Lakewood

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

If your fun-in-the-sun 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 in the summer, 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 lakes and bays. Read on for 10 of our favorites.

New Jersey Art Studios that Encourage Kids To Play with Glass

Broken glass at home often leads to warnings of keep back and be careful, but at a number of art studios across the state, kids are encouraged to play with the stuff. Don't worry, cuts and scratches are not involved. In these studios, kids (and adults) can cut, glue, blow, and fuse colorful bits and pieces of glass to make sun catchers, jewelry, picture frames, and other unique designs—often with the help of trained studio artists. We've searched out some spots with open studio times and classes where kids and adults can express their inner Chihuly.

Me Too! 10 NJ Outings to Appeal to Siblings of Different Ages

The wants and needs of toddlers versus teens couldn’t be more different. One is begging for toy cars while the other is eyeing up the keys to your SUV. When it comes to spending quality family time together, everyone can agree that day trips must be fun for siblings of all ages. Luckily, New Jersey has several destinations on the docket that will have your whole family cheering for more.

New Jersey Theater Alliance Stages Festival: Your Guide to Kid-Friendly Shows

If you'd like to introduce your kids to the magic of theater, check out the performances and theater-related activities that are a part of the 2016 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival. With over 80 kid-friendly performances, workshops, classes, and camp samplers offered throughout New Jersey free or at low-cost, The Stages Festival is the perfect introduction to professional theater for children of all ages.  All events are produced by the professional theaters of New Jersey. According to Ruth Zamoyta, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages' Development & Communications Director, parents love live performances because "they get the kids off the computer, off the phone, and even away from the screens that you find on the TV or in the movie theater."  She adds,  when it comes to the workshops, mini-camps, and classes, "kids get to express themselves freely and creatively. In all Stages events, participants come away with a feeling of togetherness--live theatre is a shared experience, and the workshops and classes are collaborative."

Ocean County, NJ: Beaches, Parks, Theater for Families

Ocean County, New Jersey, plays host to some of the state's top beaches, including Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, and Point Pleasant. There are boardwalk amusement park rides, games, and eats aplenty. But there's more than just the shore to Ocean County. In close proximity to NYC, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, this area has appeal to vacationers and transplants with its laid-back beach communities and great restaurants, but also arts and culture.

We're rounding up our favorite places in the county to visit with the kids, including Strand Theater, a maritime village, several play and nature spots in Toms River, and yes, those gorgeous seaside towns. Take a look at this list of our top picks for NJ kids and families in Ocean County as you plan your family getaway or day trip. And for more shore fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide.

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