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Clementon Park in South Jersey: Amusement Rides and Water Fun for Kids

What's your favorite type of theme park attraction: water rides, dry rides, or wave pools? If your family loves all three, there's no need to choose at Clementon Park and Splashworld. This South Jersey combo theme/water park next to Clementon Lake has a 110-year history of entertaining New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware families with a variety of attractions.

Storybook Land in New Jersey: A Magical Park for Preschoolers and Tots

If you’re looking for an enjoyable amusement park experience minus crazy thrill rides and super-sized crowds, take a day trip to Storybook Land in Egg Harbor. This charming spot, in operation since 1955, was created with younger children in mind—the rides and attractions are all geared toward the under-10 crowd, making it great for toddlers and big siblings alike.

Visiting is a bit like stepping into a fairy tale: as you walk through the wooded grounds, you encounter characters from nursery rhymes and classic children's stories, like Humpty Dumpty and Alice in Wonderland. Even if you didn't go there as a kid, as many New Jerseyans did, you're sure to fall under its nostalgia-laced spell. 

My husband and I recently visited for the first time with our two boys, ages 5 and 2, and we all loved it and will definitely go back. Storybook Land is No. 1 on our list of 30 Things to Do with NJ Preschoolers, with good reason. Read on for more about this sweet NJ gem.

Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop 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.

Berry lovers: be sure to check out our roundup of NJ's awesome blueberry festivals, many of which take place in July. And for more warm-weather action, visit our Summer Fun Guide.

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 16 of our picks. 

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

Best Pick-Your-Own Blueberry Farms and Festivals for NJ 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 and blueberry festivals NJ has to offer for kids. Happy picking!

Free Outdoor Summer Movies for New Jersey Families

If you like watching movies under the stars—for free!—as much as we do, you're in luck: New Jersey will be showing hundreds of free films in parks and on beaches throughout the state this summer. Pack your chairs and blankets, put the kids in their PJs, and get there early to snag a good spot. Depending on the venue, you can either pack your own snacks or buy them onsite. And some events include pre-show activities such as dance parties, games, and meet-and-greets with movie characters. Don't forget the bug spray!

Scroll to the bottom of the list to find a few free (and practically free) indoor flicks—many of them shown in the morning—for those days when you just want to cool off in a nice, dark theater.

For more summer awesomeness, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

July 4th Fireworks and Parades Around New Jersey's Small Towns

Sure, you can go big 'n' splashy for July 4th. New Jersey hosts some of the best (and biggest) July 4th fireworks around, from Atlantic City to Jersey City to great beach spots. But why not try a celebration in a small town? They may not have Macy's fireworks, but the charm, the history, the food, and the Americana feel may more than make up for the loss of crowds, noise and, well, crowds.

Check out some of our favorite small town New Jersey July 4th celebrations below that come complete with parades, fun runs, antique car shows, and so much more than just fireworks! And for more summer awesomeness, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide and the newly minted July GoList with all the best things to do with kids in July. Of course, you can find even more July 4th fun in our Event Calendar.  

Whale Watching Boats for NYC Kids: See Dolphins and Whales

Most New Yorkers were entranced back in 2014 when the unexpected happened—a humpback whale surfaced in New York Harbor and not only survived, he (or she) toured the city for days. My office was all abuzz, and my daughter and I tracked the whale on social media. (Who says New Yorkers hate tourists?)

When I moved to New York 20 years ago, I'd never have dreamed that we'd have healthy marine life frolicking in our waters, but apparently, whales started appearing in 2010. The numbers have increased exponentially every year since, which is great news for urban kids who want to see a whale outside of the American Museum of Natural History.

We've rounded up four local whale watching cruises, all about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC. (One is even in Queens!). And if you want to make a vacation out of it, we've got the scoop on the best place for a whale-watching weekend getaway on the East Coast. 

15 Awesome Water Parks for New Jersey Kids and Families

New Jersey has several fantastic water parks, some of them right on the beach! From big-name parks and boardwalk favorites to the state's first municipal water park, we've rounded up 15 of New Jersey’s best water parks and an overview of what to expect from each one. We've even included a couple of fantastic indoor water parks to keep kids splashing on rainy days.

If you're looking for water fun on a slightly cheaper scale, check out our Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads roundup. For more summer awesomeness, visit our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

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