Essex

New Jersey Roller Skating Rinks: Roll With It, Baby!

Ever wish you could travel back in time to the 1980s a la Marty McFly in Back to the Future? Maybe play Super Mario Brothers on a newfangled 8-bit Nintendo system while sporting big hair and neon clothes? Well, you don't need a time-traveling DeLorean to experience one tubular '80s trend that's back in vogue: roller skating rinks! They're the perfect place to throw a radical birthday party or spend a mega-fun afternoon indoors with the kids. Here are some rolling skating hot spots for your family to enjoy (spandex pants optional).

Winter Fun: 13 NJ Family Memberships to Consider Buying

As we head into the second month of winter, parents across the state are looking for some indoor action that will keep the kids both happy and warm. While it can be fun to try something new each week, some of us like the comfort of returning to a familiar spot where we know our kids will have a blast. Many places offer family memberships that will keep your entertainment costs down while giving you a break from wondering how on earth you're going to entertain the children. 

We've rounded up the best deals at 13 indoor destinations, and we've even done the math—so you know exactly how many visits it will take for your investment to pay off.

Picking the Perfect New Jersey Preschool for Your Child

Selecting the best preschool for your child is no easy task. You can lose sleep over finding an environment that's just right for your little one. The questions are seemingly endless: Will the teachers prepare my child for the academic rigors that lie ahead? Will she be given the proper outlets to express her creativity and independence? Will his transition to preschool be smooth, and will he make friends? Will she nap and eat properly?

The process can be a bit less overwhelming if you first identify a school philosophy that you feel works best for your child, and go from there. To help you get started, we've laid out six of the most popular approaches, from co-ops and Montessori and Reggio Emilia to full immersion programs, along with some examples of New Jersey preschools that follow them. 

Top Birthday Party Places for Preschoolers in New Jersey

While big-kid birthday party places often offer options for little kids, sometimes even those choices can be a bit too grown-up. So, when it comes to planning a party for a younger child, one option is to host the celebration at home. But if you'd rather not have a gaggle of cake-fueled little ones running wild at your house (no judgment), we’ve compiled a list of places around New Jersey that specialize is hosting parties for the preschool and toddler set. 

We've found cool play spaces, play cafes, kiddie gyms, and even an animal-centric option. So read on for 10 great preschool party spots.

Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Northern New Jersey

Neither flurries nor rain, nor heat nor cold should keep New Jersey children from enjoying a day of play—especially when there are so many awesome indoor play spaces in Northern Jersey. From toddler play dates to teen outings, we've compiled a list of the best indoor playgrounds in Northern New Jersey where kids can drop-in for play. No memberships needed! If you're looking for sites that are a bit farther south, check out this listing of Central Jersey play spaces.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events in NJ

Martin Luther King, Jr., the chief spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement, is memorialized annually on the third Monday of January. This floating holiday has evolved into more than just a day off from school. Now deemed a National Day of Service, MLK Day encourages volunteers across the country to donate their time in order to make a difference. This day reminds us of hope, compassion, and the ongoing potential for social change. Many New Jersey towns are hosting local activities, and we've put together a list that includes both celebrations and service activities.

NJ Candy Stores & Sweet Shops Kids Will Love

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with the kids in New Jersey, including fun family events, craft projects, and more. Another way to celebrate, of course, is with a special sweet treat, be it chocolate making, or cute cake pops, or heart-shaped candies.  

We've rounded up some top sweet shops and candy stores around the state to bring your little monkeys some yummy goodness this Valentine's Day.

Christmas Day Fun in New Jersey: What's Open on the Holiday?

This year, Christmas and Hanukkah converge, and that means lots of families will be looking for something to do on December 25 after gifts are opened, meals are eaten, and the kids are high on holiday energy. Mommy Poppins searched the state to find places that are open on Christmas Day / the first day of Hanukkah. Whether you embrace the season with outdoor adventures or prefer to hunker down indoors, there's something here for everyone. 

A Dozen Must-Do Holiday Activities for NJ Kids

There are five weekends from December 1 to January 1, and hundreds of ways to fill them. Overwhelmed by the possibilities? If you’re looking for fun activities the kids will love that don’t cost an arm and a leg, look no further than our list of the best family outings worth adding to your busy December “to do” list. From holiday light shows to breakfast with Santa, we’ve compiled 12 great memory-making activities for this month.

Check out our full calendar of events and our holiday guide for more options.

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