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<strong>Desiree Goldfinger - New Jersey writer</strong><br />
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Desiree grew up in Europe and moved to Hoboken in 1995. She has two daughters, an artist husband, and works in NYC in the legal field. In 2007 while researching fun things to do with her girls in NYC, she stumbled upon the most wonderful website: Mommy Poppins! Today she not only continues to be an avid follower of the site, but also contributes to its New Jersey edition.<br />

Latest posts by Desiree

One Great Day in NJ: Free Fossil Digging at Big Brook

Did you know that New Jersey is home to one of the largest and best areas in the country for late Cretaceous period fossils? And you don’t
even have to be a fancy archaeologist with special permits to search for fossils! So if your kids are like mine and get excited about walking in knee high water in search of 40-million-year-old treasure, just keep on reading…

We love NJ swampland! "The Meadowlands" by T. Yezerski

Look on my kids' bookshelves and you will find tons of books about New York City. And not surprisingly, we do not have one book about New Jersey. I mean, what comes to mind when you think about New York? The Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and there are even some who think of the Statue of Liberty (boo! it's on the Jersey side!). What comes to mind when you think about New Jersey? The weeds growing on the side of the turnpike? Well, Thomas Yezerski wrote a book for children called "Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story" and it celebrates just that... the neglected wetlands of New Jersey. Have you ever walked or boated through the Meadowlands? If you have, you will know why we were so excited about this book!

Weekend Events in NJ, April 30-May1: Dinosaur Days, Earth Day Play and a FREE Arts & Music Fest!

April showers are over and May blooms are finally here. This weekend we're wrapping up Earth Day with a Wild Earth Fest in Mountainside and an Ar-B-Que in Short Hills. Outdoor festivals are all over the Garden State with the NJ Marathon (including kid runs) in Long Branch, Rutgers Day in New Brunswick and Piscataway, and the Hoboken Arts and Musis Festival. A sure sign of spring is that sheep shearing begins this weekend at the Cory Miller House in Westfield and the ponies are out and offering free rides at the stables in Basking Ridge. Finally, the Newark Museum and the Morris Museum both are hosting dinosaur days with fossil digs. Welcome, spring!

8 Free New York City Skateparks

Actually designed for urban spaces, skateboarding uses the city environment as the stage for its tricks, but finding a safe place to skate can be tough. Skate parks provide a safe and perfectly designed place to practice those skateboarding fakie flips and grab some air. These eight spots in or nearby New York City are great for beginners and seasoned skateboarders alike. (Sometimes you'll also spy inline skaters or BMX bikers.) Plus, despite what kids want to hear, these skate parks put safety first. All athletes must wear helmets, kneepads and elbow pads, and kids under age 18 are also required to put on wrist guards. That said, most skateparks are unsupervised and have an enter-at-your-own-risk policy. Some even require parents to sign waivers for their children.

Weekend Events in NJ, April 16-17: Trout Fishing, Martial Arts & Chocolate Tea Parties

This weekend you're sure to find a kid-friendly event that will suit everyone from theater-goers to nature nuts and history buffs to girly-girls. There's a Kids Trout Fishing Derby, a Martial Arts Expo, a Revolutionary themed weekend of events in Morristown, theater performances of favorite books like the Hungry Caterpillar and the Berenstain Bears, a fair at Grounds for Sculpture, and an Easter-themed Alice in Wonderland Chocolate tea party. And don't forget the many Earth Day events!

Kids' Bike Races and Tours in NJ!

Break out the bikes! Springtime is the best weather for bike riding. Now that my kids have lost the training wheels and are able to ride the distance, we are ready to do some serious biking… starting this weekend with the Branchbrook Park Cherry Blossom Bike Tour in Newark! If you would rather keep both feet on the ground, there is also a nice offering of kid-only mountain biking events throughout New Jersey that you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to wear your helmets!

Weekend Events in NJ, April 2-3: Spring is in the air with birds, planes & openings

Spring is in the air... literally! Apparently Mr. Robin Redbreast and his feathered friends are migrating back to NJ and Newark Museum and the Van Vleck House & Gardens are celebrating with bird-themed events. This weekend also marks the seasonal opening (with lots of fanfare) of historical sites like Cooper Gristmill, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Historic Speedwell, and Updike Farmstead. Even the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame is opening up the cockpits of its planes in celebration of Spring!

NJ Weekend March 12-13: Pi, Pirates, Penguins & St. Patrick's

This weekend, feast on some pi. And no, I didn't forget the 'e'. Princeton is celebrating Einstein's birthday with a Pi party (and there actually will be 'pie' there) and pi-rates are cavorting on Pirate Adventure Day. And if you can stand any more alliteration, there's also a Proper Pets workshop at Turtle Back, a penguin spa at Jenkinson's Aquarium, and of course, more St. Patrick's fun. There's other good stuff too, but none of it starts with 'p', so you'll have to keep reading. Have fun!