Camps & Activities for the NJ Teachers' Convention on November 6 & 7

New Jersey schools are closed November 6th and 7th for the annual New Jersey Education Association convention. Still have to work and wondering what to do with the kids for the day? Or just hoping to keep them occupied? We’ve got the skinny on ten fabulous camps and programs for NJ kids, whether they’re artsy, outdoorsy or athletic. And if you're planning to take the day off too, visit our NJ Staycation post to find lots of fun ideas for local adventures.

Downtown Trick-or-Treating in New Jersey

The countdown to trick-or-treat is on! If you’re not ready to send your little goblins door-to-door, bring them store-to-store at one of New Jersey’s thrilling downtown trick-or-treat events. Collecting goodies from your favorite local retailers is a safe, organized alternative to traditional trick-or-treating and a great way to support local businesses. Take a stroll downtown for these free, family-friendly Halloween festivities. Maybe you can sneak in a little shopping while you’re there. And if you’re heading to the shore, pile on the treats at a boardwalk Halloween event. For more Halloween fun, visit Mommy Poppins New Jersey Halloween Guide.

Great Small Towns in New Jersey: Summit

Named for its location at the top of the Watchung Mountains, the town of Summit, NJ is definitely worth the climb.  The six square miles that make up this great town offer the perfect mix of city chic and outdoor fun.  Summit boasts an eclectic downtown that is home to more than 200 unique boutiques and restaurants.  In addition, the town's great parks, recreational facilities and unique outdoor attractions make for a fun day trip for the entire family.  Check out some of our favorite Summit destinations below.  For even more great North Jersey towns check out our Guide to Great Small Towns in Northern NJ or our posts on Bernardsville and Chester.

Food and Fun: NJ Restaurants with "Kids' Night" Entertainment and Events

Dining out should be a enjoyable, bonding experience for the family. However, kids and restaurants don’t always mix. Waiting for food or sitting still at the table can be a challenge for little ones. When crayons just don’t cut it, bring the gang to one of these family-friendly favorites on their scheduled “kid’s night”. From magicians to characters to balloon animals, the following restaurants offer fun entertainment and events for kids during the week. Also, check out restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials.

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.

Golf Lessons for New Jersey Kids

When the grass turns green and the temperatures warm up many New Jersey moms and dads grab their golf clubs and hit the links.  This summer, why not get the kids in on the fun?  The game of golf teaches skill, logic and honesty, and it happens to be a great way for kids to pass the time during the summer months.  With some of the best golf courses in the country, New Jersey is the perfect place to introduce kids to this fantastic sport.  Start them swinging by enrolling them in one of these great kids golf programs.  Check out our post on the Best Miniature Golf Courses in New Jersey for more fun golf options this spring and summer.  

Birthday Parties at New Jersey's Amusement Parks

Every time we visit Point Pleasant, our favorite summer destination, my kids declare that they will throw their next birthday party in the amusement area (sorry October girls!). Lucky for summer celebrators, New Jersey’s amusement parks provide the backdrop for an unforgettable, warm-weather birthday bash, with rides, games and fun. With so much built-in activity, party hosts can sit back and enjoy the ride without worrying about details. Most outdoor theme parks offer party packages from Memorial through Labor Day and require a backup rain date. Have a thrilling birthday celebration at these great New Jersey amusement parks. And for more fantastic party ideas, check out Mommy Poppins NJ's Birthday Party Guide.

Great Sewing Classes and Camps in Central New Jersey

Do you have a crafty kid in your home? It might be time to introduce them to the wonderful world of sewing. By learning to use a sewing machine, children can begin to design their own clothes, stuffed animals and accessories. In addition, sewing helps kids develop problem solving skills, strong motor skills and attention to detail. Central NJ is home to some wonderful sewing schools that offer after school classes and summer camps. For more summer camp ideas for creative kids, check out our post on Central New Jersey Summer Art Camps.

Best Family-Friendly Hotel Brunches in New Jersey

One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday is by getting my family all dressed up and going out for a great brunch.  My husband and children are what you might call "foodies", and giving them the opportunity to pick and choose from a bountiful buffet or design their own omelets (none of which I have to prepare) makes for an enjoyable outing for all of us.  New Jersey is home to tons of great brunch spots, but some of the best brunches in the state are located in our beautiful hotels.  Great customer service, a bountiful menu and beautiful decor make these hotel brunches standouts.  Just in time for Mother's Day, our list features some great hotel brunches throughout the Garden State.  If you are interested in heading into New York City for brunch, check out our post on New York City Hotel Brunches.

Great Small Towns in New Jersey: Scotch Plains

If you’re looking for a small town full of energy and neighborhood pride, discover Scotch Plains in Union County. With a population of around 23,000, Scotch Plains is a family-oriented community with a downtown anchored by a village green, year-round community activities, an abundance of playgrounds and even an amusement park. Scotch Plains is located right off Routes 22 and 78 and accessible from NJ Transit trains (Fanwood station) or buses, so take a day trip and explore. While you’re on a day-tripping roll, check out installments of Mommy Poppins' Great Small Towns in Northern NJ series, including Verona, Cranford and Nutley.


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