Did you know there's an actual castle located in the heart of Essex County? Despite its location just off busy Bloomfield Avenue and Route 23, Kip's Castle Park is one of the best-kept secrets in the area. So secret, in fact, that I hadn't even heard of this hidden gem until recently, and I've lived in the area my whole life!
Since my 6-year-old daughter already fancies herself a princess, I figured a trip to this New Jersey park would be right up her alley. Sure enough, she happily explored the castle and pranced around the gorgeous green grounds, even without slides and swings. But playground action isn't far—we decided to pair our visit to Kip's Castle with a stop at nearby Verona Park, for the perfect double-header day trip.
Find even more warm-weather adventures in our Summer Fun Guide, plus check out these other super-cool summer day trips.