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Central New Jersey Summer Art Camps

Summer is the perfect time of year for artists to express themselves. Summer art camps allow children the opportunity to build confidence, enhance creativity and have fun.  With its close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, central New Jersey is home to a wealth of talented artists hoping to educate and inspire children of all ages.  Here are a few summer camp options for parents looking to inspire their little Da Vinci during the long hot days of summer vacation. And to find out all the day camp options in NJ, check out our New Jersey Summer Day Camp Guide.

Play Spaces, Museums, and Aquariums: 10 Educational and Fun Winter Outings

The holidays are behind us but there are still a couple of months before spring is sprung, and it can be a challenge to fill up these lazy, winter days. As a mom to three young kids, I'm all for cozy afternoons watching movies, play-doh sessions in our pjs and finger painting to pass the hours. But sometimes, we need a change of scenery! A chance to get out of the house, explore, learn and fill another gray and chilly day. Fortunately, New Jersey offers up some awesome indoor activities. Bundle up, pile the gang into the car and check out our top 10 fun and educational picks.

How Sweet It Is! Maple Sugaring in New Jersey

Growing up in South Florida amidst the palm trees, there were certain things that never crossed my mind; basically anything having to do with snow. Snow angels, sledding, snowball fights, skiing, skating, snow shoveling…you get the picture. But one job interview, a moving truck and about 148 boxes later, my family and I became official residents of New Jersey, braving our first winter. I also never thought much about maple syrup. Sure, I knew it came from trees, maybe up somewhere in the mountains of Vermont. But lo and behold, New Jersey actually has a maple sugaring industry and this is the perfect time of year to bundle up the family and take a day trip to a demo at one of our state’s many nature preserves.

NJ Pond Ice Skating, Snow Tubing, Ice Fishing and Snow Shoeing

Do you know how many calories you can burn snow shoeing? Have you ever gone out on the ice not to skate, but to sit and fish and drink hot chocolate? If you're interested in winter sports beyond the realm of skiing and snowboarding and tubing, check out these fun for the family winter alternatives, and don't forget to check out our Winter Fun and Activities Guide for even more off the beaten path cold weather enjoyment!
 

The Best Indoor Shopping Malls for Families in New Jersey

Our family pretty much steers clear of New Jersey shopping malls from November through early January; we treat any holiday excursions like military missions, get in, get the job done and get out! But once the holiday shopping is over, I visit the malls with my husband and daughter again, where we enjoy leisurely browsing, relaxing late lunches, and even hop on a carousel or two. So load up the SUV, get out of the cold and gear up for an outing at these family-friendly New Jersey malls.

Things to do that are NOT Shopping on Black Friday in New Jersey

Black Friday is known as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Retailers try to lure us in with deep discounts on everything from toys to electronics. Let's face it, though, dragging the kids to the mall isn't the most fun way to kick off the holiday season. This year, why not look for a family activity that will make everyone merry? From holiday shows to winter festivals, we've come up with a great list of things to do on Black Friday that are far away from the busy shopping centers. Be sure to check our Events Calendar regularly for even more great holiday activities throughout November and December.

Gobble Gobble! Fun Places For NJ Kids to Make Thanksgiving Crafts

After the Halloween hoopla filled with candy & costumes and before the December cookie baking & gift frenzy, Thanksgiving brings a slower pace to the seasonal festivities in my house, allowing us to recharge with family and a delicious meal. In my kids eyes, Thanksgiving can seem a tad…well, boring compared to the spooky decorations we put out for Halloween and the gingerbread houses we construct come Christmas. I love Thanksgiving and want it to be a meaningful time for my family - and that means getting them involved. Check out these fun Thanksgiving Day craft events happening all throughout the month of November, where kids can roll up their sleeves and get into the Turkey Day groove - and maybe bring home a little something to decorate your holiday table too!

November Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families

Before the madness of the holiday season sets in, relax and enjoy autumn at these wonderful fairs and festivals taking place throughout NJ this month. Take a train ride, discover exciting new comic books, and explore rocks and minerals of all shapes and sizes. We’ve rounded up eight fabulous finds to keep you busy all November long. For more fun happenings every day of the month, visit our Events Calendar.

NJ's Best Independent "Back to School" Clothing Shops

Summer can't last forever, although that certainly would be swell. It's Back to School time and for many kids, that also means "Back to Cool." As in, what styles for boys and gals are cool and hip for the new academic year? We rounded up the best independent clothing stores in New Jersey--both storefront and online--and asked what kids under 10 are shopping for this days. (We also learned Montclair dominates the indie fashion scene for kids!) Here's the feedback; and be sure to check out our September GOList to make this the best month ever.

Family-Friendly Happy Hours in New Jersey

If you have children, you know the hours between 4pm and 6pm are particularly difficult. Referred to as "the witching hours" by many parents, this stretch of time (after naptime, but before dinner and bath time) can be hard to fill, leading to bored, whiny kids and grouchy moms and dads. If you're tired of wracking your brain for late afternoon activities, it might be time to take advantage of your local eateries Happy Hour specials. Enjoy a cocktail and some kid-friendly appetizers with a few friends. The kids will love the change of scenery and parents will enjoy the discounted treats and time to socialize. We've put together a great list of family-friendly restaurants where you can turn the "witching hour" into a happy hour for the entire family.

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