Essex

Immersion Preschools in Northern and Central New Jersey

With brains like sponges, preschoolers are the perfect age to begin learning a second language. Studies have shown that kids who learn a second language during the preschool years go on to speak more fluently than those who begin to learn at an older age. In addition, bi-lingual children tend to be more creative, have better critical thinking skills and a better understanding of humanity and culture.  One of the reasons young children learn a new language so easily is because they learn through exploration and play. By immersing them in one of these outstanding foreign language preschools, you will be giving them them a lifelong gift that will allow them to succeed in the global economy of tomorrow. If you're looking for some after school language programs for kids of all ages, check out these Language Classes for NJ Kids.

10 Fun Ice Cream Joints in New Jersey

What is it about summer that makes even the most uptight parent want to bend the rules a bit? Like healthy dinner rules? How about ice cream for dinner? Go ahead....we won't tell. As temperatures sore to sweltering heights, and we look for new ways to cool down, ice cream has become a must-have. And as luck would have it, our state has some delicious ice cream joints!

Whether you’re looking to dazzle your taste buds with a quirky flavor or go for an old-fashioned milkshake, we've rounded up a list of amazing ice cream shops that will have New Jersey kids and parents celebrating all that is summer.

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, 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.

Best NJ Summer Day Trips for Families

Are the kids bored with the same park every day? We've got plenty of summer day trip ideas you can take the family on without even leaving the state! Pick fresh fruit and let the kids pet some barnyard animals; check out a national monument; visit NJ's own Victorian seaside town; head to a giant lake water park; or visit the beach, boardwalk, and aquarium all in one day.

So just hop in the car and head out to enjoy one of these 13 fun New Jersey day trips for this summer. Need more inspiration? Peruse our NJ Family Day Trip and Getaway Guide for even more ideas.

25 Ways to Cool Off with NJ Kids in the Dog Days of Summer

I absolutely love summer, but do find myself scouting out restaurants and stores with air conditioning as we slowly move into August, due to just a tad of hot weather burnout. Thankfully, New Jersey is home to many (cool!) activities for the whole family during the late and lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Check out even more activities in our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

Indoor Activities: 25 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in NJ

The truth is, I love a rainy day.  Winter or summer, fall or spring, there's much fun to be had when the showers are pouring down, so get out and take advantage of some of the great indoor adventures that NJ has to offer. Here's a bunch of our favorites, some for the warmer days of winter, some for the wetter days of summer, and with a few at-home ideas thrown in. Enjoy your inside time, New Jersey!

Best Miniature Golf Courses in New Jersey

It's summer and that means day trips, swimming, water parks, random adventures with the small people, and yes, putt-putt. Apparently New Jersey is the land of windmills and teeny-weeny pencils, because our fair state has at least 53, that’s right, fifty-three courses. We're highlighting nearly half of these courses, so get out that little pencil, and make your way around the state. See websites for prices and hours.

Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorite (or two). With everything from county fairs to music and food festivals, there’s something to entertain every member of the family. Mark the calendar now and have a blast all month long. For more summer fun, visit our Summer Activities Guide.

Captive with Clues: Family-Friendly Escape Rooms in NJ

Sometimes 15 minutes alone in the car with kids can seem like an hour, especially when they’re in the back seat fighting or asking “are we there yet?” So why would a parent choose to lock themselves in a tiny room with their children? Well, to figure out how to escape, of course.

Escape rooms are the latest entertainment craze for those brave enough, clever enough, and not too claustrophobic to take on the challenge. Up to 10 participants get “locked” in a thematic room with a compelling story line such as finding your way off an island, out of a mysterious location, or escaping before falling victim to a terrible curse. The group has up to an hour to find and solve clues hidden literally anywhere in the room and free themselves. Clues can be as simple as a color or a number; they can be in code; they can be subtly hidden in a picture or painting, on a piece of paper, in a decorative item in the room. A Game Master monitors all the action on video screen and is available to offer help upon request.

Read on for our our list of family-friendly escape rooms in NJ!

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