Bridging the Gap from Summer to School: 10 Fun & Educational Late-Summer Outings in NJ

The weeks of warm, lazy days are dwindling and before we know it, September and the start of school will be here. Rather than fret about the impending return of homework and schedules, I decided to come up with a list of both fun AND educational outings my family and I can take part in during these last few weeks of August. We’ll make some memories, get our brains back into learning mode and soak up what’s left of summer. Check out these ten great outings in NJ and for more end of summer fun, don't forget to check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

The Best Scrapbooking Classes in New Jersey

Scrapbooking is a wonderful hobby for those who love to collect mementos and look forward to creating new memories. Moms often create scrapbooks for their little ones. Just as fun as a sticker book (remember those?!), scrapbooks made for babies are intended to be enjoyed years later when your babies have their own babies someday! Every item inside a scrapbook—whether it’s baby’s hospital ID bracelet, or a snippet of hair from baby’s first haircut—tells a special story. Here are some boutiques and store in the Garden State that carry a plethora of colorful scrapbook items. Be sure to also enroll in a scrapbook class to improve your craft! For more great classes throughout the state, check out the Enrichment Programs, Classes and Activities Guide for NJ Kids.

A-tisket, a-tasket: Great Places in NJ to Bring Your Picnic Basket

Even though I'm not a huge fan of sharing my personal space with bugs, I do appreciate being one with nature. Lucky for us, here in New Jersey we have many parks and natural areas to explore. If you want to make the most of a day outdoors, bring along some food and find a spot to picnic with your family.  You'll be glad to know that we've taken some of the guesswork out of “where” by listing some of the best picnic spots in NJ.

En Garde! Fencing Schools and Camps in New Jersey

Give most children a stick, and inevitably it will become a sword. My children love battling it out with everything from wrapping paper tubes to broomsticks. Why not turn that love of battle into a great form of exercise for your kids? As a mother of a fairly coordinated kid who hates the idea of baseball, soccer, and football, I've come to realize that classes in an individual sports like karate or fencing might be the best way to get him sweating. Fencing is just the right mix of imagination and sport; kids love the cool swordplay, and parents love the discipline, coordination, and logical thinking that fencing lessons provide. If you are looking for a fun new sport for your kids, take a stab at fencing at one of these amazing fencing schools right here in New Jersey. For more great summer camps, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.

Kid-Friendly NJ-Based Party Boats

Ok, let’s admit it: Boat parties are awesome. They’re unique, they’re memorable, they’re different. Good to know: Most party boat rentals involve some type of fishing. Not all, but some. And some just tool around the Statue of Liberty, which is cool enough on its own. Note: If your child is interested in a boat party, it’s strongly advised to strap them into a life preserver. Most marinas have life vests for children, but it may be wise to invest in a floatation device for every child. Here are six NJ-based marinas that offer some boat-riding fun for the whole family. And for more party awesomeness, check out our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Ideas Guide.

Best Specialized Baby Classes in New Jersey

New moms should always remember that they are not alone! There's always another mom nearby also looking for a specific parenting course, or just hoping to meet another mom as cool--and perhaps as frazzled!--as they are. New Jersey is home to a wonderful array of really specialized baby classes and meet-ups such as adventures in baby-wearing, stroller fitness and more. Below is a list of some extra-special baby classes that may pique your interest.

6 New Jersey Summer Camps With Elective Activities

Kids generally spend their summer camp days participating in an array of structured activities; some camps, however, are switching things up and allowing children to pick and choose the activities where they'd like to place more of their focus. These customizable, "pick-your-own-program" camps give kids a sense of responsibility and accountability, because they have some say in their camp scheduling and can choose a little tennis, a lot of horseback riding, or a whole bunch of theater games. And to find a full range of summer camp options in our fair state, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.

10 Fantastic Face Painters for NJ Kids

Looking for a unique activity to celebrate an upcoming birthday party or other special event? Face painting is a fabulous way to entertain kids and create lasting memories. New Jersey is home to many wonderful artists offering face painting, balloon art and other services—read on for our top ten picks below. And for additional birthday party entertainers and services, visit Mommy Poppins NJ’s Birthday Party Guide.

Best Spring Museum Exhibits for NJ Kids

March 20th marked the first day of spring and hard as it may be to believe, we can soon look forward to warmer weather, spring flowers, opening day celebrations, bike riding and street festivals. We can also look forward to new museum exhibits through the Garden State. From Bob the Builder to Frogs to Honeybees to a world-premiere exhibit centered around the famous Rubik's Cube, there's something for everyone this spring!

Rock Climbing Classes and Centers in Northern NJ

With all of this snow and more on its way, my kids are climbing the walls…literally. We need to get out of the house and get moving. Ice skating is an option, or skiing, but what if we want to move and still stay indoors? Rock climbing is the perfect mix of family-friendly fun, indoor temperatures, team building and exercise. Check out these Northern New Jersey facilities for open climb, beginners classes and more!


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