New Jersey

Echo Lake Park Offers Year-Round Fun for NJ Families

In the midst of New Jersey's Union County's busy highways lies a grassy, spacious retreat known as Echo Lake Park. The sprawling park offers an escape from the bustling surrounding towns and truly provides something for everyone, even the family pet.

At the heart of the park is the scenic Echo Lake, home to activities such as boating, fishing, and ice skating, as well as several peaceful walking paths. Surrounding the lake are green hills, ball fields, playgrounds, a dog park, and a snack bar. Echo Lake hosts a variety of seasonal activities, from sledding to Halloween fun to summer concerts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a day of activity, you can get the best of both worlds here.

Mother's Day Weekend Events for New Jersey Kids

Mother Nature and Mom are the big stars of this jam-packed, mid-May weekend. National Public Gardens Day is a great excuse to spend quality time outdoors, surrounded by nature. Events taking place throughout our Garden State include Macculloch Hall's National Public Gardens Day, The Lawrence Nature Center's Mother Nature Festival, Reeves-Reed Arboretum's My Edible Garden, and Deep Cut Gardens Open House & National Public Gardens Day.

Sunday is all about Mom. Enjoy amusements at Morey's Piers' Mother's Day celebration or Mother's Day at Jenkinson's, or chill out at family-friendly winery celebrations at Valenzano Winery, Terhune Orchards, Working Dog Winery, and Alba Vineyard. And don't forget the flowers: celebrate the day among beautiful blooms at events like the Azalea Festival and Mother's Day at Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.

Find more mom-worthy ideas in our list of 25 Things To Do in New Jersey for Mother's Day, and check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including a day trip to Camden Children's Garden. And look to our event calendar and May GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Happy Mother's Day, NJ!

Get Merry and Go Round on Unique Carousels with NJ Kids

With all the crazy thrill rides found in theme parks these days, there’s something simply magical about taking a spin on an old-fashioned carousel. Often one of the first rides a child gets to experience, carousels have a special way of making even the most timid tiny ones crack a smile, and they’re a treat for all ages. New Jersey is home to both traditional and turned-up-a-notch carousels, and you don’t have to trek far to find one. Hop on a carousel at one of the area malls for a year-round shopping distraction, go for a spin in a park or zoo, or catch views of the Atlantic from a Jersey shore carousel on the Boardwalk.

We’ve rounded up 15 of the best and most unique carousels in and around NJ, so pack up your little ponies and give them a whirl.

Bucks County, PA with Kids: 25 Top Things to Do as a Family

New and old collide in the pretty Bucks County, Pennsylvania, countryside where young families can play the day away at Sesame Place and older kids can enjoy Revolutionary War history at Washington Crossing. From real castles to playground castles, ice cream shops to kayaking, Bucks County is a sweet spot for a family weekend getaway. Just north of Philadelphia and less than two hours from NYC, it’s easy to access.

Ready to plan a trip? Read on for our list of 25 must-do places to play and see, as well as eat and stay at in Bucks County. We divided it into four family-friendly mini itineraries. Choose one or get some ideas to mix and match an adventure of your own. Explore popular towns like New Hope and Doylestown.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in New Jersey

Nothing screams springtime in the Garden State like getting your hands dirty picking strawberries, and heading to a pick-your-own farm is an outdoor adventure with a sweet reward.

Whether this is your child’s first time at the berry patch or you’re looking to fill pies, jam jars, smoothies, and shortcakes for months to come, you'll want to check out our list of more than 20 farms and festivals around the state, where your sweeties can their hands on bushels full of juicy red berries.

Check out our May GoList and Spring Fun Guide to find more events and activities to enjoy with your kids this season. Happy picking!

Joshua Tree: 12 Things Not To Miss with Kids in this Desert National Park

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is an otherworldly experience: groves of twisted trees and giant boulders create enchanting settings so unique, you might think you have stepped into a fairy tale—or landed on an alien planet. Approximately a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, and a stone's throw from Palm Springs, this park is great for a family camping adventure or just a day hike, because it captures everyone’s imagination. Stroller-friendly trails make it a great option for little trekkers, as do several walks easy enough for young kids (or tired grown-ups) to maneuver. But teens and tweens who never tire will never run out of rocks and boulders to climb over.

25 Things To Do in New Jersey for Mother's Day

Mothers should be appreciated every day of the year (of course), but it doesn’t hurt to have one special day to remind everyone just how wonderful you are. Round up your crew for a celebratory outing on Sunday, May 13, with one of these 25 fun activities that are perfect for the entire family. 

Whether you want to wine and dine at great brunch spots in northern NJ or down the shoresip tea with your littles, enjoy a scenic stroll in nature, or go for a free spin on amusement rides, we’ve got you covered with the best NJ Mother’s Day events happening this year. Check them out below and find your Mom Day match!

For even more fun events, visit our Spring Fun Guide and May Go List. Happy Mother’s Day,  NJ moms!

The Water Safety Skills That Could Save Your Child's Life This Summer

FACT: Most kids who drown were supervised. Let that sink in. While accidents do happen from babies being left alone in tubs or a toddler falling into an unattended pool, the most common way is while grown-ups are around, but not paying attention.

According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of injury death for children ages one to 14. It is the number one cause for children four and under! And thousands more are hospitalized for these incidents.

In Bloom! NJ Farms Where You Can Pick Your Own Flowers

Nothing says "Garden State" like a New Jersey farm. One of the best things about our state is its bountiful pick-your-own farms—you can load up the family and pick strawberries in late spring, raspberries and sweet corn in the summertime, and pumpkins come fall. But what many people may not know is that in addition to fresh produce, NJ farms are overflowing with acres of beautiful flowers. 

Flower picking season begins in late June or early July. So plan to spend a day on the farm this summer, and bring home a fragrant assortment of Jersey-grown blooms!

Weekend Fun: Jungle Book Ballet, Kite Day, Wild West City

After a brutally long winter, let's give an extra warm welcome to May! The month kicks off with a weekend full of nature festivities. Celebrate Arbor Day at Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, or think green at planet-conscious events like Secaucus 8th Annual Green Festival and WheatonArts' Eco Fair.

Soak up everything spring at seasonal festivals like Terhune Orchards' Kite Day, Hackettstown Spring Festival, Ocean City Spring Block Festival, and street fairs in Westfield and Highland Park. Or mosey on over to Wild West City for its opening weekend.

Up for some springtime theater? Catch productions of Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet, The Wizard of Oz, and Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA, which closes on Sunday.

And don't forget that Mother's Day is right around the corner! Make some plans for brunch in northern NJ or down the shore

Check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including 40 Things to Do with New Jersey Preschoolers Before They Turn 5. And look to our event calendar and May GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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