New Jersey

Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

10 Fun Things To Do with Kids at Warinanco Park in NJ

I have fond childhood memories of my dad lacing up my ice skates and guiding me around the rink at Warinanco Park on the border of Roselle and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Much has changed about this Union County park since that time, but what remains constant is that families have tons of ways to have a great time at this 205-acre park—including sports classes, skating, trails, and paddle boats

Read on for 10 fun things to do at Warinanco Park with kids. And don't miss our Guide to NJ Playgrounds and Parks for even more options.

Iconic Asbury Park Bowling Alley Reopens After Major Makeover

Asbury Lanes will reopen on Friday, May 18, with a nod to the center's past and an eye to the town's future. The bowling alley-turned-music venue, which first opened in 1962, has been rebuilt with state-of-the-art bowling technology by Brunswick, and its performance space has been retooled to accommodate more than double the venue's old capacity of 300. 

The new Asbury Lanes features six lanes and will offer bowling lessons for children and adults, while the performance space will host concerts and other performances for all ages. The reinvented space marks another step in Asbury Park's renaissance as both a hipster retreat and a great getaway destination for New Jersey families. 

Weekend Fun: NJ Renaissance Faire, Ocean Fun Days, Mayfest

Feel like festival-hopping? This weekend is packed with too many to choose from throughout the state. Chow down at food festivals, like the New Jersey Seafood Festival and New Jersey State Chili & Salsa Cookoff. Stroll through local neighborhood street fairs in Bordentown and Maplewood. Have a blast with the past at Historic Smithville's Mayfest, The New Jersey Renaissance Faire, and Walnford Day. You can even party with magical characters at the 9th Annual Princess and Pirate Festival.

Check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including Unique Carousels in New Jersey. And look to our event calendar and May GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

25 Fun Things To Do with Kids in Morristown, New Jersey

Just 25 miles west of NYC, Morristown is rich in history and culture—and it offers lots of fun for families. In this day trip–worthy town, you can walk alongside a seeing eye dog in training, sample treats from one of the best chocolate shops in the region, catch a kid-friendly theater performance, and visit a few places where George Washington actually slept! Morristown also boasts beautiful gardens, several fun museums, and one of NJ's best swimming lakes

Read on for our top 25 fun things to do in this great suburban town.

10 Themed Playgrounds in NJ that Take Fun to New Heights

Now that playground season has arrived, it’s time to pack your sunscreen, hats, and bottled water and head to the park. If you’re looking for some new options to captivate your kids, both young and old, choose an outdoor play space with a cool theme to keep them entertained. From a supersized sailing ship to an entire wooden village for tots, these unique playgrounds go beyond the usual swings and slides.

For more ideas, check out our Guide to Playgrounds & Parks in New Jersey.

30 Things To Do in Milwaukee with Kids

John Steinbeck once wrote that Wisconsin is full of surprises, and the state's largest city, Milwaukee, is no exception. With a cosmopolitan feel and midwestern charm, and just an hour and a half drive north of Chicago (plus one of the easiest airports you'll ever travel through), families looking for a new vacation spot should put Milwaukee high on their consideration list the next time they're planning a trip.

Check out our list of 30 fun and interesting things to do with kids in Milwaukee (plus five bonus spots if you're willing to drive a little outside the city). Whether you're looking for the arts or the sciences, a great day outside, soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Michigan or a fun day in, sampling some of the country's best frozen custard, you'll find something for everyone in the family in Milwaukee.

10 Great Picnic Spots for Families in Northern New Jersey

Picnics are simple pleasures that kids of all ages can enjoy, so grab a blanket and your favorite goodies and head out to one of North Jersey's best spots for family gatherings. From majestic views and wooded trails to tranquil lakes and shady playgrounds, these parkland treasures are worth a visit. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, planning a family reunion, or just heading out for an afternoon of summer fun, New Jersey's parks will not disappoint.

For even more warm-weather activities, check out our spring fun guide, featuring our top picks for family campgrounds and more.

New NJ Play Space Genius Gems Sparkles with STEM Fun for Kids

"Goodness, have you ever seen so many Magna-Tiles?!" a mom exclaimed to her toddler on a recent day at Genius Gems, the brand-new STEM-based play space that opened in Millburn on May 3. It was an incredible sight: thousands of brightly colored magnetic tiles lay strewn about—in kaleidoscopic piles on the floor, in towering formations created by little builders, in geometric patterns on a giant magnetic wall—and the sunlight that poured in through the floor-to-ceiling windows set everything aglow. 

My first thought was that this was an amazing place; my second was, "I'm so glad I don't have to clean up all these tiles." 

Happily, my only job was to hang out in the bright, beautiful space and watch my 3-year-old play, occasionally jumping in to build alongside him. My son was engaged and entertained for a solid two hours, and I was impressed—not only with the clean, modern aesthetic of the place, but with the simple yet ingenius offerings on hand. Between Genius Gems and The Busy Bee, which opened in Millburn in March, Essex County parents now have two great indoor play space options, without having to schlep to Routes 10 or 22.

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