If your little sweetie loves the finer things in life—and has the patience to make it through a sit-down meal—he or she may be ready to enjoy an afternoon at one of NJ's many local tea rooms. From the fine china and finger sandwiches to the tempting sweets, your little one will be enchanted during this special one-on-one mommy time. Many host sweet birthday parties, and several offer special holiday events.
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The lazy days of December break may be the best time to take part in New Jersey's family-friendly holiday activities—especially if you have visiting relatives to entertain or kids who have already moved on from their presents. From spectacular light displays to cold-weather fun, there's plenty to do during the days off from school.
Most New Jersey schools are closed from Monday, December 24, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019, allowing plenty of time to experience some of the holiday highlights you may have missed in the hectic run-up to Christmas. It's also the perfect time to check out an indoor play space, museum, or fun zone.
The month of December is like one big jolly holiday. Santa's making his rounds via planes and trains, and even underwater. Local towns and Jersey's favorite haunts are glowing with holiday lights. Plus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve round out the month-long festivities.
If you and your kids are eager to celebrate the season, you're in luck—there are so many wonderful events and activities happening throughout the state every day this month. You'll find plenty of free things to do, as well as activities just for little ones. You can have breakfast with Santa, catch a seasonal show, and see at least one of the spectacular light displays around NJ.
We know you’re busy with things like shopping, baking, and figuring out what the heck to do with your Elf on the Shelf, so we’ve sorted through all of this month's happenings and picked 25 of our favorites.
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!
Nothing says fall (or Halloween) quite like a pumpkin. When these festive gourds start appearing on front stoops and in windows across New Jersey, you know autumn really has arrived. This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and take a day trip to one of NJ's excellent pumpkin patches, where you're sure to run into more fall fun, including barnyard animals, hay and corn mazes, and even the season's other favorite fruit: apples.
Red on for more than a dozen spots where you'll be sure to find the perfect pumpkin.
Closer to the New York border? Check out these Westchester and Hudson Valley pumpkin patches. If you're in south Jersey or headed for a Bucks County getaway this fall, our Philadelphia site has the scoop on Pennsylvania pumpkin patches.
Get ready… get set… get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues, and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out courses that are open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.
Many of these 16 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip–worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides, and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids to find even more ways to enjoy the crisp autumn days.
The hustle and bustle of September is just around the corner! Before diving into school and busy schedules, make the most of this unofficial last weekend of the summer. Choose from a variety of fairs and festivals, including St. Bart's Italian Festival in Scotch Plains and the Scandinavian Festival in Budd Lake. Make it a carnival weekend at the Boonton Fire Department Labor Day Carnival and the Mendham Annual Labor Day Carnival.
For a last blast of summer fun, squeeze in a trip to the Jersey Shore before the beaches officially close after Labor Day, cool off at one of the state's awesome family water parks, or spend a day at the lake. Just get there early, as parking lots are likely to overflow on the holiday weekend! Of course, the many Jersey theme parks, including those best for our youngest kids remain open this holiday weekend, too.
If you're after an early taste of fall, head to the apple orchard: NJ's trees are already brimming with apples, and many farms like the popular Alstede and Stony Hill farms kick off fall fun this weekend with corn mazes, hayrides, and other family entertainment.
Do you ever crave a city scene while living in the suburbs? Like many New Jersey residents, I moved here from Manhattan years ago but still feel that itch for metropolitan perks, like walkability, diversity of restaurants and shops, and an energetic community hub. The good news is, there's no need to leave the state for city amenities. Explore great walkable downtowns right here in New Jersey, where you'll find both chain and independent shops, art museums, unique bookstores, delicious cafes serving up local eats, and more. If you choose to leave the car at home, most of these downtowns are in close proximity to New Jersey Transit trains or buses.
Whether a day trip destination or a quick stop for lunch and shopping, these great walkable downtowns are worth a visit.