If you’re looking for a fun, indoor activity that will appeal to the whole family, bowling may be right up your alley! (Sorry, we couldn't help ourselves.) Here in New Jersey, there are plenty of bowling facilities that offer year-round fun: small-town/neighborhood spots that offer traditional games with modern touches, such as automatic scoring and gutter bumpers; and newer, flashier bowling alleys that feature high-tech bells and whistles like interactive games, video walls, and glow ball. In addition, fun centers throughout the state often include bowling alongside laser tag and arcades.
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If you’re looking for an interactive museum experience the whole family will enjoy, head over to The Morris Museum. While smaller and simpler than a big-city institution, the museum, housed in an old mansion, features an eclectic showing of family-friendly exhibits.
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood near Morristown’s historic district, Morris Museum has become one of my family's go-to's for a quick weekend day trip or a stopover at one of its annual festivals. The vintage musical instruments, model train exhibit, and rock and mineral collection remain big hits with my tweens.
In addition to the hands-on exhibits, the museum features a children’s theater and a robust lineup of family programs and events. There are plenty of reasons that Morris Museum is on our list of 100 Things to Do in NJ with Kids!
Who says there’s no such thing as a free meal? Restaurants throughout New Jersey offer free kid meal promotions nearly every night of the week. (Basically, you never have to cook again.) Visit your favorite family-friendly restaurant on a kids-eat-free night, and you won’t have to worry about overspending on kids’ entrees, especially the ones that are barely touched. Check out some of these New Jersey dining spots that feature free kid meals on certain nights of the week.
Martin Luther King, Jr., the chief spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement, is memorialized annually on the third Monday of January. This floating holiday has evolved into more than just a day off from school. Now deemed a National Day of Service, MLK Day encourages volunteers across the country to donate their time in order to make a difference. This day reminds us of hope, compassion, and the ongoing potential for social change. Many New Jersey towns are hosting local activities, and we've put together a list that includes both celebrations and service activities.
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 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.
When it comes to fairs and festivals, August in New Jersey is like one big party! Flutter over to Pennington for a Butterfly Festival, indulge in sweet summer peaches at Princeton's Just Peachy Festival, or enjoy classic fair fun like carnival rides and games at a county fair. With so many options, the family calendar will be packed all month long.
Read on for our top picks, and find more ways to make the most of August with our Summer Fun Guide.