New Jersey

Toys 'R' Us to Close 182 Stores Nationwide – See the Full List

On the heels of its bankruptcy filing last year, Toys "R" Us says it will close more than 180 stores nationwide, according to court documents submitted this week by the retailer. The restructing includes the closure of the Babies "R" Us in New York City's Union Square, the Toys "R" Us in the company's hometown of Wayne, New Jersey, more locations in the NYC suburbs of Westchester and Long Island, and across the country, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California.

Weekend Fun: Frozen Sing-Along, Monster Jam, Fire & Ice Festival

The weather for the weekend ahead is looking mild, so take advantage of this break from the winter freeze and enjoy the outdoors. Learn how to tap a maple tree at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, wassail the apple trees at Terhune Orchards, celebrate Groundhog Day (a few days early) at the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Reserve, or head to downtown Mt. Holly for the Fire & Ice Festival

On Sunday, Disney fans can sing along with Anna and Elsa at bergenPAC's Frozen Sing-Along or check out a production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. at the Count Basie Theatre. Monster truck aficionados can cheer on battling vehicles at Monster Jam, and train lovers won't want to miss the last weekend of the annual Antique Toy Train Show in Deptford. 

Check out our Guide to Indoor Play Spaces for more options for weekend family fun, or take a mini vacation at an indoor water park. And look to our event calendar and January GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

The Liberty Science Center Celebrates 25 Years With Exciting Changes

It's no wonder Liberty Science Center has become a New Jersey mainstay for nearby parents and kiddos. Did you know the 300,000-square-foot educational center on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson is already celebrating 25 years of non-stop learning, playing, and exploration on January 23rd? And the much-loved museum isn't letting this major milestone pass by quietly either. Instead, it's rolling out a whole slew of improvements, entirely new exhibitions, and exciting upcoming events.

The Best Museums for Kids in Northern New Jersey

When bad weather hits, a trip to a museum can be a great cure for cabin fever. With winter in full force, it's time to check out a few local gems that offer kids hands-on art and science exploration. At these northern New Jersey museums, kids can study the stars at a planetarium, learn about dinosaurs that once roamed New Jersey, create their own works of art, meet animals, make music, and much more. They're guaranteed to learn something—and get nice and tired in the process.

Read on for our favorite spots in northern New Jersey, and be sure to check out our roundup of museums in central and southern NJ, too.

9 Best Florida Beach Vacation Destinations for Families

Sure, we all love a good spa resort or ski trip, but if the relentless winter has worn you down, know that there are balmy breezes, sandy beaches, and palm trees awaiting you in Florida

February's rounding the bend and spring is not quite ready to make an appearance; I can't think of a better time to the south for a fun family vacation—maybe for the kids' spring break from school. As a mother of two little ones living in Florida, I know the best spots for families on both coasts. Check out my favorite beach destinations for little and big (that means you!) kids alike.

A Dozen New Party Spots to Celebrate Kids' Birthdays in New Jersey

New year, new birthday party to plan! And luckily for Garden State parents, there are new party places popping up every day. From just-teed-up trampoline parks to Brooklyn-transplant ice cream parlors, these new-to-Jersey hot spots have more than enough hype to meet your little ones’ birthday riders. Check out some of the newbies below—and if you need more inspiration, brush up on our list of the best places for kids to party in NJ. The old standbys never fail to make them smile!

A New Indoor Water Park Is Coming to the Catskills

Families who'd rather swap their snowsuits for bathing suits will soon have one more option: the Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark, which will open in Monticello, New York, in early 2019.

The best part? It's located in Sullivan County, an easy family-friendly destination for both daytrippers and those in need of a weekend getaway.

Read on for more details, and sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date.

Day Trip to NJ's Adventure Aquarium: What's New and Best to See

With the grip of cabin fever feeling stronger every day—the struggle is real—the search for ways to get the kids out of the house in winter becomes a bit more desperate. Indoor play spaces are great for whiling away a frigid day, but what if we tempted you with a more exotic destination, somewhere warm and humid, but still within a short drive?

That place is Brazil, by way of Camden, New Jersey. (Stay with us.) Piranha Falls, the centerpiece exhibit at Adventure Aquarium, is a full-on immersion into the vibrant ecosystem along the Amazon. We're talking two waterfalls, hundreds of native plants, abrupt thunderstorms, and a school of spectacular-looking piranhas. The kids will be awed. You'll be transported. Everyone leaves a little refreshed—at least until you step back out into the bitter cold. 

Read on to learn more about some of Adventure Aquarium's most impressive attractions, which include the East Coast's largest collection of sharks, a couple of charming hippos, and several ways to get up close and personal with sea creatures. And, if your visit to Adventure Aquarium happens to spark a new interest in life under the sea, check out our rundown of the Best Aquariums for Your Next Family Vacation.

Weekend Fun: Disney on Ice, Drop-In Crafts, Winter Festival

While it’s tempting to hide out at home this chilly January weekend, our full roster of activities will give you plenty of motivation to leave the house.

Winter weekends are the perfect time to get crafty: Stop by hands-on art events such as Montclair Art Museum’s Drop-In Art Studio and Third Saturday Family Art Adventure, Drop-In Winnie the Pooh Crafts at Jackson Library, and Frelinghuysen Arboretum Suds and Bubbles: Soap Making for Kids.

In the mood for a show? Stay warm at cool theatrical performances like Milk and Cookies: Keep the Beat, Marvel Superheroes United, Disney on Ice, and Recycled Percussion.

Check out our Indoor Play Activity Guide for more ways to have family fun without freezing. And if you're brave enough for an outdoor adventure, bundle up and try out some kid-friendly ski slopes or ice skating. Plus, look to our event calendar and January GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

50 Easy Science Experiments for Kids Using Household Stuff

Children are born scientists. They're always experimenting with something, whether they're throwing a plate of spaghetti on the wall, blowing bubbles in the bath water or stacking blocks into an intricate tower only to destroy it in one big swipe. As they get older, you may decide to enroll them in a FREE online coding class to get a leg up in today's digital world. But you can actually do some pretty mind-blowing, hands-on science experiments at home using stuff you probably have lying around the house.

Don't worry if you never made it past biology: These 50 science activities are super-easy and a lot of fun to boot, as kids are exposed to a wide variety of scientific concepts. It's a great way to spend quality time together as a family and who knows, mom and dad may end up learning a new thing or two, too.

Find more at-home fun in our Boredom Busters guide for families.

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