New Jersey

Day and Sleepaway Camps with Availability for NJ Kids

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—several camps in and around New Jersey still have space. As of this publish date, all of the camps listed below are actually open for enrollment.

Whether you're looking for a day camp for your preschooler or a sleepaway camp for your tween, you'll find it here! Sign up for the whole summer, or just one week, depending on the camp and your needs. (After all, you might want to leave time to try some of our 100 things to do with kids in New Jersey before they grow up.)

You can find even more camps in our NJ Summer Camp Guide, or in our NJ Summer Camp Directory.

Fun Family-Friendly Bike Rides in New Jersey

Riding a bike is more than a childhood milestone. It develops a sense of balance, strengthens muscles, fosters an appreciation of the outdoors, and makes for wonderful family bonding time. Luckily for NJ families, there are tons of family-friendly bike trails throughout the state, from the Kittatinny Mountains to the Jersey Shore

Read on for 15 of our favorite spots for a family-friendly ride. If you prefer to travel on foot, check out a dozen easy hikes in NJ for families with small children.

Weekend Fun: Fairy and Gnome Fest, Butterfly Bonanza, Marina Day

Fairies, gnomes, butterflies, and pirates are just some of the magical creatures you'll encounter this weekend at mid-June's almost-summer fairs and festivals. Abma's Farms hosts its Annual Fairy and Gnome Gardening Festival, while Pyramid Mountain hosts a Butterfly Bonanza. And ahoy, matey, look out for pirates at National Marina Day-Pirate Spirit.

Some fantastic and free festivals take place this weekend, including the Maplewood-South Orange Book Festival, The Metfest, Juneteenth in Morristown, and Kidchella. Plus, head down the shore for the New Jersey Irish Festival and the start of the Long Branch Bands by the Beach Series

Check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, plus beat the heat at the Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey. And look to our event calendar and June GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Father's Day in New Jersey: 25+ Fun Ways To Celebrate Dad with Kids

Father's Day can be more than golfing and barbecues this year, with such a great variety of family-friendly activities happening across the state. Whether Dad prefers baseball or fishing, airplanes or amusement parks, our list of Father's Day happenings has something for everyone. Read on for our top picks for celebrating Dad this June. 

For more ways to have fun with fathers throughout the month, check out our playground guide, roundup of family festivals, and Event Calendar. And if Dad really has his heart set on golfing, there's always (mini) golf! 

Outdoor Games and Toys to Make Your Kids' Summer a Hit for Cheap

When the temperatures soar and school lets out, it’s time to break out the outdoor games for the kids. Whether trying to keep them entertained at the beach, a backyard BBQ, or just at the park, parents everywhere know that an engaging outdoor toy for toddlers to teens can be the perfect antidote to the inevitable “We’re bored” summer refrain with which we’re all so familiar.

Unfortunately, just walking into your nearest retailer and grabbing the most interesting looking outdoor game off the shelf doesn’t always work out. It could end up overly complicated, not age-appropriate, break upon contact—or even worse: not hold their attention! So we at Mommy Poppins rounded up our favorite summer toys for kids from over the years, including water games, and even tested out new ones, to bring you this list of more than a dozen, inexpensive options to play with your kids this summer.

Great Amusement Parks for Preschoolers and Toddlers in New Jersey

Looking for a place to take your little ones for gentle thrills and kid-friendly amusements? We've rounded up 15 NJ amusement parks that are perfect for the younger set. Some, like Storybook Land, are geared exclusively toward small children, while others, like Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Boardwalk, offer a solid selection of kiddie rides in addition to bigger thrills. 

We've limited our list of amusement parks to those located in New Jersey—to search for more tot-friendly spots in surrounding areas, check out the Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC.

Family Getaway to Hershey, PA: Hersheypark, Chocolate World, Zoo

While there are plenty of family vacation options in our area, my family's destination of choice this year was Hershey, Pennsylvania. The town, smack dab in the center of the state, has been dubbed the Sweetest Place on Earth thanks to the region's namesake chocolate factory and iconic candy bar. 

The main attraction, Hersheypark, is the perfect short-week or long weekend getaway solution for kids who aren't ready for a long car, train, or plane trip. It’s just over three hours away from the New York City area and barely two hours from Philadelphia. (Tip: Leave before dawn and the kids will sleep through half of it).

I was hesitant that my 5- and 2-year-old boys would be too small to enjoy the trip, but Hershey offers much more than just roller coasters. There's water park fun, a zoo and gardens, chocolate galore, and plenty of great places to stay, including right on site with the treat-filled amusement park. There are even additional family sights in nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Here is a breakdown of the top sights to see with kids.

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