Great Day Trips to New Jersey State Parks and Forests

Before I had children, I spent the weekends exploring the wildlife of Paramus malls (the Manolos, the Choos, the Louis Vuittons). Now that time is spent with my own wildlife, my kids, and at least one weekend a month we go to a state park. Why? One, because sticks and rocks can occupy my children longer than any toy we have in our house. And two, because there are so many beautiful state parks to explore in our little state. Most outsiders do not equate “New Jersey” with “beautiful state parks”, but exploring at least one of our 36 state parks and 13 state forests should be on your summer fun to-do list with your kids. They’re the perfect venue for a fun-filled day trip in New Jersey!

Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve in NJ with Kids

Thomas Fuller was quoted as saying, “It is madness for sheep to talk peace with a wolf.” He may have lived in the seventeenth century, but Mr. Fuller already knew my family dynamic. I, the sheep, live amongst a pack of wolves disguised as 3-year old humans. So knowing these little beasts now dominate our lives (literally), we decided to add another great spot into the Mommy Poppins Day Trip Guide by visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve. 

Earth Day Family-Friendly Fun in NJ

Earth Day isn’t just a celebration of all things green; it’s a movement. By fostering awareness and supporting environmental protection, Earth Day is helping to shape a green generation. From hiking beautiful New Jersey trails to celebrations in various counties, our little ones appreciate Mother Earth for all she has to offer. We've rounded up fun and eco-friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day this spring in New Jersey.

New Jersey Theater Alliance Stages Festival: Your Guide to Kid-Friendly Shows

If you'd like to introduce your kids to the magic of theater, check out the performances and theater-related activities that are a part of the 2016 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival. With over 80 kid-friendly performances, workshops, classes, and camp samplers offered throughout New Jersey free or at low-cost, The Stages Festival is the perfect introduction to professional theater for children of all ages.  All events are produced by the professional theaters of New Jersey. According to Ruth Zamoyta, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages' Development & Communications Director, parents love live performances because "they get the kids off the computer, off the phone, and even away from the screens that you find on the TV or in the movie theater."  She adds,  when it comes to the workshops, mini-camps, and classes, "kids get to express themselves freely and creatively. In all Stages events, participants come away with a feeling of togetherness--live theatre is a shared experience, and the workshops and classes are collaborative."

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!

Family-Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New Jersey

When planning a family day trip, vineyards and wineries may not be the first destinations that come to mind. Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to relaxing and scenic vineyards that are family-friendly, and even pet-friendly! These vineyards offer outdoorsy fun that includes food truck events, music, farm activities, spacious fields, and of course, the Garden State’s homegrown wines. Not all local vineyards and wineries permit children on the premises, but raise your glass to these five that do. And be sure to check the policies on children in the tasting areas.

Splurge on Your NJ Kid with These Over-The-Top Party Destinations

Whether you're celebrating a birthday, special occasion, or just want to treat your kid to something extra cool, New Jersey offers a host of over-the-top experiences. There are kids-only salons, arcades that come to your house, and even a helicopter ride, and we've rounded up some of the best for your next bash. While some of the experiences listed below may seem a wee bit extravagant, just remember—you're only a kid once!

Find more out-of-this-world kids' party ideas in our Birthday Party Guide.

Best Family-Friendly Hanukkah Events in New Jersey

Hanukkah is almost here! This year, it begins the evening of Tuesday, December 16th and ends the evening of Wednesday, December 24th. Here in New Jersey there are many Menorah Lightings and musical events that are fun for the whole family these next few days, so check one out and enjoy the Festival of Lights. Also, click here for more wonderful events in the Garden State as 2014 gradually comes to a close and we usher in a new year.

That's My Name! Best Shops for Personalized Gifts in New Jersey

Personalized gifts are so whimsical and fun; especially if you have a unique name. This holiday season, nab the special children in your life a personalized gift, such as a water bottle, hat, step stool, or even a toy chest. Below is a list of really fun shops that can help you select a name-adorned item kids will cherish. And don't forget to view our family-friendly 25 Best Things to Do in New Jersey for the Holidays list as you prep for end of year festivities.

Family-Friendly "Small Business Saturday" Events in New Jersey

After Thanksgiving (and after you've had a day to relax), consider spending some quality time with your family celebrating "Small Business Saturday", (November 29th) supporting the local "mom and pop" shops in your neighborhood. Some NJ towns, such as Haddonfield and Red Bank, go all out on Small Business Saturday, involve the whole town, and really make the day something memorable. Don't forget to check out MommyPoppins.com's Fun Holiday Activity Guide, too.


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