Jersey Shore

Iconic Asbury Park Bowling Alley Reopens After Major Makeover

Asbury Lanes will reopen on Friday, May 18, with a nod to the center's past and an eye to the town's future. The bowling alley-turned-music venue, which first opened in 1962, has been rebuilt with state-of-the-art bowling technology by Brunswick, and its performance space has been retooled to accommodate more than double the venue's old capacity of 300. 

The new Asbury Lanes features six lanes and will offer bowling lessons for children and adults, while the performance space will host concerts and other performances for all ages. The reinvented space marks another step in Asbury Park's renaissance as both a hipster retreat and a great getaway destination for New Jersey families. 

Get Merry and Go Round on Unique Carousels with NJ Kids

With all the crazy thrill rides found in theme parks these days, there’s something simply magical about taking a spin on an old-fashioned carousel. Often one of the first rides a child gets to experience, carousels have a special way of making even the most timid tiny ones crack a smile, and they’re a treat for all ages. New Jersey is home to both traditional and turned-up-a-notch carousels, and you don’t have to trek far to find one. Hop on a carousel at one of the area malls for a year-round shopping distraction, go for a spin in a park or zoo, or catch views of the Atlantic from a Jersey shore carousel on the Boardwalk.

We’ve rounded up 15 of the best and most unique carousels in and around NJ, so pack up your little ponies and give them a whirl.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in New Jersey

Nothing screams springtime in the Garden State like getting your hands dirty picking strawberries, and heading to a pick-your-own farm is an outdoor adventure with a sweet reward.

Whether this is your child’s first time at the berry patch or you’re looking to fill pies, jam jars, smoothies, and shortcakes for months to come, you'll want to check out our list of more than 20 farms and festivals around the state, where your sweeties can their hands on bushels full of juicy red berries.

Check out our May GoList and Spring Fun Guide to find more events and activities to enjoy with your kids this season. Happy picking!

Best Miniature Golf Courses for New Jersey Kids and Families

Summer is on the horizon, and that means day trips, swimming, water parks, adventures with the small people, and yes, putt-putt. New Jersey apparently has a thing for windmills and teeny-weeny pencils—there are at least 53 miniature golf courses in the Garden State!

We're highlighting nearly half of these courses, with themes ranging from pirate shipwrecks and African safaris to NJ landmarks and a medieval castle—so get out that little pencil and make your way around the state. 

NJ Cat Cafes: Purr-fect for Feline-Loving Kids and Families

If you're a cat-lover who craves a new place to sip a cappuccino while enjoying some downtime with your kids, then you're in luck: the cat cafe trend has officially arrived in New Jersey. Three kitty cafes have opened in the Garden State since July 2016—in Asbury Park, Rahway, and Palmyra—and the best part is, they're all kid-friendly. Guests big and small are encouraged to pick up a toy and get down on the floor to interact with the cafe's feline friends. For kids who go gaga for kitties, it's a cool alternative to a traditional indoor play space—and, since all of the four-legged residents are up for adoption, you just might leave with a new best friend.

Read on for more about NJ's three cat cafes and get ready to plan an a-meow-zing visit. 

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.

New NJ Spray Park Will Provide Fun for Kids of All Abilities

Construction of a new spray park in Toms River was recently announced, and kids of all ages and abilities have something to celebrate. The park is slated to be all-inclusive, meaning accessible for children with disabilities. “We are focused on all abilities being able to interact with each other at this splash pad,” says Erica Cirillo, co-president of Fountains of Hope, the organization fueling the project.

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Jersey Shore: 12 Great Family-Friendly Restaurants

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. 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 farmsteads.

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

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.

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