Jersey Shore

Best July 4th Fireworks for NJ Families from Jersey City to the Shore

From small town celebrations to waterfront extravaganzas, we've got the scoop on NJ's best options for family-friendly fireworks shows on July 4th. You can cheer on the red, white, and blue in Atlantic City, which hosts one of the country's biggest celebrations; spread out a beach blanket and enjoy a display down the shore; take in the fireworks extravaganza at the New Jersey State Fair; or choose from more than a dozen other great shows happening throughout the state. 

In addition to fireworks, these July 4th celebrations include lots of other fun activities, such as parades, a Revolutionary War encampment, live music, and even a canoe race. Read on for more than a dozen picks. 

For even more holiday-weekend fun, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Ocean City: Family-Friendly Summer Fun on the Jersey Shore

Summertime at the Jersey Shore means beach days and boardwalk rides, mini-golf and arcade games, topped off with fresh seafood dinners or pizza and ice cream. Shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May offer the best bets for family vacation fun, and Ocean City, a classic family beach destination at the southern shore, is one of our favorites.

Nicknamed America's Family Resort, Ocean City draws families from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to enjoy its wide beaches, kid-centered boardwalk, and family events. Read on for details about visiting Ocean City with kids. And for more beach vacation ideas, check out our inside look at southern shore gems Wildwood and Cape May

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.

Fun Family-Friendly Bike Rides in New Jersey

Riding a bike is more than a childhood milestone. It develops a sense of balance, strengthens muscles, fosters an appreciation of the outdoors, and makes for wonderful family bonding time. Luckily for NJ families, there are tons of family-friendly bike trails throughout the state, from the Kittatinny Mountains to the Jersey Shore

Read on for 15 of our favorite spots for a family-friendly ride. If you prefer to travel on foot, check out a dozen easy hikes in NJ for families with small children.

Father's Day in New Jersey: 25+ Fun Ways To Celebrate Dad with Kids

Father's Day can be more than golfing and barbecues this year, with such a great variety of family-friendly activities happening across the state. Whether Dad prefers baseball or fishing, airplanes or amusement parks, our list of Father's Day happenings has something for everyone. Read on for our top picks for celebrating Dad this June. 

For more ways to have fun with fathers throughout the month, check out our playground guide, roundup of family festivals, and Event Calendar. And if Dad really has his heart set on golfing, there's always (mini) golf! 

Great Amusement Parks for Preschoolers and Toddlers in New Jersey

Looking for a place to take your little ones for gentle thrills and kid-friendly amusements? We've rounded up 15 NJ amusement parks that are perfect for the younger set. Some, like Storybook Land, are geared exclusively toward small children, while others, like Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Boardwalk, offer a solid selection of kiddie rides in addition to bigger thrills. 

We've limited our list of amusement parks to those located in New Jersey—to search for more tot-friendly spots in surrounding areas, check out the Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC.

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

Who doesn't love running through a sprinkler on a hot and steamy summer day? Bring it to the next level at one of New Jersey's splash pads and sprinkler parks, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, some of which are newly renovated or even brand new for the 2018 season (like one park opening soon in Toms River). Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

15 Awesome Water Parks for New Jersey Kids and Families

New Jersey has several fantastic water parks, some of them right on the beach! From big-name parks and boardwalk favorites to the state's first municipal water park, we've rounded up 15 of New Jersey’s best water parks and an overview of what to expect from each one. We've even included a couple of fantastic indoor water parks to keep kids splashing on rainy days.

If you're looking for water fun on a slightly cheaper scale, check out our Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads roundup. For more summer awesomeness, visit our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide and our NJ Theme Parks Guide.

Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

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