New Jersey

13 NJ Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Outdoor Dining

Lingering over a summer meal with children is always more relaxing outside, where restless kids are free to stretch their legs, explore, and watch the world go by. Warm-weather dining options abound in New Jersey, from waterfront decks and sandy patios to tree-shaded courtyards and grassy gardens.

Read on for our top picks for kid-friendly outdoor dining, and don't miss our round-up of NJ themed restaurants with interactive dining, and our run-down of places where kids eat free.

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

Sunday, May 12 is all about mom! This Mother's Day, enjoy a special outing with all the trimmings at great family-friendly events around New Jersey.

Spend an action-packed day at iPlay America, Morey's Piers, or Diggerland. If something more relaxing is more your cup of tea (or wine), check out special winery events at Terhune Orchards, Valenzano Winery, and Alba Vineyard, among others. Hungry for more? Have a special brunch in Northern NJ or down the shore

Read on for more Mother's Day options, including jewelry-making, horse races, hiking, and more. And look to our May GoList and Spring Fun Guide for even more things to do on May 12 and beyond.

Favorite NJ Reservations with Fun Outdoor Kids' Activities and Hikes

Looking for fresh air and family adventure? Head out to explore one of New Jersey's "reservations"—forested nature preserves that are like mini state parks. Hidden along river banks and tucked into woodlands, these green spaces are ideal for family hikespicnics, and biking. You can bring binoculars to spy on colorful birds or wear boots to let the kids muck around with turtles and frogs.

Some reservations have marked trails, education and nature centers, playgrounds, and restroom facilities, while others are a bit more rugged, with "carry in/carry out" policies—meaning not even trash cans are provided.

We've rounded up 10 reservations with a variety of offerings. Read on to find the best spot for your next outdoor adventure! 

Weekend Fun: Touch-A-Truck, Kite Day, Spring Fling

Let's give a warm welcome to May with a weekend full of outdoor festivities celebrating spring!

Rejoice in the Earth and everything green at Edison's 9th Annual Earth Day Celebration and Secaucus 9th Annual Green Fest. Spend quality time outdoors marveling at kites at Terhune Orchards' Kite Day, listening to great music at Lincroft's Creative Arts & Music Festival or the Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival, and sampling delicious eats at Skylands Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival or Scotch Plains' Food Truck Festival.

Get a little of everything at local celebrations like the Ocean City Spring Block Party and Westfield Spring Fling. And mosey on over to Wild West City's Season Opening.

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

60 Free Things To Do in May with New Jersey Kids

Hooray for May! Bring on the outdoor fairs, festivals, and Memorial Day celebrations. And if you're budgeting for summer vacations and camp, no need to skimp on the May fun. These 60 (!) activities and events are all FREE to attend.

Street fair season is in full swing this month. Check out food vendors, crafts, and live music at neighborhood fairs around the state, including Westfield, Hoboken, Maplewood, and Collingswood, among many others. Head down the shore for admission-free, beachy extravaganzas like the Ocean City Spring Block Party, the New Jersey Seafood Festival, Ocean Fun Days, and the Wildwoods International Kite Festival.

Top off the month with free Memorial Day parades in Freehold, Glassboro, and New Providence, plus the Bradley Beach Memorial Day Festival.

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar and Guide to New Jersey Parks and Playgrounds

May GoList: Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

May is bursting with springtime fun! It's the perfect month to fly a kite, celebrate moms, and check out the gazillion fairs and festivals happening across the state. You can explore New Jersey's amazing shore at Ocean Fun Days, and travel back in time to the Renaissance and the Wild West.

When the weather's not cooperating, head indoors to see a performance, including Charlotte's Web. It all culminates in Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of summer fun with the opening of many water parks and amusement parks, including the tot-friendly Land of Make Believe

Read on to see our top picks for the merry month of May. For even more things to do, be sure to check out our Event Calendar, with new activities and events added daily, as well as our Spring Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids. Spring is finally here—soak it up, NJ!

Secrets of Atlantis: 10 Tips for a Bahamas Family Vacation with Kids

Like many kids, my boys started begging to go to Disney around the time they could walk. Once they were swimming, however, the object of their spring break fantasies became Atlantis—the Bahamas mega-resort known for its gigantic water park, marine life encounters, and luxe casino. For years, unsure whether a place nicknamed "Vegas by the Sea" was the best choice for a family vacation, my husband and I brushed aside their pleas. But after another harsh Boston winter, we broke down and booked a trip, figuring our boys were at the ideal ages—12, 10, and 7— to appreciate all the 'tweeny bopper fun that Atlantis offers (and for which it charges big).

We had a fun-packed five-day stay, and along the way, accumulated plenty of advice for other families who are considering an Atlantis trip, including whether or not it is a kid-friendly destination. Here are the main things moms and dads should know to make sure their vacation in Paradise (Island) lives up to the hype.

Find more top places to stay on vacation in our Hotels & Resorts Guide for Families.

Family-Friendly Mother's Day Brunch Spots in Northern NJ

Celebrate Mother's Day in style this year with an indulgent family brunch prepared by someone other than mom. Restaurants throughout Northern New Jersey are cooking up some fabulous luncheons full of breakfast delights, salads, carving stations, and desserts. Some of these eateries offer discounts for children, and others are FREE for young kids. Holiday brunches book up quickly though, and many require reservations.

If you're down the shore, explore these wonderful Mother's Day options.

20+ STEM Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

When you think "summer camp," you might picture canoeing on a lake, playing capture the flag, and eating s'mores by a campfire. But camp can also be about coding, constructing robots, and building with Legos. We've rounded up more than 20 New Jersey STEM camps that promise a summer of fun for budding scientists, engineers, and computer programmers. Find more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Weekend Fun: Dino Day, Sesame Street Live, Earth Day Festivals

On your mark, get set for one of the busiest weekends this year to date! April's final weekend is jam-packed with Earth Day celebrations, festivals, street fairs, concerts, and more. 

Party for our planet at Earth Day festivals in Jersey City, Tenafly, Mountainside, and throughout Monmouth County. Learn about healthy habits while having fun at both Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and Fairview Lake YMCA Healthy Kids Day events.

Spring festival season is well underway this weekend with bustling festivities like Rutgers Day, Smithville's Renaissance Faire, Morris County Park Palooza, and the Cranford Street Fair. And kick back to live music at Rockin' for Autism and the Laurita Bacon Festival

Find even more weekend options in our Spring Guide, including where to see Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms. And look to our April GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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