Atlantic Highlands

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.

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 quiet fun to thrill-seeking adventures, there's tons of incredible stuff to make memories that will last forever. We have beautiful forests for hiking, beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for a great day trip 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 any time you need an activity idea.

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

7 Great Jersey Shore Lighthouses to See with Kids

New Jersey is home to nearly a dozen lighthouses that are open to the public. Whether your kids are old enough to climb up to the top or not, there's plenty to do and see on a lighthouse tour. Most are located near beaches or state parks full of family-friendly diversions, so they make great destinations for day trips. This is an affordable—sometimes even free—summer activity your whole family will love. We've rounded up a few of our favorites.

For more Jersey Shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide and Summer Fun Guide.

NJ Candy Stores & Sweet Shops Kids Will Love

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with the kids in New Jersey, including fun family events, craft projects, and more. Another way to celebrate, of course, is with a special sweet treat, be it chocolate making, or cute cake pops, or heart-shaped candies.  

We've rounded up some top sweet shops and candy stores around the state to bring your little monkeys some yummy goodness this Valentine's Day.

Independent Toy Stores in New Jersey

I’ll be the first to admit that big box toy retailers have their place. When my daughter wants something generic like a Dora Play Kitchen, or I get very strict instructions from our 4 year old nephew about which Transformer action figure he wants for his birthday, I can honestly say there’s no better place to shop. But amid the fluorescent lights and impersonal service, there’s a part of me that finds mega toy warehouses just a wee bit depressing. There’s something so old-school and refreshing about walking into a small “mom & pop” toy shop to browse unique gifts and – imagine this - actually receiving genuine help from the staff.

5 NYC Ferry Rides with Kidtastic Landings

New York City is surrounded by water, and with an always-expanding network of ferries, it's easier than ever to hop on a boat for a day trip to a not-so-distant shore. While the destination is important, of course, getting there is part of the fun, because cruising on the water is much more exciting for jaded city kids than taking the boring old subway.

We've already raved about all the family activities you can enjoy on Governors Island, and riding the FREE Staten Island Ferry is on our list of the top 100 things to do with kids in this town. But here are five more NYC ferries that offer cool rides to popular places where there are lots of things to do and see with the kiddos.

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.

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!

 

Great Small Towns in New Jersey: Atlantic Highlands

Atlantic Highlands, often referred to as the "Jewel of the Bayshore", is one of New Jersey's most unique small towns. This charming Victorian town on the Jersey Shore overlooks the New York Bay, Manhattan and the Atlantic Ocean. The town's hills include the highest point on the East Coast south of Maine. In addition to its great location and rich history, Atlantic Highlands is home to delightful restaurants, theaters and one-of-a-kind shops. Read on to learn why you should take a day trip to this adorable slice of Victorian America. For even more day trip destinations in Monmouth County, check out our Small Town Posts on Matawan and Aberdeen, Red Bank and Ocean Grove.

New Jersey Gyms with Child Care

As busy mamas, we cherish those oh-so-rare moments when we have a few hours (if we're super lucky!) to do whatever we want; whether it's sleeping, shopping, taking a class, or hitting the gym for an intense workout. It can be tricky to squeeze in a spin class when you're in full-time mommy mode, but there are many gyms in New Jersey that offer babysitting options so you can get in shape while your children stay safe. Below is a list of gyms that offer on-location daycare for fitness-oriented mamas.

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