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Best Shaded Playgrounds To Keep NJ Kids Cool

During cold winter days, I fantasize about picnics and lazy afternoons at the pool. But once summer temperatures soar into the 90s, a teeny part of me is starting to look forward to that first crisp fall breeze. Sigh. Instead of schlepping to the air-conditioned mall again, how about a shaded playground outing where the kids can burn some energy (and not their skin!), and the adults can relax on a bench without breaking a sweat?

Read on to get the scoop on where NJ kids and parents can go to beat the heat. And find more awesome places to play in our Guide to Playgrounds and Parks in NJ

18 Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

There’s nothing that screams summer more than a warm-off-the-tree peach, with the sweet juices dripping down your chin. With farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking, choose your spot from the list below, grab your baskets and babes, and head to one of these u-pick farms

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found.

Arthur’s World: Have a “Wonderful Kind of Day” at the New Liberty Science Center Exhibit

It had probably been more than 20 years since I’d visited Liberty Science Center (oof, Mommy’s getting old...), but when I found out that my favorite former field trip destination was getting a visit from some of my most fondly-remembered PBS pals this summer, I knew I had to bring my baby boy over. I packed up my husband — an LSC-lover in his own right — and our one-year-old, and we journeyed to Jersey City to check out the new Arthur’s™ World exhibit at Liberty Science Center. We had a beyond “wonderful kind of day.”

30 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 together. Read on for 30 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families in New Jersey

Adventures abound on the high and low seas of New Jersey throughout the summer. Young pirates can dress up for a real pirate adventure; sailors can man the rigging aboard the historic A.J. Meerwald; and young naturalists will feel at home in the Meadowland marshes aboard specially rigged pontoon boats. Whalers will enjoy riding ships on the high seas in search of whales and dolphins, and adventurers can always ride the wild white waters of the Delaware River either on rafts or tubes. Who knows when you may regain your land legs?

For more warm-weather fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

Pick-Your-Own Blueberries and More NJ Berry Farms for Families

Blueberry picking is a perfect summer activity for the whole family: the bushes are low, the berries pop off the plants easily, and your family can literally pick hundreds without breaking the bank—or your back hauling them home. Lucky for us, blueberries are the official state fruit of New Jersey, and they are plentiful throughout the Garden State. We’ve assembled a list of some of the best pick-your-own farms NJ has to offer for kids, along with a few blueberry festivals. Happy picking!

Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

Fairs and festivals and feasts, what fun! It’s nonstop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorites. With everything from state and county fairs to music and food festivals—and of course, awesome July 4th celebrations—there’s something happening almost every day in July. Mark your calendar now, and have a blast all month long.

And for more warm-weather action, visit our Summer Fun Guide.

25 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips for New Jersey Families

We've got 25 ideas for NJ summer day trips your family can take without leaving the state—and many are low-cost. Whether it's gathering fresh fruit at a pick-your-own farm, swimming at the lake, hitting the Jersey Shore's beaches and boardwalks, or visiting an amusement park, it's time to grab the camera and hit the road!

Need more inspiration? Check out our NJ Family Day Trip and Getaway Guide for even more ideas.

If it's too hot or rainy to head outside, look to our indoor guide and rainy day suggestions to keep the good times rolling. 

Best July 4th Fireworks for NJ Families from Jersey City to the Shore

From small town celebrations to waterfront extravaganzas, we've got the scoop on NJ's best options for family-friendly fireworks shows on July 4th. You can cheer on the red, white, and blue in Atlantic City, which hosts one of the country's biggest celebrations; spread out a beach blanket and enjoy a display down the shore; take in the fireworks extravaganza at the New Jersey State Fair; or choose from more than a dozen other great shows happening throughout the state. 

In addition to fireworks, these July 4th celebrations include lots of other fun activities, such as parades, a Revolutionary War encampment, live music, and even a canoe race. Read on for more than a dozen picks. 

For even more holiday-weekend fun, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Swim Lessons and Classes for New Jersey Kids

Looking for a way to introduce your child to the pool? Parent-child swim classes are a great way to help kids develop a love of swimming and instill confidence around the water. These programs teach water skills in a safe and age-appropriate way, and most allow children as young as 6 months to participate. Once your little one gets the hang of it, you can take the family to the pool, beach, or water park with confidence. And most programs continue to offer lessons for kids up to age 12 and beyond.

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs.

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