Jersey Shore

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. 

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.

40 Things To Do with Kids on a Rainy Day at the Jersey Shore

Not every summer day can be a sunny beach day, even at the Jersey Shore—but there are plenty of indoor spots where families can find rainy day fun.

From Asbury Park to Cape May, we've put together a list of shore activities that will get you off the beach and out of your condo or hotel room. So whether the rain is spoiling your beach day, you need a day out of the sun, or just a change from the sand and surf, we have you covered.

For more entertaining activities this season, check our list of 70 Best Things To Do at the Shore all summer.

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.

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.

Cute New Jersey Beach Towns To Explore with Kids

The Jersey Shore is famous for its sandy beaches and bustling boardwalks, but look a little closer and you'll discover many charming, walkable downtowns to explore. When your kids have had their fill of boardwalk rides and waterparks, stroll through one of our favorite beach towns and discover the Jersey Shore's hidden gems.

For even more family fun, check out our Shore Guide

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.

Free Beaches in New Jersey: No-Cost Family Fun in the Sun

If your summer bucket list includes camp, vacation, and trips to our beloved Jersey Shore, summertime can be a season of major spending. Jersey Shore excursions are a must for summer fun, but prices of beach badges and passes can really add up. Luckily, New Jersey is home to some free beaches—that's right, no admission fees required (though some do have parking fees). While some of these free beaches are found in popular vacation hotspots, other quieter and unguarded ones are located by swimming lakes and bays. Read on for 10 of our favorites.

The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

Treat your kids to a real animal adventure at one of New Jersey's amazing zoos, aquariums, and animal preserves. At these day trip–worthy spots, little animal lovers can meet their favorite furry friend, check out exotic wildlife from other continents, or swim with the sharks (yes, really!). We've rounded up the best places in the Garden State for New Jersey kids to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with animals of every kind. 

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