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.

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.

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.

A-tisket, a-tasket: Great Places in NJ to Bring Your Picnic Basket

Even though I'm not a huge fan of sharing my personal space with bugs, I do appreciate being one with nature. Lucky for us, here in New Jersey we have many parks and natural areas to explore. If you want to make the most of a day outdoors, bring along some food and find a spot to picnic with your family.  You'll be glad to know that we've taken some of the guesswork out of “where” by listing some of the best picnic spots in NJ.

Children's Theater at the Jersey Shore: Four Local Favorites

What comes to mind when you think of the Jersey Shore? Beaches, boardwalks, ice cream, maybe a certain MTV show? How about children's theater? That's right, there’s no need to head to NYC when there are so many wonderful options close to home. From plays to musicals to puppet shows, there is something to entertain kids of all ages at the Shore. And for more shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide.

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