 7

New Jersey schools are closed November 6th and 7th for the annual New Jersey Education Association convention. Still have to work and wondering what to do with the kids for the day? Or just hoping to keep them occupied? We’ve got the skinny on ten fabulous camps and programs for NJ kids, whether they’re artsy, outdoorsy or athletic. And if you're planning to take the day off too, visit our NJ Staycation post to find lots of fun ideas for local adventures.

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