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13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families in New Jersey

Adventures abound on the high and low seas of New Jersey with boat rides, tours, and cruises for families throughout the summer. Young pirates can dress up for a real pirate adventure; sailors can man the rigging aboard the historic A.J. Meerwald; and young naturalists will feel at home in the Meadowland marshes aboard specially rigged pontoon boats. Whalers will enjoy riding ships in search of whales and dolphins, and adventurers can always ride the wild white waters of the Delaware River either on rafts or tubes. Who knows when you may regain your land legs?

For more warm-weather fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

New NJ Play Space Is Filled with Imaginative Fun for Little Ones

As 90-degree temps have become the new New Jersey norm, it’s easy to see how moms, dads, and their active adventurers might need an inside alternative—and we found it in Northvale’s newest spot for the 0-7 set: Tay + Te Imaginative Play. Since opening in May, this super clean, creative, and modern indoor play space in Bergen County has been bringing smiles + then some to local families, and even those from afar (we saw many New York license plates when we visited). 

Best Miniature Golf Courses for New Jersey Kids and Families

Whether you call it miniature golf or putt-putt, you'll find tons of places to play throughout New Jersey. The Garden State apparently has a thing for windmills and teeny-weeny pencils—there are at least 53 mini-golf courses in NJ!

We're highlighting nearly half of the courses in the state, from northern NJ to the Jersey Shore, with themes ranging from pirate shipwrecks and African safaris to NJ landmarks and a medieval castle. Read on to find the perfect putt-putt for you. And for more things to do this summer, from spray parks to amusement parks, don't miss our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids.

Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

One of the great joys of summer is a warm-off-the-tree peach, and New Jersey has pick-your-own farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking!

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found. And for more ways to enjoy the warm weather, don't miss our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids.

Huge New Spray Park in Union County Is a Water-ful Wonderland

Linden is now home to Union County's largest sprayground, and boy, is it worth a visit! Located in John Russell Wheeler Park, this 11,000-square-foot water playground, which opened in May 2019, boasts 33 kid-pleasing attractions and water features, including slides, sprinklers, sprayers, a dumping bucket, waterfall, pirate ship, and a giant water serpent. Admission is FREE.

One caveat: It gets crowded! So before you pack up the kids and head down the Route 1 corridor, check out this must-have info to help you plan your visit. 

Where To Rent Paddleboats and Rowboats in New Jersey

Looking for a great summer outing that’ll float the family’s boat? A ride in a paddleboat (sometimes called a pedal boat) or rowboat offers panoramic views of New Jersey's scenic parks and lakes, and an opportunity for family time that may actually be peaceful. 

Paddleboat rentals are available throughout the state. Check the specific paddling locations for any age or weight restrictions, then sit back and enjoy the ride. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

Feeling more adventurous? Find the best places for tubing and rafting in and around NJ.

100 Things To Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up

Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times: "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in New Jersey.

From indoor play to awesome zoos, and from lush gardens to thrill-filled boardwalks and amusement parks, New Jersey offers tons of incredible sights and activities for families and kids. We have beautiful forests for hiking, Jersey Shore beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for great day trips with Jersey kids.

NEW: We have a free printable version with the best anytime NJ activities from this list. Print it out and stick it on your fridge to inspire you anytime you need an activity idea.

Read on for our 100 best things to do in NJ.

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. 

Pick-Your-Own Blueberries and More NJ Berry Farms for Families

Blueberry picking is a perfect summer activity for the whole family: the bushes are low, the berries pop off the plants easily, and your family can literally pick hundreds without breaking the bank—or your back hauling them home. Lucky for us, blueberries are the official state fruit of New Jersey, and they are plentiful throughout the Garden State.

We’ve assembled a list of some of the best pick-your-own farms NJ has to offer for kids, along with a few blueberry festivals. Happy picking!

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