New Jersey

Top 12 Indoor Play Spaces Across New Jersey

Looking for an indoor play space that makes your jaw drop and your kids jump for joy? We've rounded up a dozen of the biggest and best spots for playing, jumping, bouncing, climbing, and thrill-seeking throughout New Jersey. 

The Garden State is home to tons of awesome play spaces, and it was tough choosing just 12. We limited our list to those with major wow factor—places where you can tackle a Ninja Warrior–style obstacle course, play laser tag, climb on and through play mazes, bounce on inflatables and trampolines, play arcade games, scale rock walls, and even go roller skating or bowling. While most of these spots aren't specifically geared toward the smaller set, all have areas and/or times set aside just for them. 

Read on to find out which fun zones made the cut. And for even more options, check out our guide to indoor play spaces, where you'll find drop-in play for $15 or less, the best trampoline parks and bounce houses in NJ, and much more. 

How to Make Frozen Bubbles with Kids in This Freezing Weather

We're no fans of the freezing, and even below zero temperatures, that have ushered in the new year. But we are fans of the new viral sensation to come out of this frigid nonesense: frozen bubbles!

We saw these mesmerizing bubbles popping up all over our feeds, and couldn't wait to give it a try IRL with real kids. Read on for the recipe and see our video of this DIY science experiment in Connecticut, a day after the dreaded "bomb cyclone," aka, Winter Storm Grayson.

Don't forget you can find more at-home fun, like 40 Things to Do Indoors on a Snow Day, in our Mommy Poppins Boredom Busters Guide.

30+ Events This Winter for New Jersey Preschoolers

Hibernating sounds like a great idea this winter, but unfortunately your little ones probably wouldn't agree. So we've combed the calendar for events that will keep the 5-and-under set entertained through the spring thaw, from performances and parties to hands-on exhibits and explorations. 

Many beloved characters will be strutting their stuff on stages across the state this winter, including Curious George, the Gruffalo, Pinkalicious, and Shrek. In January, Frozen fanatics can dance with Anna and Elsa at the Frozen Ball at Liberty Hall Museum or sing along with the movie at bergenPAC. 

Take your little train lover to see the Thomas and Friends exhibit at Liberty Science Center, or catch the 60th Annual Model Railroad Show and Annual Antique Toy Train Show before they close. Explore the Grounds for Sculpture in a program just for tots, and celebrate Groundhog Day at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts.  

Read on for more than 30 events and activities that are perfect for preschoolers. For more ideas, check out our winter survival guide, featuring 50 things to do while staying warm indoors, as well as our list of fun winter day trips.

Want an outdoor adventure? Layer up and check out the best ski slopes, snow tubing spots, and ice skating rinks for families. And don't forget to check our event calendar for a full list of happenings all winter long. 

20+ Free Events for New Jersey Kids in January

Happy 2018, everyone! A brand-new year brings a brand-new crop of free events for the family. Your post-holiday wallet will thank you.

Load up your calendar with free crafts for the little ones at events like Recycled Crafts at Liberty State Park, Owl Puppets at Rancocas Nature Center, Drop-In Winnie the Pooh Crafts at Jackson Library, and Whole Foods Kids Club in West Orange.

Festivals aren’t warm-weather-only experiences. Bundle up and enjoy January festivals including the Fire & Ice Festival and Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival.

Read on for this month's picks, and don't forget to check out our Event Calendar and January GoList for more free and low-cost fun. 

40 Snow Day Boredom Busters for Kids

Whenever the weatherman predicts a big snow, you can almost hear the collective cries of joy from children, and the sighs of resignation from the adults who know they’re going to have stir crazy kids at home. Somehow the initial excitement always seems to wear off way too early in the day, leaving hours still to be filled.

Before your brood drives you batty, scan through this list of things to do at home on a snow day, from baking projects (cake in a mug) to cool crafts (homemade puff paint) and fun games (indoor snowball fight or DIY obstacle course). We think you’ll find enough ideas to keep them happily entertained until the school bus pulls up again. Have fun and good luck!

Find more crafts, recipes, and at-home projects and games in our Boredom Busters Activities Guide.

Weekend Fun: Pinkalicious, Disney on Ice, Model Trains

The first winter weekend of 2018 has arrived, and it is jam-packed with family fun activities, from model trains to hands-on art. Catch a performance of Disney on Ice or Pinkalicious, or check out a winter animal adventure. And there's still time to take in a final holiday light show

For even more winter family fun, check out our list of 50 Things To Do with Kids Indoors. If you're up for an outdoor adventure, bundle up and try out some kid-friendly ski slopes or snow tubing spots. And look to our event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond. 

Vienna with Kids: 33 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Austria's Capital

Exploring the great cities of Europe with children in tow may sound more complicated than it's worth—except that it's really worth it. And speaking of great cities of Europe, there is none greater than Vienna. Once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Central European capital packs in museums, palaces, and epic landmarks the way Mary Poppins packs surprises in her carpetbag. Vienna is a feast for the eyes, with a feast for the belly waiting at every corner, too. I'll take Vienna over Paris every time.

But kids? What's there for them, amidst all of these old buildings? If you dread dragging little ones on cultural tours, but long for a bit of culture yourself, check out Vienna. In summer, the city has an astonishing number of kids' activities, well organized in the city's Ferienspiel plan listing free and cheap kids' activities all over town. In winter, holiday themed activities turn Vienna into a twinkling, often snowy, wonderland.

Coding for Kids: Free Websites That Teach Kids Programming

As technology dominates our lives, learning basic computer programming isn't just a smart idea, it's an essential skill for grown-ups and children alike.

Learning how to build simple websites and games helps kids refine their design, logic, and problem-solving abilities. It also allows them to express ideas and creativity in unique ways. There are a number of FREE websites that teach children how to play around with code. We've rounded up a dozen of our favorites. 

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox, and find even more educational tech posts for kids in our Geek Guide.

50 Fun Things to Do with Kids Indoors in New Jersey: A Winter Survival Guide

Being stuck inside on a cold, blustery day with your kids climbing the walls is far from our idea of a good time. Lucky for us, New Jersey has no shortage of ways to keep young 'uns entertained and active this winter, from museums and indoor play spaces to bowling alleys, dine-in move theaters, and roller rinks.

Bundle up your little ones and hit the road to check out one of these 50 fun ideas. Kid-friendly shows, drop-in arts & crafts, and sporty fun zones are just some of our favorite indoor activities guaranteed to cure cabin fever.

Read on for our list of the best of what New Jersey has to offer for the whole family this winter season. And be sure to check out our January GoList and Events Calendar for even more great ideas. Stay warm, NJ!

Our Best Family Travel Destinations of 2017: Beaches, Resorts, Attractions

Family destinations really upped their game in 2017. We saw amazing new attractions at some of our favorite amusement parks, the opening of the largest indoor water park in the US, and the opening of the brand new Dr. Seuss Museum. LEGOLAND's new Beach Resort is so awesome it went right into our list of mind-blowing kid-friendly hotels, and technology brought us a whole new way to go camping. Our writers have been busy checking them all out and sharing insider tips. Speaking of insiders, our new Disney experts gave us the scoop on visiting California's Disneyland with a baby or without

Read on for our top travel reviews of family-friendly resorts and beaches, great citiestheme parks, and attractions of 2017. Want more family travel inspiration? Read our top travel spots of 2014 and 2015 or check out our Family Travel Guide

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