Morris

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

When the heat becomes unbearable with the kids this summer, you might be yearning to bust open a fire hydrant. Before you do, consider one of New Jersey's splash pads and sprinkler parks, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, organized by region. Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park!); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in New Jersey

Nothing screams springtime in the Garden State like getting your hands dirty picking strawberries. Heading to a pick-your-own farm is an outdoor adventure with a sweet reward—what kid (or grown-up) doesn’t love red, ripe strawberries? Whether this is your child’s first time at the berry patch or you’re looking to fill pies, jam jars, smoothies, and shortcakes for months to come, we’ve rounded up more than 20 farms and festivals around the state where your sweeties can their hands on bushels full of juicy red berries.

Check out our May GoList and Spring Fun Guide to find more events and activities to enjoy with your kids this season.

20 Best Things To Do with Tweens in New Jersey

Your tweens may be too big for bouncy houses and tea parties, yet too young for solo outings with friends. But they still love family fun (even if they won't always admit it). To keep those in-betweeners happy and engaged, find an activity that sparks their curiosity or stretches their growing limbs. When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing activities for older kids in New Jersey. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling and mini golf, tackling the fast slides at a water park, or seeing a play or concert. Read on for 20 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

Best Miniature Golf Courses for New Jersey Kids and Families

Summer is on the horizon, and that means day trips, swimming, water parks, random adventures with the small people, and yes, putt-putt. New Jersey apparently has a thing for windmills and teeny-weeny pencils—our fair state has at least 53 miniature golf 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.

New Jersey Art Studios that Encourage Kids To Play with Glass

Broken glass at home often leads to warnings of keep back and be careful, but at a number of art studios across the state, kids are encouraged to play with the stuff. Don't worry, cuts and scratches are not involved. In these studios, kids (and adults) can cut, glue, blow, and fuse colorful bits and pieces of glass to make sun catchers, jewelry, picture frames, and other unique designs—often with the help of trained studio artists. We've searched out some spots with open studio times and classes where kids and adults can express their inner Chihuly.

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).

Drop-In Arts and Crafts for Kids at New Jersey Art Studios

Like the idea of crafting with your kid but cringe at the thought of paint and glitter all over your house? Lucky for us, New Jersey is home to a variety of drop-in art studios that offer your spontaneous painter, potter, glassmaker, and jeweler the chance to get their craft on. The perfect destinations for a cold winter day, these craft-tastic spaces let you skip the mess at home while catering to your budding artist's creative impulses.  

Fun Birthday Parties at New Jersey Museums

Whether it's a night at the museum or just an afternoon, New Jersey venues can host one heck of a birthday party. Whether your child is a science fan, a train lovera budding artist or just simply bug-crazed, New Jersey's excellent museums offer a variety options for some really exciting and celebratory shindigs.

For even more ideas, check out our phenomenal New Jersey Kids' Birthday Party Ideas Guide!

Top Birthday Party Places for Kids in New Jersey

It's time to party, New Jersey! We've rounded up 15 of our favorite places to celebrate in the Garden State. Whether your birthday kid is into cooking, laser tagging, bouncing, or crafting, there's a place that's perfect for hosting your next bash. And if you're looking for more specific ideas—for a first birthday, perhaps, or the best spots for preschoolers' parties—be sure to check out our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Ideas Guide

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