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7 NJ Spraygrounds & Splash Pads You Probably Haven't Visited Yet

Get ready, get set, get wet at New Jersey’s newest spraygrounds! Water playgrounds have been making a splash in the Garden State over the past several years, providing cheap (or free), refreshing summer fun. As spraygrounds and splash pads grow in popularity, new ones have been popping up throughout the state. Check out these newcomers in the New Jersey splash pads scene. Best part of all -- every destination on this list is free!

25 Things to Do Outdoors with NJ Toddlers & Preschoolers

If you’ve got a little one under the age of four, you know that toddlers and preschoolers are an energetic, curious and spirited bunch! After a long winter cooped up indoors, it’s time to get our wee ones out of the house for some fun and learning. Lace up your sneakers, pack some snacks and get ready to make great family memories by trying one (or more!) of these awesome outdoor activities in New Jersey. For more seasonal fun, don't forget to check out our list of 25 Things We Can't Wait to Do with Kids This Spring in NJ.

May Fairs and Festivals for NJ Kids and Families

After a brutal winter, the warm weather is finally here! Let’s rejoice and spend as much time outside as possible. Fairs and festivals are popping up all over the Garden State in places like Cape May, Toms River and Hoboken. You really should get your NJ family to one of these fun-filled festivals in our wonderful state, because, after all, it's only fair. For more outdoor fun, check out our list of 30 Ways to Get Good & Messy outside.

A Breath of Fresh Air: 5 Restaurants with Outside Dining in NJ

Eating outside in the summer months is peaceful, warm, great for people-watching, and an event that really makes summer feel like, well, summer! These last few weeks of 'lazy days' are a great time for the whole family to enjoy some outdoor dining, whether it be low-key like pizza or fancy-shmancy lobster-on-the-terrace. Check out these venues, and let us know your faves!

 

Celebrate Outdoors! Kids' Birthday Parties at New Jersey Parks

It’s pretty easy for both kids and parents to get swept up with birthday party fever when that special day rolls around each year. And why not? Birthdays are an excuse for gooey cake, fun food, family & friends. But some of these so-called kids’ parties can get out of hand pretty quickly. By the time you book a venue, hire entertainers and maybe even have the food catered, these little get-togethers have turned into over-the-top extravaganzas. I still recall the look on my husband’s face when I told him the cost of hosting an equestrian-themed party complete with pony rides!

Indoor Miniature Golf in New Jersey

Is any summer vacation complete without a round of miniature golf? If that thought gets you revved up, how about getting started now? NJ has a few indoor mini-golf courses, ranging from quiet putting practice to standard windmills and waterfalls, to full-on glow-in-the-dark monsters and music, so brush up on your stroke and prepare yourself for the great outdoors!

And for more indoor fun, check out our Indoor Play Spaces, Sports Centers and Fun Zones Guide.

I Want Fries With That! 5 Great Diners for Kids and Families in New Jersey

Diners are right up there with all of the things you’d expect to find in NJ, like boardwalks by the beach, saltwater taffy, shopping malls and great views of Manhattan. And it goes without saying that diners are probably some of the best joints to visit with kids – loud, crowded, cheap and charmingly unsophisticated. Plus, diverse menus mean that everyone can order exactly what they’re in the mood for (which basically means less complaining and whining for tired parents!)

So how do you distinguish a great diner from a so-so one? All of the joints below stand out from the pack for a number of reasons. Maybe they’re family-owned and operated (doing everything with just a little extra love), maybe they take the time to make everything from scratch or maybe the food is just that darn good! Read on for our pick of diner favorites for NJ families:

Kid-Friendly Sporting Events in NJ (with bonus tailgating tips!)

Sporting events in NJ are kid-friendly! Yes, New Jersey parents, you can take your kids to a college or professional sporting event--you can even tailgate with them! With so many little ones starting to play organized sports at a young age, college and professional teams are making their games more fan- (and kid-) friendly to increase attendance and encourage kids to stay interested. So brave the crowds and the face painters and enjoy the game--and enjoy our tips for the tailgating par-tay before!

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.

Overnight Camp-Ins: Museum Sleepovers and More for New Jersey Families

Imagine an overnight camping adventure without the worries of bugs and bad weather.  Our list of camp-in destinations offers memorable adventures that are sure to please the entire family.  From sleeping with sharks to bunking on a real battleship, these overnight getaways will create memories that will last a lifetime.  For even more nearby camp-in destinations, check out our post on Museum Sleepovers in Long Island.

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