New Jersey

Best Shaded Playgrounds To Keep NJ Kids Cool

During cold winter days, I fantasize about picnics and lazy afternoons at the pool. But once summer temperatures soar into the 90s, a teeny part of me is starting to look forward to that first crisp fall breeze. Sigh. Instead of schlepping to the air-conditioned mall again, how about a shaded playground outing where the kids can burn some energy (and not their skin!), and the adults can relax on a bench without breaking a sweat?

Read on to get the scoop on where NJ kids and parents can go to beat the heat. And find more awesome places to play in our Guide to Playgrounds and Parks in NJ

18 Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

There’s nothing that screams summer more than a warm-off-the-tree peach, with the sweet juices dripping down your chin. With farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking, choose your spot from the list below, grab your baskets and babes, and head to one of these u-pick farms

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found.

Weekend Fun: County Fairs, Wooden Boat Festival, Butterfly Bonanza

Hope you're feeling festive this weekend, because there are plenty of summery festivals to choose from throughout the state. Celebrate with food and music at WILDfest Food Truck and Music Festival, connect with nature at Howell Living History Farm's Butterfly Bonanza, check out cool sailing vessels at The Wooden Boat Festival, and find all kinds of warm-weather fun at Summer in the Street.

Plus, county fair season is in full swing, and this weekend's lineup includes the Burlington County Farm Fair and the Morris County 4-H Fair. You can also catch plenty of free outdoor flicks this weekend in Highland Park, Fort Lee, Belmar, and Seaside Heights.  

Check out our Summer Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including 13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families and 25 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips. And look to our event calendar and July GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

25 Fun (and Educational) Things to Do for Free with Kids this Summer

Summer is all about going to the beach, eating ice cream, exploring the outdoors, and having family-friendly fun—no "reading, writing, and arithmetic" allowed...Right? Well, it turns out that there's a whole world of educational fun to be had while your family enjoys summer, from exploring marine habitats at the beach to learning about science while making your own ice cream.

Whether your summer vacation takes you to the forests of Yosemite or the beaches of Mexico, here's a list of 25 ways to keep kids learning—while having fun—all through their school vacation.

Arthur’s World: Have a “Wonderful Kind of Day” at the New Liberty Science Center Exhibit

It had probably been more than 20 years since I’d visited Liberty Science Center (oof, Mommy’s getting old...), but when I found out that my favorite former field trip destination was getting a visit from some of my most fondly-remembered PBS pals this summer, I knew I had to bring my baby boy over. I packed up my husband — an LSC-lover in his own right — and our one-year-old, and we journeyed to Jersey City to check out the new Arthur’s™ World exhibit at Liberty Science Center. We had a beyond “wonderful kind of day.”

30 Best Things To Do with Tweens in New Jersey

Your tweens may be too big for bouncy houses and tea parties, yet too young for solo outings with friends. But they still love family fun (even if they won't always admit it). To keep those in-betweeners happy and engaged, find an activity that sparks their curiosity or stretches their growing limbs. When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing activities for older kids in New Jersey. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling and mini golf, tackling the fast slides at a water park, or seeing a play or concert together. Read on for 30 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

20 Easy (But Gorgeous) Hiking Trails To Do with Kids and Babies

By Shanti Hodges

Looking for a hiking trail near you? Great walking trails top our picks for fun summer activities and fall outings with kids. A hike is an opportunity for quality family time, exercise for kids, and of course, discoveries small and large, from bugs to waterfalls.

These getaway-worthy, family-friendly hiking trails are just a sampling of my favorite trails, highlighted in my new book, Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventures with Babies and Toddlers. As founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get on the trail with kids, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample nature trails across the country, including at our best national parks and campsites, and even those extra-special, smaller local parks that often offer the best hikes for toddlers and families with little kids.

Now I’m sharing 20 of my favorites, from Connecticut to Florida to Washington state, that are perfect for your next day trip or family vacation. Most are easy loop paths, but I’ve included some moderate trails and top destinations, such as Mt. Rainer and the Badlands. Many of these hikes are FREE, too. The list also highlights family-friendly perks like bathrooms, and benches for a rest or a nursing mom.

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

11 NYC Neighborhoods to Visit With Your Family This Summer

Whether you're a New York native, a day-tripper, or a tourist from way outta town, summer is the perfect time to explore this action-packed city. And since there's certainly no shortage of warm-weather adventures for kids of all ages, we partnered with the Big Apple pros over at NYCgo to share some of the top can't-be-missed 'hoods worthy of a visit while the sun's out this season.

From sharks to new parks, make it a summer of adventure with these hot, family-friendly neighborhoods across all five boroughs!

Visiting Sandy Hook Beach with Kids

There is no shortage of options for NYC beach-goers. We have the Rockaways, Coney Island and Jacob Riis all within city limits, plus the Jersey Shore and the often-overlooked beaches in Staten Island within day-trip distance. Each beach has its own special vibe and its own reasons to put on your flip flops and head to the ocean.

Sandy Hook is another kid-friendly beach destination that's just a short ride away from NYC on the Jersey Shore. And best of all: No car? No problem! A ferry can take you right to Sandy Hook beach from Manhattan. Bring your boogie boards and beach blankets and make your way to Sandy Hook for an unforgettable afternoon at the seashore: Here's what to know before you go.

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