Cooking Classes for Kids in New Jersey

Whether you have an aspiring Ina Garten at home, or you're just looking for something different to do with the kids, consider signing up for a fun, hands-on cooking class. We’ve rounded up several places throughout NJ that offer wonderful programs for children of all ages. Cooking classes not only teach culinary technique, they’re also a great way to try new foods, master hand-eye coordination, and practice social skills like sharing and following directions. For more enrichment ideas, visit our guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for New Jersey Kids.

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.

South Mountain Reservation for Kids: Swings, Zoo, Fairy Trail

For an easy day hike with the kids, New Jersey’s local “reservations,” essentially mini state forests and parks, are my family’s go-to. The 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation in Essex County is one of our favorites. The recreation complex includes hiking trails, but also a zoo, fairy trail, paddle boats, mini golf, and a fantastic playground.

Read on for our best family bets for this Jersey green space, or check out some of our other favorite NJ reservations like nearby Watchung, or day trip ideas.

Peanut-Free and Nut-Free Bakeries in Northern New Jersey

New Jersey is home to some of the best bakeries in the country. There's nothing like stepping into your local bake shop and picking up a few freshly made cupcakes and cookies. Unfortunately, families with nut allergies have to be extra careful about where they buy their treats. If you or your kids have a nut allergy, don't despair. The Garden State is home to several fantastic peanut-free and nut-free bakeries. The following North Jersey shops carry everything to satisfy your family's sweet tooth, from specialty cakes to scones and pies. For even more nut-free bakeries, check out our post on Nut, Gluten and Dairy Free Bakeries in New York City.

Things to do that are NOT Shopping on Black Friday in New Jersey

Black Friday is known as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Retailers try to lure us in with deep discounts on everything from toys to electronics. Let's face it, though, dragging the kids to the mall isn't the most fun way to kick off the holiday season. This year, why not look for a family activity that will make everyone merry? From holiday shows to winter festivals, we've come up with a great list of things to do on Black Friday that are far away from the busy shopping centers. Be sure to check our Events Calendar regularly for even more great holiday activities throughout November and December.

Downtown Trick-or-Treating in New Jersey

The countdown to trick-or-treat is on! If you’re not ready to send your little goblins door-to-door, bring them store-to-store at one of New Jersey’s thrilling downtown trick-or-treat events. Collecting goodies from your favorite local retailers is a safe, organized alternative to traditional trick-or-treating and a great way to support local businesses. Take a stroll downtown for these free, family-friendly Halloween festivities. Maybe you can sneak in a little shopping while you’re there. And if you’re heading to the shore, pile on the treats at a boardwalk Halloween event. For more Halloween fun, visit Mommy Poppins New Jersey Halloween Guide.

Open Houses and Free Trial Classes: After-School Enrichment Options for NJ Kids

So we're back in school. We're packing lunches, going to PTA meetings. and overseeing homework. And we're probably starting to wrap our minds around figuring out some enrichment classes to fill in the gaps and/or add some sparkle to the process. Open houses and free trial classes make the hunt for great classes a little more do-able, which is why we offer this list of 10 great places that offer chances to try it out for free, either in the coming weeks or - in many cases - all year long. And for more enrichment options, check out our Enrichment Programs, Classes and Activities Guide.

Best Family-Friendly Bird Watching Sanctuaries in New Jersey

A few weeks ago I let my daughter bring a pair of binoculars on our weekly hike. She is not always the most enthusiastic hiker so I was pleasantly surprised when she immediately perked up. The next week I picked up a birding book and she started checking off all of the different birds we saw. Turns out, bird watching can instill a real appreciation of nature in children. New Jersey's wide variety of distinct habitats and location on the Atlantic Flyway make it a great place for bird watchers to enjoy over 400 different species of birds. Kids naturally gravitate toward nature when given the chance, so give them a pair of binoculars and open their eyes to the wonders of birding at one of these great birding spots and sanctuaries. For more outdoor fun, check out our post on family friendly hikes in Central New Jersey.

Best Kid Shows in New Jersey April 2014

There are some wonderful, family-friendly theatrical productions coming to a stage near you in April of 2014 in New Jersey. For an afternoon or evening of diversity and culture, check out live shows like Hip Hop Connection, a live performance of Sid the Science Kid, and the 75th anniversary of the film The Wizard of Oz with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra! There's nothing like seeing theater with the kids in your life:

Best March Plays, Theater and Live Shows for Families in NJ

I always enjoyed live theatrical performances as a child and am so grateful my parents took the time to take me to various productions—from the circus to community theater. Now, as an adult and a mom, I’m excited to share the power of performance with my daughter—seeing family-friendly shows is a great way for loved ones to bond over the arts. Here’s a list of March 2014 live shows the family can appreciate and enjoy these next few weeks.


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