New Jersey

Cabo with Kids! All Inclusive Decadence at Mexico's Grand Velas Resort Los Cabos

Sometimes as parents we're happy to plan the family vacation around theme parks and cartoon characters; other times we want to be pampered like a real princess, not a Disney princess. A vacation that provides grown-up decadence and luxury with fun and entertainment for kids (including time supervised by someone else)—that is the ultimate family getaway. And that is what we found in Los Cabos at Grand Velas' new seaside resort.

Free Summer Outdoor Movies for New Jersey Families

See your favorite stars under the stars this summer, when beaches and parks throughout the state host free outdoor movies on supersized screens. Bring along a blanket or beach chair (and maybe a little bug spray), and enjoy all those big-screen family hits you may have missed during the school year—or check our some of your family's favorite flicks for a second or third time, minus the ticket fee. Some venues offer food vendors, and some provide pre-show fun.

We've also included some free, and nearly-free, indoor options for those days you feel like chilling in the AC.

Check individual venues for movie listings and alternate rain plans.  

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Ocean City: Family-Friendly Summer Fun on the Jersey Shore

Summertime at the Jersey Shore means beach days and boardwalk rides, mini-golf and arcade games, topped off with fresh seafood dinners or pizza and ice cream. Shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May offer the best bets for family vacation fun, and Ocean City, a classic family beach destination at the southern shore, is one of our favorites.

Nicknamed America's Family Resort, Ocean City draws families from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to enjoy its wide beaches, kid-centered boardwalk, and family events. Read on for details about visiting Ocean City with kids. And for more beach vacation ideas, check out our inside look at southern shore gems Wildwood and Cape May

Swim Lessons and Classes for New Jersey Kids

Looking for a way to introduce your child to the pool? Parent-child swim classes are a great way to help kids develop a love of swimming and instill confidence around the water. These programs teach water skills in a safe and age-appropriate way, and most allow children as young as 6 months to participate. Once your little one gets the hang of it, you can take the family to the pool, beach, or water park with confidence. And most programs continue to offer lessons for kids up to age 12 and beyond.

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs.

Father's Day Weekend in New Jersey: Skimmer Festival, Circus, Tri-County Fair

Dad's the VIP of this mid-June weekend. Our roster is loaded with events that Dad, and the whole family, will enjoy. Head down the shore for games and amusements, with freebies for fathers at Seaside Heights' Casino Pier, Morey's Piers in Wildwood, and Jenkinson's in Point Pleasant. Bring a hungry Dad to Father's Day Brunch at Alstede Farms, a Father's Day BBQ at Grounds for Sculpture, or a Father's Day Luau at Bellview Winery. And don't miss our list of 25 ways to celebrate Dad with kids for even more ideas.

This busy weekend also features circus and carnival fun, with the Kelly Miller Circus coming to town in Little Ferry and the four-day Tri-County Fair in Rockaway.

Check out our Summer Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, including Great Amusement Parks for Preschoolers and Toddlers in New Jersey. And look to our event calendar and June GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

'American Girl Live' Brings Beloved Characters to the Theater

For American Girl fans, dressing up the perennially-popular dolls and visiting the store or cafe may be the ultimate treat. But things are about to get even more exciting as the iconic characters take to the stage for the first time in American Girl Live, an all-new musical for kids featuring original songs and wholesome, heartfelt fun.

Although the show won't start touring North America until January 2019, tickets are already on sale for certain shows, including those visiting Mommy Poppins cities and states, including theaters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Boston, and Connecticut. (Sounds like tickets to a performance could be the perfect gift this holiday season, Mom and Dad.)

9 Must-See Dinosaur Theme Parks and Attractions for Kids

If your kid is fascinated by dinosaurs, chances are everything in your home revolves around the prehistoric creatures, including your family vacations. Your nearby natural history or kids' science museum is a great bet for a quick trip to study major fossil displays. For an even bigger thrill, families might want to check out one of the many outdoor dinosaur parks, from full amusement parks to nature walks and mini fossil digs.

We've rounded up a list of 10 great places for dinosaur lovers across the country. These dinosaur-themed attractions offer up-close encounters with lifelike creatures, thrilling rides, impressive fossils, and more fun things to do and see for kids, including dino-theater.

For more family vacation ideas—that may, or may not, involve dinosaurs—check out our United States Family Travel Guide.

Best Pools with Day Passes in New Jersey

If your summer roster includes camp and vacation, you may not be willing to take the plunge on the price and commitment of a pool membership. Luckily, pool clubs throughout New Jersey offer guests the opportunity to spend the day at the pool without membership or residency. Take a swim at the following clubs, which offer day passes without restrictions.

Day and Sleepaway Camps with Availability for NJ Kids

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—several camps in and around New Jersey still have space. As of this publish date, all of the camps listed below are actually open for enrollment.

Whether you're looking for a day camp for your preschooler or a sleepaway camp for your tween, you'll find it here! Sign up for the whole summer, or just one week, depending on the camp and your needs. (After all, you might want to leave time to try some of our 100 things to do with kids in New Jersey before they grow up.)

You can find even more camps in our NJ Summer Camp Guide, or in our NJ Summer Camp Directory.

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