New Jersey

40 Things to Do with New Jersey Preschoolers Before They Turn 5

We have just five precious years or so to spend with our little ones before they head off to kindergarten. At this age, kids are growing and developing faster than they will at any other time in their lives, so many of us want to fill their days with as many opportunities to learn, laugh, and love life as possible! That means play spacesmommy-and-me classes, storytimesplaygrounds, and other treasures that the Garden State holds for toddlers.

Take advantage of these great opportunities throughout New Jersey while your preschoolers are young enough to appreciate them—and sometimes even young enough to score FREE admission.

For more can't-miss Garden State destinations, check out 100 Things to Do in New Jersey with Kids Before They Grow Up.

Family-Friendly Mother’s Day Brunch Spots at the Jersey Shore

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and moms everywhere will be celebrating with a fabulous brunch. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or you prefer something fancy-shmancy, the Jersey Shore has plenty of delicious options to choose from. The extended forecast for May 12 hasn't been posted yet, but if you're down the shore, you'll hopefully be in a sunny frame of mind! 

Check out one of these local favorites for a wonderful meal the whole family will love, no cooking or clean-up required. Relax, enjoy yourself, and have a very happy Mother’s Day! 

Easter Weekend in NJ: Egg Hunts, Bunny Chase, Bunny Fly In

Get ready to load up your Easter baskets, and your calendars! Easter weekend is here, and the bunny is hopping throughout New Jersey, making stops at amusement parks, orchardsfarms, zoos, and even an airport. Tons of eggs are waiting to be found. Load up those baskets at Storybook Land, Allaire Village, Liberty Hall, Pier Village, and Diggerland

Aside from the Bunny, head to the shore to meet more familiar friends like Mermaid Princess and Mr. Mouse at Casino Pier or the Plumber Brothers in Point Pleasant. 

Find even more Easter weekend options in our Spring Fun Guide, including 25 Spring Day Trip Ideas. And look to our April GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Massive Sports Dome and Entertainment Complex Coming to Jackson, NJ

Athletes, sports fans, and gaming enthusiasts will soon have a state-of-the-art facility where all their interests come together in one location in Jackson, NJ.

Already a popular destination thanks to Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor, the Ocean County township will be home to Adventure Crossing USA, a massive sports dome and entertainment center, which will include indoor and outdoor multi-sport turf fields; hard courts for basketball, volleyball, and futsal; and a baseball and softball training facility; along with a sprawling, Jersey Shore–themed arcade, indoor go-kart racing, a multi-level laser tag experience, and much more.

See National Parks for Free in 2019 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2019. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, there are five FREE days in 2019, which all take place on easy-for-planning weekends or holiday Mondays, at national parks that typically charge an admission fee.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Joshua Tree, Glacier National Park, Death Valley, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

Indoor Activities: 35 Ways To Spend a Rainy Day in NJ

Rainy days may be perfect for curling up with a book or stomping in puddles, but sometimes busy kids need more boredom-busters on stormy days. No matter the season, NJ has a great array of indoor fun for the whole family, from museums and indoor play spaces to bowling alleys and roller rinks. If staying dry sounds better, check out our ideas for rainy day fun at home and make the most of those rain clouds!  

Why Legoland Is My Favorite SoCal Theme Park

Southern California is blessed with some of the world's most famous theme parks; families travel from all over to experience Disneyland and the original Universal Studios Hollywood (including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)—but just 90 miles to the south, in the San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, is a park that has at least as much to offer as the mouse and the wizard. There is a whole lot more to Legoland California than bricks, and truth be told I prefer a day there to any other major theme park.

See Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms

Celebrate spring by visiting baby animals and barnyard pets on a local New Jersey farm. In addition to seeing chicks, calves, lambs, bunnies, and piglets, kids can crack corn, collect eggs, and even learn how cheese and bread are made at these family-friendly farmsteads.

Some offer full petting zoos, as well as wagon rides and pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Read on for more than a dozen of our favorites.

Affordable Summer Camps for New Jersey Kids

Summer camps in New Jersey vary wildly in price, so it’s important to choose a camp that’s right for your child AND your pocketbook. Many camps let you register by the week or even the day, so you don't have to commit to an entire summer. Other options, like three-day weeks and half-day camp, also allow you to keep costs down. The cost of certain camps can be applied against the child care tax credit for children of single parents/two working parents, and some camps offer financial assistance—especially ones that get money from donors. 

Here we've rounded up 15 affordable day camp options for NJ kids. To find more New Jersey summer camps, check out our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings

Weekend Fun: Bunny Trains, Cherry Blossom Festival, Egg Hunts

If you're hunting for something to do this weekend, our calendar is brimming with egg hunts and other Easter festivities. Grab your baskets and gather eggs at PAWS Discovery Farm, Oasis Family Farm, Hoboken Grace Community Church, and Cape May Zoo, among many others. The Easter celebrations continue with holiday trains rides out of Flemington and Whippany, and a visit with the Bunny at Abma's Farm and Turtle Back Zoo.

Take in fresh air and springtime scenery at Essex County Family Day and Bloomfest​, which are part of the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival. Or head down the shore for Opening Day at Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Mermaid Tea Party.

Find even more weekend options in our Spring Guide, including 40+ Spring Festivals for New Jersey Kids and Families. And look to our April GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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