New Jersey

Kids' Knitting, Sewing, Ceramics and More

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to start driving them all over the place for swimming, soccer, and pogo-stick practice, or if your kid is artsy, ceramics, beading and sewing. A recent rise in the popularity of crafting — knitting, it’s not just for Great Aunt Bertha anymore — means many kids are a part of the trend and NJ has no shortage of captivating shops. Some are drop-ins, some are multi-week courses, and they aren’t cheap, but then neither are Junior’s sword-swallowing lessons.

Parents Night Out! Best Date Night Options in NJ

Ahhhh, date night. Just the mere thought of this rare event can bring parents right to their happy place. You know, that place where you can finish your sentences without interruption, only cut up your own food, enjoy an activity without whining or reprimanding and most importantly, spend quality time with your significant other. Pure bliss, indeed. As lovely as this is, date night can often be a challenge to plan. Coordinating (or even finding) a babysitter can be a feat in itself and then there’s the task of planning the actual night out. Not to fear, weary parents, we’ve done some of that research for you and there are many options for quality and super fun childcare in the evenings. Let us get you and your significant other out on the town!

Your NJ Weekend September 17-18: Surfing Nuns, Clowns, Dinosaurs and Apples, mostly FREE!

Yes, you read that right: surfing nuns. I know you're intrigued, so read on to find out about those ladies of the cloth and their saintly surfboards. If you'd prefer non-religious sports, try wending your way through the corn maze at Terhune Orchards on Apple Day. Or if you're looking for a good old fair, there are country fairs, folk fairs and a clown hoopla to choose from. And remember, the first official day of fall is next week, so enjoy your last weekend of summer!

"Bullying: Words Can Kill" on CBS News/48 Hours: Review

I had the honor of being included in a preview and roundtable discussion of the CBS News/48 Hours special “Bullying: Words Can Kill” at CBS studios today. The special, to be broadcast Friday, September 16 at 8pm EST, bears its provocative title for a reason: the terrible statistic of more than 150 children in recent years having taken their own lives due to having been bullied. Despite this tragic number and the unsettling content of the show, the 48 Hours special is not gloom and doom—showcasing a Rhode Island middle school that has taken strong measures to address their bullying problem with a great deal of success.

Fun After School Programs and Classes in NJ

When it comes to after school programs, one typically thinks of the YMCA or programs held in schools that offer the usual activities:  homework help, arts and crafts, movies, games, and on nice days, possibly a trip to the playground or a walk outside.  But if you dig a bit deeper into the world of after school, you can find some alternate and unique programs for your child.

Your New Jersey Weekend Sept. 10-11: Mostly FREE

9/11.  Who’d have thought the mere coupling of two numbers could plunge me into a nightmarish memory:  struggling through shrieking crowds, fighter planes overhead, an evil, gray cloud chasing and threatening to envelope my 5-week old in his stroller as a tower collapsed behind us?  This weekend brings many of us to a standstill, frozen in memory. But, as children teach us every single day, life goes on.  Let these few days be both a celebration of life, and a tribute to the loss experienced by families throughout America.  Celebrate with butterflies, sheep-shearing, vintage cars, pancakes and patriots.  Remember through song, speeches and services.  It’s the best tribute we as parents can offer.

Get Packing! School Lunch Ideas and Tips

Here we are in the dregs of summer. The coffee grounds. The crumbs. No longer are the glorious sun-soaked days stretching before us. And how are we feeling? A bit (a lot) happy that school is starting, but also melancholy (a lot) that summer is ending. I’m ready for a little less kid-time, but I’m also filled to the brim with memories of squealing flips into the lake and sandy hands reaching up to hold mine. Still, we are all excited for school to begin, especially since my wee girl is starting kindergarten. Wasn’t it just yesterday … Of course, school brings with it a whole host of other routines, like waking up, doing homework and making school lunches.

One Great Day (well, 90 minutes) in NJ: Montclair Art Museum

The Montclair Art Museum has been on my family's “New Jersey Family Fun Bucket List” for quite some time now. Finally, we were blessed with a Saturday afternoon with no plans (almost unheard of in these parts) AND a free museum day through Bank of America's Museum's on Us program. Hooray! It was finally meant to be, so we quickly headed out on our short journey to Montclair to experience all that this art museum had to offer.

Your NJ Weekend August 27-28: Fashion Shows, Flavor Fests, Kid Fondo, and Finding Clues, mostly FREE!

Editor's Note 8/27: Check out the great Hurricane Irene post on our NYC site here-- has great links and stuff to do with kids while you're stuck in the house!   Well, we can all make our fun weekend plans, but just know that there may be an extra visitor hangin’ with us—a little lady named Irene. We hear she has a rather stormy temperament, so let’s all be safe out there. And just in case the hurricane passes us by, there are lots of activities in NJ this weekend, from a 19th century fashion show to a jazz and blues festival to a kids’ bike parade. Have fun! (We hope).

Your NJ Weekend August 20-21: Bike Racing, Blues Bands, Metal Making, Modern Dance, and More, Mostly FREE!

If after these last few drippy days, you’re ready to wring out your clothes, dry your shoes, and get on with a great (hopefully) dry family weekend, we’ve got the goods!  There’s potatoes to be harvested in Lambertville; Blues to be sung in Morristown; bikes to be raced in North Caldwell; open-air theater to watch in Titusville; and metal to be made at Cooper Gristmill!  If you’re looking to just wander in the long-lost sunshine, head to Augusta for a sunflower maze, or Ringwood for a family botanical walk.  Any way you go, wish for the sun.  We’re right there with you.


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