Jersey Shore

Summer Camps for New Jersey Preschoolers

Before they grow up and want to go to sleepaway camp with their BFFs, preschoolers can get a taste of summer camp in a program created just for them. New Jersey is home to some wonderful day camps for the under-5 crowd, and we've rounded up more than a dozen of our favorites. In addition to low camper-counselor ratios, these programs offer developmentally appropriate fun for every interest, whether you want your little one to experience the great outdoors, bounce and tumble at a cool indoor spot, or delve into subjects like robotics, film, and fashion. 

To learn about more New Jersey summer camp options, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings.

Top Summer Day Camps for New Jersey Kids

Before you know it, the end of the school year will be in sight and you'll start wondering: “What the heck am I going to do with these small people I call 'my children' for the summer?" We’ve got you covered with the best of New Jersey–area summer camps. These camps take fun seriously—so much so that they plan all year long for eight weeks of summer. Many of these camps have had entire generations of families pass through. Though some are quite large, they offer great counselor-to-camper ratios, with additional support from adults supervising younger staff. 

Find more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Quaint and Quirky Holiday Celebrations for New Jersey Families

We all have our favorite family holiday traditions, whether it’s viewing an annual light display, cutting down a fresh Christmas tree, or having breakfast with Santa. All good stuff, to be sure. But if you’re looking to shake things up this year, try an experience you won't find at your local mega-mall.

One option is to go small: New Jersey’s charming small towns play host to a variety of quaint holiday happenings, from Dickens carolers to Christmas Candlelight House Tours.

If you're after something truly unique, NJ has plenty of that, too. You can celebrate Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium, get festive with the furry residents of Bluebird Farm Alpacas, or explore an animated wonderland at the Christmas Ice Caverns.

Who knows? One of these activities might become your family’s new holiday favorite. Check out our roundup below for some great small-town and off-the-beaten-path fun. For more ways to celebrate the festive holiday season, visit our Holiday Fun Guide.

Family-Friendly Car Services with Car Seats in New Jersey

There's no sugarcoating it: traveling with small children is overwhelming. For most parents, the days of packing a small bag and jet-setting across the country are a distant memory. Babies and small children need a lot of stuff, which means traveling families have to lug strollers, pack 'n plays, and big suitcases stuffed with everything from bottles to blankies.

Luckily, if you're using a car service, there's one important—and heavy—item that you can stop stressing about. Many NJ car services now offer car seats for babies, toddlers, and young children, and we've rounded up a dozen of them here. On your next vacation, lighten your load! 

Want to call a Lyft or Uber? Not so fast. Uber only offers car seats for passengers in New York City, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. Lyft charges an extra $10 per ride for a car seat, but this service is currently only available in NYC. To find more car service with car seat options in NYC, check out NYC Car Services with Car Seats for Babies & Kids.

Halloween Fun at New Jersey Zoos with Boo at the Zoo

Whether you're looking for an alternative to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, or you just want to have a little extra Halloween fun in the days leading up to the big event, the zoo just might be the place for you. Visiting with the animals is always an enjoyable way to spend a family day, but throw in some candy, costumes, and spooky activities, and you're bound to have a howling good time. 

25 Things To Do with Kids in Cape May, NJ

Charming Cape May is one of the Jersey Shore's top family destinations for good reason. With its wide beaches, quaint boardwalk, mini-golf courses, arcades, and ice cream shops, Cape May can entertain kids of all ages. The shopping and family-friendly dining options can't be beat. Head down to Exit Zero, on the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, and enjoy all this town has to offer, from its fabulous beaches and amazing zoo to the historic lighthouse and blazing sunsets.

Read on for our list of 25 can't-miss things to do during your visit to Cape May. For even more fun at the shore, don't miss our summer fun guide.  

Day Trip to Point Pleasant Beach and Jenkinson's Boardwalk

Point Pleasant Beach has long been a family-friendly Jersey Shore destination, and with good reason. About an hour's drive from New York City and Philadelphia, this picturesque stretch of sand lies between the beaches of Monmouth County and the craziness of Seaside Heights. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk plays host to many kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium, arcades, mini-golf courses, a ropes course, and an amusement park with a whole section that’s just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

I spent many summers here in my youth, and this summer, with my own 4-year-old in tow, I headed down to exit 98 to spend the day at this popular Shore spot.

Looking for more warm-weather fun? Check out our Summer Fun Guide and Jersey Shore Family Guide for ideas. 

The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

Treat your kids to a real animal adventure at one of New Jersey's amazing zoos, aquariums, and animal preserves. At these day trip–worthy spots, little animal lovers can meet their favorite furry friend, check out exotic wildlife from other continents, or swim with the sharks (yes, really!). We've rounded up the best places in the Garden State for New Jersey kids to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with animals of every kind. 

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.

Family Getaway to Wildwood, NJ: Beach, Water Parks, Rides

Along the Jersey Shore, beaches and boardwalk offer endless summer fun for kids, but each shore town has its own personality, top sights, and vibe. So how do you know which is right for your family?

We’ve explored nearly all of them, from Cape May at the southern point, on up to Asbury Park. I just returned from a family trip to Wildwood and its action-packed boardwalk and Morey’s Piers with a bazillion rides, multiple water parks, games, and so much more. It’s busy and chaotic, but exudes retro charm thanks in part to its Doo-wop-themed diners and local customs like when the whole boardwalk stops in its tracks at 11am to raise their hands to their hearts as the national anthem plays over the loudspeaker.

Read on for all the details on what to expect from your summer getaway to this Jersey Shore hot spot.

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