New Jersey

New Playgrounds in Jersey City, Union City & (maybe soon) Hoboken

Have you checked out the new playgrounds in Jersey City, Union City and Hoboken?  Hamilton Park in Jersey City and Washington Park in Union City are completely redone, open to the public, and are prime summer destinations for the kids.  That is if you like mini-golf, barbecuing, tennis, and brand new spraygrounds, jungle gyms, & swings!  If you haven't visited them yet, pack your bags (and swimsuits, and tennis rackets, and portable grills) and make it a day at the park! 

NJ Fourth of July Weekend 2010: Beyond Fireworks!

Are you ready for the Fourth of July weekend?  There is much more going on this weekend in NJ than just the family barbecue and watching 4th of July fireworks!  On Saturday you can take a train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, watch some early fireworks aboard the Battleship NJ, make ice cream from scratch at Howell Living Historical Farm, and decorate & sail a sailboat at the Cooper Grist Mill.  On Sunday you can celebrate July 4th with the animals at the Turtleback Zoo or sign the Declaration of Independence at the Morven Museum & Garden.  If you are lucky enough to have Monday off, spend the day at Montclair's July 5th Parade and Family picnic and the evening at the NJ State Fair at the Meadowlands or at a demolition derby at the Cumberland County Fair.

NJ Weekend Events June 26-27: Free Festivals, Fairies, Fireflies & Fireworks

It's official: Summer is here!  That means weekend concerts and festivals, picnics on the lawn, pie eating concerts and dachshund races, and kids dressed like fairies running after fireflies at dusk.  This weekend is the launch of several pre-fourth-of-July celebrations including the Mercer County Park Freedom Festival and early fireworks at the Battleship New Jersey.  You can also picnic on the lawn while catching some first rate and family friendly music by the NJ Symphony Orchestra at the Annual Giralda Lawn Concert Arts & Music Festival.  For those seeking a more historic event, check out the New Jersey Renaissance Festival and Kingdom, complete with swordfights and a Fairy Grotto for fairy enthusiasts.  Feeling like spending the day down on the farm?  There is a Firefly Festival at Terhune Orchards and cheese making sessions at Fosterfield Historical Farm.  Or celebrate the beginning of blueberry picking season at the Whitesbog Blueberry Festival.

Best Summer State Fairs & Festivals for Kids in NJ

There is only so much time you can spend at the beach this summer... and when you are looking for a day of instant fun, just head to one of the many fun (and often FREE) kid-friendly festivals across New Jersey.  Who can pass up a day helping determine the best ice cream in New Jersey?  Have you ever seen a dog ride a motorcycle at the county fair?  You will be amazed at the wide variety of chickens that exist in NJ at the NJ State Fair's animal exhibits, while you kids croon over the newly hatched chicks.  And you never know, you may have a champion sand-castle builder in your household! 

NJ Weekend Events June 19-20: Father's Day Cars, Planes, Trains & More

This weekend is all about Dad.  So roll out the red carpet because the Garden State has an event that will put a smile on every father's face, be it a night at the drag races, airplane acrobatics, or caboose rides.  Perhaps the perfect day for dad is a nostalgic one, participating in an old fashioned fishing event like the New Brunswick Annual Fishing Derby or experiencing a historic battle at Smithville.  Or maybe when dad thinks of "old fashioned" he's thinking of a trip back some 65 million years for a fossil dig.  Other goings-on this weekend includes the NJ State Fair and the Cape May Harborfest or even a behind the scenes tour of Jenkinson's Aquarium.

NJ Flea Markets, Summer Craft Fairs and Art Festivals

The origins of the term “flea market” are disputed, with explanations ranging from buyers and sellers being active as fleas, or that the very first flea market had flea-infested goods and people. Wherever the expression came from, flea markets are here to stay and a totally fun way to spend a summer day. And don’t forget to also check out all the summer craft fairs and festivals in NJ—there’s about 5,762 of them (only a slight exaggeration). We’re highlighting just a few of the best for your summer arts and crafts consumption. So cruise to the crafts and flee to the flea! (sorry, couldn’t resist.)

NJ Weekend Events for Kids, June 12-13: Pokemon, Chess For Life, and Panning for Gold, all FREE!

There’s a wild variety of fun FREE activities in New Jersey this weekend, so leave the wallet at home and head out to play chess on a 3-foot tall chess board, walk through the inside of a hot air balloon, pan for gold in the Musconetcong River, or be inspired by the athletes at the Special Olympics Summer Games. If you willing to spend a bit of dough, you can also take in a rodeo and Daddies can have a special tea party with their little princesses. Enjoy!

Drive-In Movie Theaters in NY and NJ!

Ah, the romance of the drive-in… smooching with your sweetie, eating stale popcorn, not caring what the movie is… Oh. Wait a minute. We have kids now. Well, the drive-in is still a blast! (though not quite as steamy…) And did you know that New Jersey is the birthplace of the drive-in? The very first one opened in Pennsauken in 1933 with the slogan “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are!” Still a big selling point, right? There are a mere five drive-in theaters accessible to Manhattanites and Jerseyites (under a two hour drive), so drive over, drive in, grab your snacks and enjoy!

NJ Weekend Events for Kids June 5-6: Fairy Festivals, Firetrucks, and Free Zoo Admission

Whether your little one likes to wear fairy wings or a fire helmet, this weekend New Jersey has the perfect event for you!  Festivities include a Fairy Festival, a Firetruck Parade, a Strawberry Festival, Dairy Day at the Farm, a celebration for Jersey boy Thomas Edison, an art party at Grounds for Sculpture, a Funfest for both kids and adults, and even a Tot Trot.  Too many choices?   Just forget the festivals and take advantage of a day of FREE admission to the Turtleback Zoo or lay low at one of the many "Get Out New Jersey!" events at the state parks.

Memorial Day Weekend Events for NJ Kids and Familes: Memorial Day at the Jersey Shore, Kite Festivals, & Battles Galore

Memorial Day is one of New Jersey's most important holidays: it means that it is time to hit the beach and the boardwalk!  And this weekend the Jersey Shore promises to deliver the best, including one of the nation's biggest kite festivals!  Kids can also get a taste of the country at sheepshearing festivals or by hopping on a hayride at a historical farm.  For those who want to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, consider a trip to a historic farm or battlefield for a live reenactment or visiting some of NJ's naval or aviation museums...

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