New Jersey

Birth with Benefits: NJ Hospitals That Offer Perks for Moms and Families

Free massages. Aromatherapy. Complimentary fruit baskets. Getting pampered while you push is the latest trend to hit maternity wards around the Garden State. Forget about birth plans consisting of no more than an iTunes playlist—many NJ hospitals are helping moms get through the pains of labor with personalized spa-like services that offer much-needed distraction and natural pain support. They also provide plenty of perks for moms and family members after baby arrives. Here are some maternity units that are wowing moms-to-be with some extra-special services.

30+ Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Northern New Jersey

Neither flurries nor rain, nor heat nor cold should keep New Jersey children from enjoying a day of play—especially when there are so many awesome indoor play spaces in Northern Jersey. From toddler play dates to teen outings, we've compiled a list of the best indoor playgrounds in Northern New Jersey where kids can drop in for play. No memberships needed! If you're looking for sites that are a bit farther south, check out this listing of Central Jersey play spaces.

Splash and Slide at Indoor Water Parks for New Jersey Families

Winter certainly has its charms: building snowmen, sledding, skating, and hot cocoa are wonderful, but by mid-January you and your family might be looking to warm up. While it might be nice to board a plane to a sunny island destination, it’s not always possible or cost-effective.

Luckily, you can enjoy some summertime fun even in the coldest months at a multitude of indoor water parks in and around New Jersey. All of these destinations can be reached in about three hours or less by car, give or take your starting address and traffic, of course. Go dig out your bathing suit from behind your coats and mittens, and get ready to take the plunge at one of these exciting parks!

NJ's Imagine That!!! Museum and Play Space Reopens After Renovation

The popular children’s museum we know and love has just gotten a major overhaul. Following a five-month gut renovation, Imagine That!!! in Florham Park, New Jersey, has been transformed into a beautiful and bright 16,000-square-foot indoor play space that feels fun and inviting. The updated fun spot boasts brand-new play structures like an electronic sand table and an interactive, LED light board, plus new-and-improved versions of original attractions like the grocery store, dance studio, play maze, and more.

Imagine That!!!, which quietly reopened in December, will celebrate its grand reopening the weekend of January 13-14. Here's a sneak peak inside the new space and its awesome attractions.

MLK Weekend Fun: Day of Service, Dinosaurs, Underwater Bubble Show

We honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with a federal holiday on Monday, and that means school will be closed. If you're trying to figure out how to spend the long weekend, you've got plenty of options, whether you want to visit the colorful, underwater world of Bubblelandia, take part in a celebration of Dr. King, or pretty much anything in between.

You can spend the morning as a Junior Keeper at Jenkinson's Aquarium and the afternoon crafting your very own masterpiece at the Drop-In Studio at the Montclair Art Museum; cure cabin fever with outdoor options that include a Day Off With Nature at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center and an MLK Day of Service opportunity for ages 4 and up at Reeves-Reed Arboretum.

If you'd rather stay warm and toasty, check out one of NJ's many indoor play spaces and fun zones. Still looking? Find more fun things to do in our Calendar of Events and January GoList.

12 Easy DIY Sensory Activities to Entertain Babies

Sensory activities for babies open the world up to our kids while they're still happily stationary. Maybe even more important, it begins to familiarize them to their own bodies. Every new day delivers a fresh overload of sights, sounds, and sensations. 

Bonus: Sensory games give us something fun to do with our little ones beyond tummy time! We've rounded up a dozen of our favorite sensory activities that you can create right at home. DIY sensory toys nurture a basic understanding of the people, places, and stuff that populate their lives, along with the motor and communication skills that they'll need to interact with the world. There will be new things for baby to touch, smell, see, and figure out. Watch as your little one giggles her way through these micro-discoveries. 

Everything featured here can be crafted from simple, recycled materials and stuff found within reach around the house or a couple of clicks on Amazon. Read on for sensory fun, and check out our Boredom Busters Guide for more all-ages crafts, recipes, and rainy day fun.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Volunteer and Celebrate with Kids in NJ

Martin Luther King, Jr., the chief spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement, is memorialized annually on the third Monday of January. This floating holiday has evolved into more than just a day off from school. Now deemed a National Day of Service, MLK Day encourages volunteers across the country to donate their time in order to make a difference. This day reminds us of hope, compassion, and the ongoing potential for social change. Many New Jersey towns are hosting local activities, and we've put together a list that includes both celebrations and service activities.

Horse and Riding Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

if the sound of neighing is music to your child's ears, then these are the camps for you! Lots of New Jersey barns teach riding skills, along with horse grooming, tacking up, and equipment care. Many of the horse camps also offer traditional summer camp activities, such as swimming and arts and crafts, along with mini July sessions (for children who are just getting in the saddle for the first time, and not quite ready for a full week of equestrian adventuring) and both half and full-day itineraries. To find more New Jersey summer camps, be sure to check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings


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