New Jersey

Free Summer Outdoor Movies for New Jersey Families

See your favorite movies under the stars this summer, when Jersey Shore beaches and parks throughout the state host free outdoor movies on supersized screens. Bring along a blanket or beach chair (and maybe a little bug spray), and enjoy all those big-screen family hits you may have missed during the school year—or check our some of your family's favorite flicks for a second or third time, minus the ticket fee. Some venues offer food vendors, and some provide pre-show fun.

We've also included some free, and nearly-free, indoor options for those days you feel like chilling in the AC.

Find more free fun year-round in our guide to Free Fun Things To Do with NJ Kids, and round out your summer plans with our Summer Fun Guide.

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24 Summer Camp Snacks for Kids That Aren't Boring

Packing for summer camp means gathering up the towels, swimsuits, water bottles—labeling everything!—and finally, ensuring your kid has a healthy snack to power them through an action-packed day.

After a year of making school lunches for kids, it might feel overwhelming to come up with creative summer camp snacks, especially if you have a picky eater who turns up their nose at the likes of a cheese stick or tube of yogurt. So we came up with two dozen camp snack foods to woo both kids and parents with cooling, energizing, and (mostly) healthy snacks.

We separated the list into four handy sections: high-protein snacks, fruit snacks, no-refrigeration required, and allergy-aware and nut-free snacks for kids. Some might be more suited to a post-camp nosh but most can be packed up and sent out the door to summer camp with your kid.

Weekend Fun: NJ State Fair, Blueberry Festival, Fairy Day

Fairs, fairies, and fireflies make for a fantabulous first weekend of summer! Revel in music, food, rides, and kid-friendly activities at a variety of summery festivals, including the New Jersey State Fair, North Wildwood Italian-American Festival, and St. Gregory the Great Family Carnival.

Check out a fair with a magical, whimsical theme, like the Fantasy Faire and Fairy Day, or celebrate the tiny, twinkling harbingers of summer at the Firefly Festival. Bring your appetite to food-centric celebrations including the 2nd Annual Taco Palooza and Whitesbog Blueberry Festival.

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including the Best Lakes for Swimming with Kids in New Jersey. And look to our June GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

50 Things to Do in Baltimore with Kids: Where to Eat, Play, and Stay in Charm City

Baltimore is an incredibly kid-friendly city. The walkable Baltimore Inner Harbor offers the impressive National Aquarium, family-friendly restaurants, museums and science centers, and more fun things to do.

Sports fans will find the pro-leagues Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles to cheer on, and if you have a transportation lover, the city is heaven with train museums and boats galore. It’s proximity to Washington, DC, doesn’t hurt either. It’s easy to visit both cities in one trip, taking advantage of all the free admission opportunities in the nation’s capital.

Here's our list of 50 fun things to do with kids in Baltimore, Maryland, from attractions to festivals, restaurants and even a few hotel suggestions for when you're ready to crash. Check out our other City Guides for more family travel ideas.

30 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips for New Jersey Families

Road trips rock! And we've got 30 ideas for NJ summer day trips that minimize the drive time and maximize the fun time. Whether it's gathering fresh fruit at a pick-your-own farmswimming at a lake, hitting the Jersey Shore's beaches and boardwalks, or visiting an amusement park, get ready to hit the road to one of these favorite summer destinations.

Need more inspiration? Check out our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids for even more ideas for family fun.

And, 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. 

15 Best Things To Do with Kids in Spring Lake, New Jersey

Summer fun at the Jersey shore doesn't always involve boardwalk rides and jam-packed beaches. For a quieter shore experience, head to the quaint seaside town of Spring Lake, where tree-lined streets and graceful Victorian inns welcome families.

You won't find mini-golf or arcades in Spring Lake, or any large hotels, either. But you will find leafy lanes, a picturesque lake, restored boardwalk, charming downtown, and a gorgeous beach.

Read on for our best bets for a family trip to Spring Lake, and for more of our favorite summer destinations, check out the Jersey Shore Family Guide

11 Crazy Awesome Pool Floats for Kids and Babies on Amazon and Target

Long gone are the days of the boring rectangular pool float that popped almost as soon as you finally filled it with air. Today's kids can hit the pool with a fabulous float in almost any design they can imagine, from the Millennium Falcon to a giant slice of pizza to on-trend unicorn floats. The best part? Parents can order these pool toys all online at either Target.com or Amazon. Check out our list of 11 crazy awesome pool floats for babies, kids, and teens in summer 2019.

Find more ways to cool down this summer in our Beaches, Lakes, and Pools Guides.

Great Day Trips to New Jersey State Parks and Forests

While most non-residents don't equate New Jersey with beautiful green spaces, there are a whopping 36 state parks and 13 state forests to explore in NJ—and at least one of them should be on your summer fun to-do list.

We've picked nine destinations that are perfect for a fun-filled day trip, where hiking, biking, swimming, and boating are just some of the fun outdoor activities to enjoy. Add acres of gorgeous scenery and some wildlife-spotting, and NJ state parks and forests make for an ideal day of family fun in the fresh air.

Build-A-Bear Has a New Pay-Your-Age Contest, without the Lines

Making a puffy, fuzzy DIY toy at Build-A-Bear is a great experience, especially for a birthday gift, but those bears are far from free. So it was no surprise last year that the company's big Pay-Your-Age Day (5 years old, get any toy for $5) resulted in lines not only out of the stores but out of the buildings—and lots of angry parents when lines were shut down. The good news? Build-A-Bear is doing the popular event again, but doing it differently this year.

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