New Jersey

Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

One of the great joys of summer is a warm-off-the-tree peach, and New Jersey has pick-your-own farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking!

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. And for more ways to enjoy the warm weather, don't miss our Summer Fun Guide for NJ Kids.

Huge New Spray Park in Union County Is a Water-ful Wonderland

Linden is now home to Union County's largest sprayground, and boy, is it worth a visit! Located in John Russell Wheeler Park, this 11,000-square-foot water playground, which opened in May 2019, boasts 33 kid-pleasing attractions and water features, including slides, sprinklers, sprayers, a dumping bucket, waterfall, pirate ship, and a giant water serpent. Admission is FREE.

One caveat: It gets crowded! So before you pack up the kids and head down the Route 1 corridor, check out this must-have info to help you plan your visit. 

A Special Offer on Summer Family Vacations at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont

You may think of this top Vermont ski resort as a winter vacation spot, but with 8 pools, 4 water slides, and 2 natural reservoirs, Smugglers' Notch Resort makes a terrific summer family vacation destination. And, right now, Mommy Poppins readers can save $350 on a Summer Family Vacation Package. We made a trip to the resort ourselves so we could give you the inside scoop on this family-friendly find and get more details on this great deal.

Where To Rent Paddleboats and Rowboats in New Jersey

Looking for a great summer outing that’ll float the family’s boat? A ride in a paddleboat (sometimes called a pedal boat) or rowboat offers panoramic views of New Jersey's scenic parks and lakes, and an opportunity for family time that may actually be peaceful. 

Paddleboat rentals are available throughout the state. Check the specific paddling locations for any age or weight restrictions, then sit back and enjoy the ride. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

Feeling more adventurous? Find the best places for tubing and rafting in and around NJ.

Weekend Fun: Day Out with Thomas, Maplewoodstock, City of Water Day

If you love music, movies, and delicious meals, you'll find plenty to look forward to this weekend in New Jersey!

Kick back to live music at Maplewoodstock, the Anglesea Blues Festival, and the South Jersey Caribbean Festival. Head to the Jersey Shore for some steak and lobsters at the Surf and Turf Festival, and catch free beachfront movies in Belmar and Seaside Heights. Plus, cool off with all kinds of water activities at City of Water Day.

Find even more weekend options in our Summer Fun Guide, including NJ Berry Farms for Families. And look to our July GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

100 Things To Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up

Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times: "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in New Jersey.

From indoor play to awesome zoos, and from lush gardens to thrill-filled boardwalks and amusement parks, New Jersey offers tons of incredible sights and activities for families and kids. We have beautiful forests for hiking, Jersey Shore beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for great day trips with Jersey kids.

NEW: We have a free printable version with the best anytime NJ activities from this list. Print it out and stick it on your fridge to inspire you anytime you need an activity idea.

Read on for our 100 best things to do in NJ.

A Tiny House Hotel Vacation Means Big Fun for Families

For traveling families, a tiny house rental can make the perfect hotel solution. It often comes with multiple beds without the cost of a pricey multiroom suite, as well as family-friendly amenities, such as stocked kitchens. It doesn't hurt that they're so very cute and often set among pretty landscapes, from beaches to forests and mountains. 

Tiny houses have grown in popularity in recent years as many of us try to reduce our footprint and that means a tiny house getaway is all the more accessible. There are now villages of tiny houses available for American vacationers. Tiny home resorts have cropped up, too, while some campgrounds and even urban areas have added a handful of rentable tiny homes to their grounds.

So pack light and check out these seven tiny house resorts that allow you and the kids to try on tiny living for size.

Free Beaches in New Jersey: No-Cost Family Fun in the Sun

If your summer bucket list includes camp, vacation, and trips to our beloved Jersey Shore, summertime can be a season of major spending. Jersey Shore excursions are a must for summer fun, but prices of beach badges and passes can really add up. Luckily, New Jersey is home to some free beaches—that's right, no admission fees required (though some do have parking fees). While some of these free beaches are found in popular vacation hotspots, other quieter and unguarded ones are located by swimming lakes and bays. Read on for 10 of our favorites.

Best Music Classes for NJ Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

From Beethoven to Bob Marley, music delights children from a very young age and fosters healthy brain development. These NJ music classes for babies to preschoolers will inspire your little ones while providing great bonding experiences for parents and children.

For more cool classes, from swimming lessons to STEM programs, check out our guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for New Jersey Kids.

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