New Jersey

Weekend Fun: Mermaids, Train Festival, Frosty and Rudolph

The second weekend of November features visits from Frosty, Rudolph, Harry Potter, and mermaids!  Get a jump on the holidays with Thanksgiving activities like NJ Audubon: Turkey Talk and Alstede's Pie Tasting Experience, plus pre-Christmas excitement at a production of Frosty & Rudolph.

Have sky-high fun at Teterboro's Open Cockpit Weekend and RVCC Planetarium's Skies over Hogwarts, and see some underwater action at Adventure Aquarium's Mermaids. Train enthusiasts won't want to miss the Train Festival at Camden Children's Garden, and it's the last weekend to catch Diggerfest. Crafty kids have plenty of opportunity to create at Ancient Technologies: Making an Amulet Necklace, Art for Families, and Montclair Art Museum's Drop-In Studio.

Find even more options in our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids, and take in the sights of the season at Paterson Great Falls and Tenafly Nature Center. And look to our November GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

New Snapology Play Space To Offer STEM Fun for Central NJ Kids

Getting kids interested in math and science used to be a chore, but play-based programs are reinventing the building blocks of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education.

Snapology of Monmouth County is one business that has been offering mobile STEAM classes to kids in central New Jersey for the past couple years. Now, it is expanding its offerings to include a new Discovery Center, making it the first Snapology location in New Jersey to offer open indoor play. The Center, in Tinton Falls, will also offer classes, camps, birthday parties, and parents' night out events.

The new 2,950-square-foot Discovery Center is scheduled to open Thanksgiving weekend. The fun will kick off on Friday, November 23, with Black Friday drop-and-shop workshops, and a grand opening celebration will take place Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25, from noon to 5pm, with free open play, giveaways, face painting, entertainment, and more.

10 Indoor Party Spots with Mega Playgrounds for NJ Kids' Birthdays

Looking for the perfect party spot for your winter baby? We've rounded up the most action-packed indoor birthday party locations for your cold-weather celebrations. Whether your birthday child wants to jump and bounce, climb, dance, play laser tag, or even take a spin on an amusement ride, New Jersey has a party place for it. Read on for 10 of our favorites.  

For more party planning ideas, check out our Guide to NJ Kids' Parties, where you'll find everything from top party places for preschoolers to bakeries that make amazing birthday cakes.

Top 10 Christmas Towns and Villages That Absolutely Sparkle

When it comes to the best places to visit for Christmas as a family, there are plenty of holiday travel options. You can head to Rome and Vatican City to soak in the religion of it all. Vienna, beautifully drenched in festive lights, boasts first-rate Christmas markets and concerts. Head north to Lapland, Finland, to visit Santa’s official hometown. Or, if you want to lie beneath Christmas-lit palm trees, a Caribbean vacation might do the trick.

Yet, some of the best Christmas towns and bedecked Christmas villages are actually right here in the US, offering those traveling with small kids a way to save on money and time. These local destinations go all out for Christmas with unique holiday light shows, special performances, and plenty of opportunities to meet with Santa Claus.

Read on for some of our favorite Christmas vacation ideas for those looking to get into the holiday spirit in a big way, from New York City to Williamsburg, Virginia, to Newport Beach, California. Find even more ideas in our Family Travel Guide.

25 Family Staycation Ideas for the NJ School Holidays in November

School kids across the country are looking at abbreviated November schedules, but New Jersey kids have several holidays to look forward to this month. First up is Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. While not all schools are closed, many are off or have half-days. NJ schools also will be closed for the statewide teacher conferences happening Thursday, November 8, and Friday, November 9, 2018. 

Of course, don't forget about Thanksgiving later this month, when kids have off on Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, 2018, and some have a half-day or no school on the Wednesday prior. Yikes! That means more time off than the December holidays for some NJ school kids.

With that in mind, we're putting together a list of 25 fantastic things to do this November in New Jersey with the kids. Lucky for you, dear parent, the holiday season also means plenty of fun activities, many of which are FREE. Read on for more ideas. 

Don't forget to find more fun in our November GoList and our daily Event Calendar of activities around New Jersey. It might also be a good time to check off one or two items on our list of 100 things to do in New Jersey with kids before they grow up

Sweet Ways to Donate Halloween Candy

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are seven charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.

30+ Free Things To Do with New Jersey Kids in November

November has arrived, and there’s so much to be thankful for—including free events! Enjoy some outdoor time early in the month at admission-free festivals like St. Anthony International FestivalDay of the Dead 2018, Ocean City's Quiet Festival, and Short Hills-Millburn Street Fair

Later in the month, Santa Claus is coming to town! Kick off the holiday season at no-cost celebrations in Princeton, Nutley, Morristown, Ridgewood, and Red Bank. Plus, seasonal light shows make their debut, including Smithville's Holiday Light Show and Atlantic City's Holiday Musical Light Show.

Keep the little ones busy and warm, without spending a dime, at weekly storytimes such as Penny's Storytime, Kids' Story Hour at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery, and Pottery Barn Kids Weekly Storytime. (Please check websites for Thanksgiving week schedules.)

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar, as well as our Fall Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids.

Weekend Fun: Touch-A-Truck, Mermaids, Disney on Ice

Now that the adrenalin (and sugar) rush of Halloween is behind us, enjoy a quiet start to November, with local festivals and theatrical performances aplenty. The holiday theater season is off to an exciting start, with family-friendly performances of Sesame Street Live, The Wizard of Oz, Peppa Pig Live, Sleeping Beauty, and Wishes & Dreams. Step out of the theater and see the Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium and Disney on Ice at the Prudential Center.

Bundle up and spend time outdoors at festivals that include Day of the Dead 2018, St. Anthony International Festival, Short Hills-Millburn Street Fair, and Flemington Touch-a-Truck, all with free admission.

Find even more options in our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids, plus plan ahead with Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving Dinner in New Jersey. And look to our November GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Halloween Weekday Fun for New Jersey Kids

Can't wait for Halloween? You don't have to! There's tons of Halloween fun happening on the days leading up to the big holiday. Put those costumes to good use at farm festivals, parades, and plenty of candy-collecting.

Get the most out of Halloween when you check out our Ultimate Halloween Guide for New Jersey Kids, and get the scoop on the state's Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods, the Best Halloween Events for New Jersey Preschoolers, and 35 Free Halloween Events. And of course, find a complete listing of Halloween happenings in our Event Calendar. Happy Halloween!

November GoList: The Best Things To Do With NJ Kids This Month

Put away the pumpkins and get out the garland! November is here, and the holiday season has officially begun.

Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, and you can celebrate the old-fashioned way at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm and the Historic Village at Allaire. And it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with the start of holiday train rides and holiday light shows like the ones at Skylands Stadium and Turtle Back Zoo. Santa Claus is coming to town, too, with celebrations of his arrival at Storybook Land and in Nutley.

November is a month full of drama, with everyone's favorite characters taking the stage. Check out family-friendly performances of The Wizard of Oz, Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, Peppa Pig Live, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Elf: The Musical, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Read on for more can't-miss events coming up in November, and for even more kid-friendly choices, be sure to check out our Event Calendar, updated daily with new happenings. Happy (beginning of the) Holidays, New Jersey!

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