New Jersey

Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families: Sandy Hook to Cape May

Make your New Jersey kid a beach baby and go "down the shore." New Jersey boasts 130 miles of shoreline and some of the prettiest beaches anywhere. Whether your family is looking for a busy boardwalk with children's rides, a beachside water park or sprinkler playground, towering lighthouses, toddler attractions, or something a bit quieter, the Jersey Shore has it. 

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite Jersey beaches, from a national park on the northern shore down to the busier southern beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City. So pack the car (and the kids) for a beach day trip or a long weekend—the summer possibilities are endless. And for more beach fun, check out our Jersey Shore Family Guide, including a roundup of our favorite boardwalks.

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track, and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement and water parks in or near the New York City metro area that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks perfect for the pint-sized.

Find more seasonal rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide for families.

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

40 Things To Do with Kids on a Rainy Day at the Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore is known for its gorgeous beaches, of course, and outdoor entertainment like boardwalk fun. But not every summer day can turn into a sunny beach day. What happens to the family fun when it rains? Beach houses, no matter how grand, start to feel pretty small when you are stuck indoors.

Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor spots to explore along the shore. From Asbury Park to Cape May, we've put together a list of shore activities that will get you off the beach and out of your condo. So whether the rain is spoiling your beach day, you need a day out of the sun, or just a change from the sand and surf, we have you covered.

For more entertaining activities this season, check our list of 70 Best Things To Do at the Shore all summer.

Crystal Springs Resort: Two NJ Hotels Host Mountains of Family Fun

Sometimes, it's all about the location when you travel. Exploring new areas of your state or country are exciting. But other times, it's all about the amenities. When you pack two sister resorts full of skiing, snow adventures, water play, and spa options, there's really no need to go past the grounds—which is the case with Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel, and if they're right for your family.

Find more vacation destinations in our Family Resort Guide, which is packed with reviews.

Free and Cheap Kids' Ski Programs in the Northeast This Winter

Let's face facts: No matter how exhilarating skiing and snowboarding are, they are also among the most expensive activities in which a family can participate—especially if your kids take a single run and spend the rest of the day sipping cocoa.

Thankfully, many nearby state ski associations offer free or mostly free lift tickets to grade-schoolers, even if you're not a resident of that state. Of course, there are hurdles to clear to get those benefits—kids need to be the appropriate age, apply online and, in some cases, be accompanied by a paying adult. There are also "processing fees" attached to several, but it breaks down to a very discounted ticket if you use it more than once. But for avid skiers and riders, or those who merely want to try out the sports, these programs can save you plenty of cash when skiing with the kids.

Read on for more information on how to ski for free in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. (Note: Connecticut has a residents-only program for free ski passes for kids at Mohawk Mountain.)

Check our Ski and Snow Sports Guide for more fun on local hills and mountains.

Family Getaway to Wildwood, NJ: Beach, Water Parks, Rides

Along the Jersey Shore, beaches and boardwalk offer endless summer fun for kids, but each shore town has its own personality, top sights, and vibe. So how do you know which is right for your family?

We’ve explored nearly all of them, from Cape May at the southern point, on up to Asbury Park. I just returned from a family trip to Wildwood and its action-packed boardwalk and Morey’s Piers with a bazillion rides, multiple water parks, games, and so much more. It’s busy and chaotic, but exudes retro charm thanks in part to its Doo-wop-themed diners and local customs like when the whole boardwalk stops in its tracks at 11am to raise their hands to their hearts as the national anthem plays over the loudspeaker.

Read on for all the details on what to expect from your summer getaway to this Jersey Shore hot spot.

70 Things To Do with Kids at the Jersey Shore

There's nothing better than lazy, relaxing summer days at the beaches of the Jersey Shore with its miles of sandy coastline. Of course, at some point the kids are going to want to get up and do and see something, right?

If you're looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during a vacation at the shore this summer, this list of 70 family-friendly activities for toddlers to teens all up and down the New Jersey coast should hit the spot. We've even included a number of FREE things to do.

For more fun down the shore, check out our Jersey Shore Guide, which includes information on amusement parks and water parks, top beaches, best boardwalks, and more.

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