Jersey Shore

NJ Has Ice Rink Bumper Cars – and We Can't Wait To Try Them

No ice skating skills? No problem. You can still have tons of fun on the ice at Ocean Ice Palace in Brick, NJ, home of the state's first ice bumper cars. This hot (or should we say cool?) new trend has been popping up at ice rinks across the country over the past year or so, including one in Providence, Rhode Island, but you don't have to travel to New England to experience it for yourself.

The Brick-based rink introduced the cars in February, and now that winter is upon us once again, we're super excited to have another option for keeping the kiddos entertained indoors

And of course, we're all for snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding—but if you're looking for winter fun that requires less effort, gear, and money, ice bumper cars might be worth a whirl.

Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in New Jersey

Too pooped to put on Christmas this year? Not to fret! There are plenty of restaurants in New Jersey where you can pull up a chair on Christmas Day. So, once all the presents under your Christmas tree have been unwrapped and the stockings scavenged, you can lounge in your PJs, sip your coffee, and watch the kids play with their gifts and goodies without having to worry about cooking and cleaning before guests arrive.

We’ve rounded up 11 of New Jersey’s best haunts to feast on festive fare. Call ahead to secure your spots at the table, and then start mapping out the holiday light displays you can catch after dinner. You won’t have to build in extra travel time, because chances are you’ll have the roads all to yourselves. Merry Christmas!

30 Christmas and Holiday Events for NJ Babies and Toddlers

Now that Santa has paraded into our living rooms and shopping malls, the 2018 ho-ho-holiday season is officially underway. And whether you have an infant who can really only look cute in his or her "First Christmas" footie pajamas, a toddler who’s a bit more clued-in to the Santa scene, or a preschooler who’s been on his or her best behavior to impress your Elf on the Shelf, you can rest assured that you’ll have enough fun things to keep your under-5 crew occupied.

We’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of some wonderful holiday must-dos to take you through the New Year—from Christmas light displays to breakfasts with Santa, rides aboard the Polar Express to the merriest musicals—and we’re pretty sure you’ll find them nice!

So, cue up that seasonal soundtrack and make a note of all the local little one–friendly yuletide hangs in our Holiday Guide, plus be sure to check out everything festive flagged in our Event Calendar.

Best Places To Take Pictures with Santa in New Jersey

Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's ready for his close-up. From simple setups to elaborate events, there's no shortage of opportunities for your little elves to pose for phots with Santa this Christmas season. We've rounded up our favorites, and there's something for every budget.

Want more QT with jolly St. Nick? Book a breakfast with Santa. And for even more seasonal activities, check out our Holiday Fun Guide.

Best and Brightest Christmas Light Displays in New Jersey

It may be hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner, which means holiday shows, visiting Santa, snowy sleigh rides, and, of course, checking out the amazing light displays throughout the state. New Jersey really shines during the holidays, with many different ways to see some holiday sparkle—from walk-through spectacles at amusement parkszoos, and aquariums to massive drive-through displays; plus private homes and entire towns that go all-out!

These sparkling spectacles—some of which feature more than a million lights—are sure to impress even the grinchiest member of your family. So bundle up the kids and head out to one of these illuminating shows soon! And of course, you can find even more ways to be merry in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Fun Guide.

A Dozen Must-Do Holiday and Christmas Experiences for NJ Kids

This year, 2018, has the earliest possible date for Thanksgiving: November 22. What we lost in turkey prep time, we'll make up for in a lovely, elongated holiday season on the road to Christmas and New Year's. In between your Christmas shopping and holiday to-dos, we've assembled our annual list of activities kids will love—and won't cost an arm and a leg. From holiday light shows to breakfast with Santa to Christmas trains, we’ve compiled 12 great memory-making activities for this month.

Check out our full calendar of events and our holiday guide for even more options.

New Snapology Play Space To Offer STEM Fun for Central NJ Kids

Getting kids interested in math and science used to be a chore, but play-based programs are reinventing the building blocks of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education.

Snapology of Monmouth County is one business that has been offering mobile STEAM classes to kids in central New Jersey for the past couple years. Now, it is expanding its offerings to include a new Discovery Center, making it the first Snapology location in New Jersey to offer open indoor play. The Center, in Tinton Falls, will also offer classes, camps, birthday parties, and parents' night out events.

The new 2,950-square-foot Discovery Center is scheduled to open Thanksgiving weekend. The fun will kick off on Friday, November 23, with Black Friday drop-and-shop workshops, and a grand opening celebration will take place Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25, from noon to 5pm, with free open play, giveaways, face painting, entertainment, and more.

Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving Dinner in New Jersey

Not feeling up to hosting Thanksgiving this year? Here's something to be thankful for: There are plenty of restaurants open throughout the state on Thanksgiving Day. Having your holiday out means that you can sit back and enjoy the party—and you won't have to wash a single dish.

We've chosen 21 of New Jersey's best spots to enjoy a holiday feast. Call ahead for a reservation, and then use your extra time to plan some fall fun with the family, or try out one of these Thanksgiving crafts. Happy Thanksgiving!

Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods for New Jersey Kids

Halloween is nearly here, and in several New Jersey neighborhoods the locals are thinking, “Bring it on!” These Halloween-obsessed towns 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 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.

Best Halloween Events for New Jersey Preschoolers

"Trick-or-treat!" Kids of all ages love reciting those magic words in exchange for bags filled with goodies. Walking through the streets and knocking on strangers’ doors late in the evening, however, may not be the best option for toddlers and preschoolers. Luckily, New Jersey offers plenty of opportunities for safe trick-or-treating in controlled environments. From pumpkin farms to amusement parks to community events, you can experience the fun of trick-or-treating without worry at these structured, family-friendly outings.

Read on for 20 fun ways to celebrate the holiday with little ones, and find even more Halloween happenings in our Event Calendar and Halloween Guide.

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