Jersey Shore

40 Things to Do with New Jersey Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

We have just five precious years or so to spend with our little ones before they head off to kindergarten. At this age, kids are growing and developing faster than they will at any other time in their lives, so many of us want to fill their days with as many opportunities to learn, laugh, and love life as possible! That means play spacesmommy-and-me classes, storytimesplaygrounds, and other treasures that the Garden State holds for toddlers.

Take advantage of these great opportunities throughout New Jersey while your preschoolers are young enough to appreciate them—and sometimes even young enough to score FREE admission.

For more can't-miss Garden State destinations, check out 100 Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunch Spots at the Jersey Shore

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and moms everywhere will be celebrating with a fabulous brunch. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or you prefer something fancy-shmancy, the Jersey Shore has plenty of delicious options to choose from. The extended forecast for May 12 hasn't been posted yet, but if you're down the shore, you'll hopefully be in a sunny frame of mind! 

Check out one of these local favorites for a wonderful meal the whole family will love, no cooking or clean-up required. Relax, enjoy yourself, and have a very happy Mother’s Day! 

See Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms

Celebrate spring by visiting baby animals and barnyard pets on a local New Jersey farm. In addition to seeing chicks, calves, lambs, bunnies, and piglets, kids can crack corn, collect eggs, and even learn how cheese and bread are made at these family-friendly farmsteads.

Some offer full petting zoos, as well as wagon rides and pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Read on for more than a dozen of our favorites.

Affordable Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

Summer camps in New Jersey vary wildly in price, so it’s important to choose a camp that’s right for your child AND your pocketbook. Many camps let you register by the week or even the day, so you don't have to commit to an entire summer. Other options, like three-day weeks and half-day camp, also allow you to keep costs down. The cost of certain camps can be applied against the child care tax credit for children of single parents/two working parents, and some camps offer financial assistance—especially ones that get money from donors. 

Here we've rounded up 15 affordable day camp options for NJ kids. To find more New Jersey summer camps, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Best Family Campgrounds in New Jersey

There are lots of ways for New Jersey families to experience the great outdoors. From scenic parks, playgrounds, and trails to inviting beaches and lakes, the state offers plenty of places to get some fresh air. But if you really want to get the kids unplugged and at one with nature, it might be time to plan a camping trip. To be sure, camping with little ones isn't always easy; but luckily, there are campgrounds throughout the state that make the experience comfortable and fun for even the youngest campers.

Read on for a dozen campgrounds that offer everything from tent camping to fully appointed cabins, along with a host of family-style entertainment and amenities.

50+ Things We Can't Wait To Do with Kids This Spring in NJ

Spring is on its way! It's almost time to trade in boots, mittens, and winter coats for fresh air, parks and playgroundsspring getaways, and New Jersey farm fun. Get outside to take advantage of all of the seasonal fun the Garden State has to offer!

Read on for 50+ fantastic spring activities to enjoy with your family. Looking for more? Check out our Spring Fun Guide, with new events added throughout the season.

Easter Bunny Brunches and Photo-Ops for New Jersey Kids

Grab your bonnets and bow ties, and hop on over to a fun photo-op with the Easter Bunny. We've got the scoop on where you can meet the long-eared guest of honor and take part in activities like bunny brunches, parades, storytimes, and crafts.

Looking for a more straightforward meet-and-greet? Check out our listing of professional photo setups at malls throughout the Garden State below. And if you'd rather take a train ride with your favorite hare, you can always hop aboard the Easter Express

Themed Restaurants and Family-Friendly Interactive Dining in NJ

Looking for some fun along with your food? From knights and horses to magicians and model trains, many New Jersey restaurants offer themed and interactive dining experiences for the entire family. Read on for more than 15 spots that will make your next family meal a bit more magical.

Check out our restaurant guide for more ideas for kid-friendly eating experiences, including restaurants where kids eat free and the best family-friendly restaurants near Liberty Science Center. Top it all off with some doughnuts or ice cream. Bon appetit!

A Dozen Museums for Kids and Families in Central and Southern NJ

Winter's not over yet, and if you're running out of ideas, don't despair—there's plenty of indoor fun to be found at museums throughout central and southern NJ. At these wonderful and varied spots, you can explore a battleship, learn all about insects, ride a vintage train, gaze at the stars, and even see a shrunken head!

For more educational fun, check out our list of the best museums for kids in northern NJ, or take a ride across the river to check out one of the many excellent museums in Philadelphia.

Top 12 Indoor Play Spaces for Kids Across New Jersey

Looking for an indoor play space that makes your jaw drop and your kids jump for joy? We've rounded up a dozen of the biggest and best spots for playing, jumping, bouncing, climbing, and thrill-seeking throughout New Jersey. 

The Garden State is home to tons of awesome play spaces, and it was tough choosing just 12. We limited our list to those with major wow factor—places where you can tackle a Ninja Warrior–style obstacle course, play laser tag, climb on and through play mazes, bounce on inflatables and trampolines, play arcade games, scale rock walls, and even go roller skating or bowling. While most of these spots aren't specifically geared toward the smaller set, all have areas and/or times set aside just for them. 

Read on to find out which fun zones made the cut. And for even more options, check out our guide to indoor play spaces, where you'll find drop-in play for $15 or less, the best trampoline parks and bounce houses in NJ, and much more. 

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